Hurricane Matthew has left a trail of unimaginable devastation across the U.S., leaving at least 28 dead in Florida, Georgia, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
Over three million residents were also forced to flee from their homes.
The affected states are also faced with billions of dollars in hurricane damage, according to a report from Good Morning America. For the moment, there is no telling when life can go back to normal in these parts of the country.
To make life a bit easier for families forced to leave their homes due to Hurricane Matthew, a number of Airbnb users have decided to open up their rental homes and have evacuees stay in for free.
This was organized rather quickly thanks to Airbnb’s disaster response program that is already in place. According to Airbnb, the company would email a number of local hosts about how they can help others in their area in the event of an emergency. Airbnb’s fees are then waived while the hosts still get covered by the company’s Host Guarantee.
Airbnb says it launced its disaster reponse initiative following Hurricane Sandy’s devastation in 2012. Back then, a host in Brooklyn has opened up a home to evacuees for free and soon, more than 1,000 Airbnb hosts in New York also did the same.
Today, Airbnb remains dedicated to helping those in need the best way it can when disaster strikes. “At Airbnb we have a real opportunity to use our disaster response program to help these communities in a time of need,” remarked Kellie Bentz, Airbnb’s Head of Global Disaster Relief. The company also does its disaster response work in coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help hosts better prepare themselves in the event of a hurricane.
If you are located in the affected states and need a temporary home for your family, Airbnb hosts are currently offering a number of free lodgings in North Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
For disaster response, Airbnb says it has more than 3,000 activated listings ready to help those who have been displaced.
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