Airbnb Hosts Are Offering Free Shelter to Hurricane Michael Refugees
From tropical storm to devastating Category 4, Hurricane Michael has been causing destruction since its landfall in the Florida Panhandle. With the number of relief workers and people left displaced due to the severe conditions, Airbnb has reinstated its Open Homes program to those in need of shelter.
The program allows hosts to list properties for $0 on the Airbnb website in designated locations for a temporary period. For Hurricane Michael, the dates in which the free shelter is available are from Oct. 8 to Oct. 29, 2018. So far, more than 360 hosts have volunteered to open their homes to relief worked and displaced neighbors in need.
In September, Airbnb initiated the Open Homes program to help those displaced by Hurricane Florence. The program has been around since 2012, when Hurricane Sandy left people in the surrounding metropolitan areas displaced and in need of shelter. Luckily, more than 1,000 hosts stepped up. Since then, Airbnb's Open Homes, in collaboration with its hosts, have been housing and helping refugees all over the world.
"Often people believe it will not happen to them," said Kellie Bentz, senior manager of disaster response & relief at Open Homes. "Thinking through personal, family and business response plans are critical to being more prepared and resilient should something happen."
The free shelters are currently available in the Florida Panhandle/Alabama area and major cities such as Atlanta, Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa.
If you're in these affected areas and looking to volunteer your home on Airbnb, all you have to do is sign up for Airbnb, list your home and sign up your property here to get the $0 listing. If you're one of those in need of a place to stay, available homes can be found here.