Airbnb Hosts Are Opening Their Doors to Hurricane Evacuees

Airbnb Hosts Are Opening Their Doors to Hurricane Evacuees

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Though thousands of families in the southeastern United States are fleeing their homes because of Hurricane Matthew’s devastation, thousands more homes are opening their doors to let them in.

Thanks to Airbnb’s Disaster Response Program, hosts nearby the danger zone have been emailed requests to nullify their fees for hurricane evacuees – and many are rising to the occasion.

The program started in October 2012 following the destruction of Hurricane Sandy on the East coast because of one host in Brooklyn offering his home up for free. Over 1,000 other New Yorkers followed his example and welcomed victims and families into their own homes.

Through collaboration with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Airbnb has been educating hosts on proper response and procedure following natural disasters.

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The program also helps on-site disaster relief volunteers find housing near their target areas.

“Throughout my career, I’ve seen the terrible devastation that disasters can inflict, but I’ve also seen the powerful ways that communities come together to respond and recover,” says Kellie Bentz, Airbnb’s Head of Global Disaster Relief. “At Airbnb we have a real opportunity to use our disaster response program to help these communities in a time of need. We look forward to collaborating more with agencies like FEMA around the world.”

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