Airbnb Global Disaster Response
& Relief Program, Since 2012
Airbnb's Disaster Response Program goes beyond offering a place to shelter in for the night: it offers a place for someone in need to call home. By leveraging Airbnb's community and technology, it is able to instantly provide critical support for aid agencies and displaced people.
When Hurricane Sandy hit New York in 2012, Airbnb hosts immediately began helping in the way they knew best: by providing a home for their neighbors in need. The team has developed a tool within Airbnb's product that automatically contacts hosts in areas impacted by a disaster, to make it easier for community members to provide emergency accommodations in times of crisis. Hosts who respond choose to list their spaces free of charge and Airbnb waives all booking fees. Guests and hosts in the area also have access to Airbnb’s 24/7 customer support. The team works in close concert with local government to assess need, and then prompts the local host community to open its doors within the first 24 to 72 hours following an event.
Airbnb Disaster Response Team is comprised of cross-functional employees from the product, engineering, and customer experience departments. This effort is led by Kellie Bentz, Global Head of Disaster Response and Relief. In this role, Bentz works across the enterprise to respond to crises and disasters that impact the Airbnb community, which includes over three million hosts in 191 countries and 65,000 cities globally.