Hurricane Florence: Airbnb offering free housing for evacuees, relief workers

Airbnb will help Hurricane Florence evacuees scratch one significant line item off their list − housing.

The online vacation rental portal will offer free temporary housing to displaced individuals and relief workers deployed to help between now and Oct. 1. Airbnb hosts in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia have joined Airbnb's Open Homes Program.

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Since Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast in 2012, Airbnb hosts have opened their homes to evacuees in similar natural disasters to relieve the financial burden of evacuating from affected areas.

Tracking Hurricane Florence: Live updates from the Carolinas

"When disasters strike, our response tool is activated to create additional housing – in or nearby the affected area," read a statement on Airbnb's site. "When the tool is activated, Airbnb automatically contacts hosts in the impacted and surrounding areas asking if they have extra space to share with their displaced neighbors. Hosts who respond choose to list their spaces free of charge, and Airbnb waives all booking fees."

Here’s how you can help Airbnb offer free lodging to Hurricane Florence evacuees:

  1. Create a verified Airbnb account or, for existing members, log in at
  2. Sign up your home for a cause of choice.
  3. Once your home is listed, agency partners and verified account holders can send requests to stay at your home.

Hosts can decide how long they list their homes for free. Airbnb will expand the territory for hosts offering free lodging if necessary.

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