Fire and Emergency NZ partners with Airbnb over emergency response

Fire and Emergency New Zealand has formed a partnership with Airbnb to improve the country’s emergency preparedness, response and recovery.

A memorandum of understanding was signed on 20 December in Auckland with Airbnb.

Chris Lehane, Airbnb Global Head of Public Policy and Region Fire Manager for Auckland and Northland Kerry Gregory sign an MOU

Airbnb will facilitate the provision of free accommodation to Fire and Emergency personnel responding to an emergency incident, and to local residents required to evacuate from the
affected area, with Airbnb hosts in New Zealand who sign up to its disaster response and relief programme.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand and Airbnb will also work to educate local hosts about smoke alarms and fire safety. Region Fire Manager for Auckland and Northland Kerry Gregory says the
initiative is another way to better respond in the event of a significant disaster, including fire, earthquakes, flooding and other weather events.

“So if a participating Airbnb host’s home is near an area which is experiencing an emergency event, they can offer it up to emergency services workers or people who’ve been displaced by
the disaster,” Mr Gregory says.

“This is a fantastic way for members of the community to make a voluntary contribution towards an emergency response.”

Airbnb’s Global Head of Policy and Communications Chris Lehane said Airbnb was committed to working with emergency services to help keep the community safe.

“At Airbnb, safety is our priority. This partnership will give our hosts access to the best information to keep themselves, their guests and their homes safe. It will also streamline
cooperation between our community and Fire and Emergency NZ in times of crisis or disaster,” Mr Lehane said.

Chris Lehane, Airbnb Global Head of Public Policy and Region Fire Manager for Auckland and Northland Kerry Gregory 

It is hoped the initiative will also increase awareness and understanding of New Zealanders’ need to be prepared in the event of a significant disaster, including fire, earthquakes, flooding and
other weather events.

The agreement will supplement other arrangements Fire and Emergency has in place around provision of accommodation during significant events.

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