Last night, we activated our disaster response tool for the Toronto area, which was hit by an ice storm this weekend that displaced many residents and left hundreds of thousands of people without power. If you are a host who can help or if you are in Toronto and need a place to stay, please visit our Toronto Emergency Response Page.

Earlier this year, we launched a disaster response tool that makes it easy for Airbnb hosts to provide space for people in need when disasters strike. The tool:

  • Allows local residents with extra space to host those in need

  • Allows existing hosts to donate their rooms for free to those in need

  • Makes all Airbnb bookings in areas affected by a natural disaster fee-free

  • Emails hosts in the affected area, asking them if they are able to help

  • Connects guests to hosts that have space to offer in the affected area via a dynamic landing page

  • Provides Airbnb’s 24/7 customer support, Trust & Safety tools, Host Guarantee and other services regularly available to Airbnb hosts

  • Provides general disaster response information to guests and hosts

Since then, we’ve launched the tool in Sardinia and Colorado after serious flooding hit those regions, and when the devastating Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines.

Photo: Rose hips in ice, Toronto ice storm 2013, by David Whelan (Creative Commons Attribution license)