Airbnb Disaster Response
We make it easy for hosts to offer their space for free and connect with those in need.
A Trusted Platform
Hosts who discount their space receive the same tools as in a normal booking. Guests will be required to connect with hosts through Airbnb’s messaging system, and eligible listings will be covered by our Host Guarantee.* In the event of a disaster, Airbnb will waive all service fees and provide a simple way for hosts to offer their lodgings for free.
The Idea Came from the Community
Hurricane Sandy, NYC, NY
In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy devastated the Caribbean and the Eastern Seaboard, leaving thousands without a place to call home.
One host listed her space for free
Shell listed her space at no cost and opened the doors to her New York City loft to those displaced by the disaster.
Comfort amid chaos
Victims of Hurricane Sandy found more than shelter in Shell’s home. They found support, camaraderie, and the opportunity to serve others affected by the tragedy.
1,400 Airbnb hosts in New York opened doors and cooked meals for those left stranded during Superstorm Sandy. When we heard the stories, we were humbled, inspired, and committed to building a way to scale these generous acts throughout our community and the world. In 2013 we launched a disaster response initiative that makes it easy for Airbnb hosts to provide space for people in need when disasters strike.
Since then, hosts have opened their door to displaced residents in response to emergencies around the world, including in:
- San Diego in response to major fires
- Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia for people affected by the Balkan floods
- London, Sardinia, and Colorado after serious flooding hit these regions
- Kefalonia after an earthquake hit the island
- Toronto and Atlanta following severe ice storms
- The Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan
Here's How It Works
When disasters strike, we can activate our response tool for a designated geographic area. When the tool is activated:
- Airbnb automatically Emails hosts in the affected area, asking them if they are able to help
- Existing hosts and local residents with extra space can host those in need for free
- All Airbnb bookings in the affected area are fee-free
- All hosts have access to Airbnb's 24/7 customer support, Trust & Safety tools, Host Guarantee and other services regularly available to Airbnb hosts
- We use our networks to provide general disaster response information to guests and hosts
Collaborating with regional disaster relief organisations in advance of an event allows us to reach a broader audience and help more people during the actual event. That is why we are pleased to partner with local government agencies and disaster relief organisations to help the Airbnb community and the cities prepare for local emergencies. Through partnering, Airbnb is able to commit to:
- Pre-identifying and activating Airbnb hosts who will commit to opening their doors to displaced persons and disaster service workers when an emergency occurs.
- Providing disaster and emergency preparedness educational materials to Airbnb hosts to help them become the most prepared residents on the block.
- Using Airbnb mobile and web technology to notify hosts and guests about significant hazardous incidents.
- Facilitating community emergency response trainings to cultivate Airbnb hosts as trained leaders within their neighbourhoods.