Fire and Emergency partners with accommodation provider over emergency response

Fire and Emergency New Zealand

Fire and Emergency partners with accommodation provider over emergency response

Fire and Emergency New Zealand has formed a partnership with Airbnb to improve the country’s emergency preparedness, response and recovery.

A memorandum of understanding was signed on December 20 in Auckland with Airbnb.

Airbnb will facilitate the provision of free accommodation to Fire and Emergency personnel responding to an emergency incident, and to local residents required to evacuate from the affected area, with Airbnb hosts in New Zealand who sign up to its disaster response and relief programme.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand and Airbnb will also work to educate local hosts about smoke alarms and fire safety. Region Fire Manager for Auckland and Northland Kerry Gregory says the initiative is another way to better respond in the event of a significant disaster, including fire, earthquakes, flooding and other weather events.

“So if a participating Airbnb host’s home is near an area which is experiencing an emergency event, they can offer it up to emergency services workers or people who’ve been displaced by the disaster,” Mr Gregory says.

“This is a fantastic way for members of the community to make a voluntary contribution towards an emergency response.”

Airbnb’s Global Head of Policy and Communications Chris Lehane said Airbnb was committed to working with emergency services to help keep the community safe.

“At Airbnb, safety is our priority. This partnership will give our hosts access to the best information to keep themselves, their guests and their homes safe. It will also streamline cooperation between our community and Fire and Emergency NZ in times of crisis or disaster,” Mr Lehane said.

It is hoped the initiative will also increase awareness and understanding of New Zealanders’ need to be prepared in the event of a significant disaster, including fire, earthquakes, flooding and other weather events.

The agreement will supplement other arrangements Fire and Emergency has in place around provision of accommodation during significant events.

Kerry Gregory and Chris Lehane shake hands.

Region 1 Fire Manager Kerry Gregory and Airbnb's Chris Lehane shake hands.