As Hurricane Matthew skates up the east coast of Florida toward Georgia and South Carolina, some 3.1 million Americans were given orders to evacuate their homes. Now, thanks to some kind Airbnb users, some of those will have safe, inland places to sleep tonight.
The short-term rental app has activated its “disaster response” functionality, which lets hosts offer spare space in their homes to displaced community members. As of this writing, more than 3,000 listings on the site have been activated for such use.Though the hosts offer their places for free, they are still given some peace of mind through Airbnb’s Host Guarantee, and the transaction fees are waived.
The disaster response program was instituted after Airbnb noticed some users on the platform offering free places to stay after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the Northeast in 2012.