Keeping our community safe, both online and offline, is the most important thing we do here at Airbnb, which is why we were excited to join the Seattle Office of Emergency Management for a special training event in October. As part of the official partnership between the Seattle Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and Airbnb, OEM staff led an emergency preparedness training for more than 40 Airbnb hosts.
Seattle OEM staff taught Airbnb hosts how to prepare themselves, their homes, their guests, and the community for possible natural disasters and common safety issues. Airbnb hosts were also among some of the first in Seattle to test the OEM’s new online preparedness tool, which gives Seattle residents a personalized report of natural hazard risks at their homes and steps they can take to prepare. In the interactive training session, hosts learned to shut off a gas valve and practiced using a fire extinguisher in a fire simulator exercise.
“Providing hosts with emergency preparedness guidance is a vital part of the partnership between Airbnb and Seattle OEM,” said Matt Auflick, Public Education and Outreach Coordinator, Seattle Office of Emergency Management. “Being prepared will make hosts and their guests safer. In addition, a prepared host is in a better position to help others after a disaster, and potentially open their home to others impacted by an event.”
“I actually got to do a simulation of putting out a fire plus how to turn off my gas, along with other information on how to prepare my home in case of an emergency like an earthquake,” said Seattle host Lisa. “I appreciate Airbnb, who has been a wonderful partner to me over the past three-plus years I’ve been a host, and am grateful they work with local government in a way that benefits us all.”
As part of our effort to educate hosts about proper safety precautions, every attendee went home with a free smoke and carbon monoxide detector (hosts can order their own for free here) and disaster safety kits from the American Red Cross.
Around the globe, Airbnb routinely runs workshops like this with local officials to help equip our community with the latest safety advice from leading experts. In addition, we also provide hosts with online safety cards containing important information —such as emergency phone numbers, locations of fire extinguishers, and fire alarms, as well as emergency exit routes—so guests know what to do if there is an emergency.
Safety is our top priority, and we’re proud to work with great partners like the Seattle OEM to help ensure our hosts, guests, and local communities are as prepared as possible.