During and directly after a disaster, temporary housing for those who are displaced and for relief workers can be hard to find. Airbnb activates its community to support local and national efforts in addressing this need.
We want our hosts to be the most prepared neighbors on the block. To achieve this, we partner with local government agencies and relief organizations, like the Red Cross, to provide our hosts with best practices in safety and preparedness. We’ve piloted Red Cross trainings in ten U.S. cities and are currently working to build global partnerships in Europe and Australia to scale these offerings.
Disaster response tool
When disasters strike, we often activate our response tool to provide additional housing within the first week – in or nearby the affected area. When the tool is activated, Airbnb automatically contacts hosts in the impacted and surrounding areas asking if they have extra space to share with their displaced neighbors. Hosts who respond choose to list their spaces free of charge, and Airbnb waives all booking fees. Guests and hosts in the area also have access to Airbnb’s 24/7 customer support.
Providing travel credits to relief organizations
Relief organizations often need immediate accommodations for their advance teams and larger relief worker groups. Airbnb can help meet this need through contributions of travel vouchers to nonprofit relief organizations with teams in need of immediate lodgings – typically where no other lodging is available. This program has provided the facilitation of accommodations for relief workers in Greece, Serbia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Island of Dominica, Fiji, Louisiana, Texas, and Northern California.
Collaborating with local, regional, federal and global disaster relief agencies in advance of an emergency allows us to help more people during the actual time of need. Through these partnerships, Airbnb can:
- provide disaster and emergency preparedness educational materials to Airbnb hosts so they can become the most prepared residents on the block.
- help arrange community emergency response trainings with local preparedness experts to train Airbnb hosts as response leaders within their neighborhoods.
- use Airbnb communication channels to notify hosts and visitors about significant emergencies.
- depending on the emergency and where we can have a positive impact, activate our disaster tool to help hosts open their homes as temporary housing for relief workers deployed for the response or displaced neighbors.