Airbnb's disaster response tool to help survivors find free housing (video)

Airbnb has launched a new disaster response tool in an effort to make things easier for willing hosts to offer free shelter to survivors of catastrophes. Activated within 30 minutes or less from the time trouble strikes, the solution will send out emails to local users and ask if they'd like to offer their rooms at no cost. Thoughtful folks will then be able to list their space on a dedicated page where guests can easily find generous souls to stay with. The P2P lodging service was inspired to cook up this plan after its New York patrons opened up their homes to Hurricane Sandy survivors, and it had to cobble together a portal to connect people. With the new system in place, the firm hopes it can quickly reach more hosts and guests and make the process of offering and finding emergency housing more efficient.