Airbnb is activating its local Disaster Response Tool to assist travelers impacted by the shooting at the Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
On Friday, a lone gunman – identified as former Army veteran Esteban Santiago, 26 — pulled a gun from checked baggage after landing, loaded it in a restroom and began shooting, killing five people and injuring eight others.
As part of the response, Airbnb is asking hosts to offer housing to displaced neighbors and relief workers deployed to help during the tragedy. Authorities have not yet established Santiago’s motive, and told the press “it looks like he acted alone.”
During times of emergency, Airbnb emails local hosts with information on how to offer extra space to affected community members. Hosts are still covered by the Host Guarantee, and Airbnb’s fees are waived.
“Our hearts and thoughts go out to the community of Ft. Lauderdale and all those impacted by today’s horrific and senseless violence,” Airbnb spokesman Nick Shapiro said in a statement. “Through the tool, travelers whose journeys have been interrupted or otherwise delayed will be able to connect with local hosts who are opening up their homes at no charge between now and Jan. 9.
“We are hopeful that the Ft. Lauderdale Airbnb community will come together to open their homes for those in need.”
To reserve a listing, or list a space through the tool, visit www.airbnb.com/disaster/ftlauderdale.
“In addition to our hosts,” Shapiro added, “we also want to thank all of the emergency responders and law enforcement personnel who are working around the clock to investigate this tragedy and restore a sense of normalcy at the airport and to the broader community.”