Amid officials' warnings for residents in Hurricane Florence's path to evacuate immediately, companies like U-Haul and Airbnb are working to make safety a priority for everyone, especially those in mandatory evacuation zones. To make it a bit easier on those fleeing the storm, Airbnb is now offering free accommodations through its Open Homes Program, the home rental site's community dedicated to donating their extra space to those in need of temporary housing.
"The idea of using Airbnb to house people in need came from a host in Brooklyn in 2012. She wanted to offer her home for free to people who had been displaced by Hurricane Sandy," the site shares of the program's beginnings. "Once we built the capability for hosts to volunteer their space, over 1,000 hosts joined in and we realized this wasn't confined to just one event."
Since 2012, the Open Homes Program has responded to more than 250 disasters to help evacuees, relief workers, and eventually even refugees. Currently, People reports these housing accommodations are available for those in Charlotte and Greensboro, North Carolina, Columbia, Greenville, and Spartanburg, South Carolina, Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia, and Charlottesville, Virginia.
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