Airbnb is looking for people willing to host evacuees for free as Tropical Storm Barry threatens the Gulf Coast.
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Tropical Storm Barry is expected to make landfall early Saturday, and the National Weather Service has warned it could cause flooding along the Gulf Coast and the lower Mississippi Valley through early next week.
Airbnb offers a tool that allows willing hosts in areas affected by natural disasters to list their spaces free of charge. The company waives its booking fees for participating hosts. With Tropical Storm Barry bearing down on Louisiana, Airbnb said it’s looking for hosts in Louisiana, Mississippi and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast who will take in people displaced by the storm and relief workers deployed to the area.
As of Friday morning, 81 hosts had signed up, according to Airbnb.
The company said it has helped its host those displaced by natural disasters, wars and other events since 2012.
It’s up to hosts to decide how often and how long they wish to open their spaces for free. Airbnb said it encourages the hosts to communicate with potential guests ahead of time and any reservations made by non-evacuees will be canceled immediately.
Any hosts of guests interested in participating can find more information on Airbnb’s website.
The Red Cross is also positioned to assist people affected by Barry. The group said it has pre-positioned relief supplies in Louisiana, Texas and other coastal communities.
As of Friday morning, the Red Cross has already opened four shelters in Bogalusa, Alexandria, Hammond and Franklinton.