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    4 ways to support relief workers in the wake of a disaster

    4 ways to support relief workers in the wake of a disaster

    Here's how to prep your space for those who are helping to rebuild a community.
    Bài viết của Airbnb, đăng ngày Jul 18, 2019
    Bài đọc 2 phút
    Đã cập nhật vào Aug 7, 2020

    Highlights

    • After a disaster, nonprofits and governmental agencies often send relief workers to rebuild communities

    • As an Open Homes host providing a free place to stay, you’ll want to tell your guests about your space, amenities, and the local area

    • Relief workers often work 12-hour shifts, so it’s helpful to prepare your space with long workdays in mind

    Right after a disaster hits, communities band together to help those who’ve been affected. Though this need for help is immediate, in some cases recovery efforts extend for months afterward.

    During the recovery stage, nonprofits and governmental agencies deploy relief workers to support impacted communities as they build resilience. Relief workers and volunteers—who help with projects like repairing internet connectivity and rebuilding homes and main roads—can find places to stay close to their worksites with Airbnb’s Open Homes program.

    We spoke to relief workers and nonprofit managers about how to prepare an entire space to accommodate relief workers while they provide aid. Here’s a list of five ways you can support a relief worker’s stay, so they can respond to the disaster effectively—and focus on the critical work that needs to get done.

    Respond to messages about your home

    Relief workers, volunteers, or nonprofit staff members might reach out to ask questions about your space, including the number of beds and bedrooms, and their exact dates. There is a wide range and diversity of spaces that may fit their needs. 

    Sharing detailed information about your home before moving forward with the reservation can ensure that your space makes sense for this particular group. “Equipment is a really big piece of what we do,” says Felicia Carmichael, who manages corporate relations for All Hands and Hearts. “It’s helpful to know beforehand if there’s space to park large trucks or a backyard to store materials.”

    Ask what amenities relief workers will need

    Having access to basic amenities like clean sheets, towels, and laundry can make them feel at home. “A worker might be managing hundreds of volunteers per day and need some space to do laundry or cook a meal,” says Kellie Bentz, who leads Airbnb’s Disaster Response & Relief team.

    Consider sharing your knowledge of the area

    Before relief workers arrive at your home, and throughout their stay, you can share information about local roads, safety information, grocery stores, and other relevant resources. Your unique knowledge of the area is incredibly valuable—and can help relief workers maximize their time on the ground.

    “We’re responding right away, and at times we don’t know the roads that well,” Carmichael says. Nonprofit managers often encourage people hosting relief workers to share information that only locals would know about the area, like roads that are blocked by trees and debris.

    If you don’t end up meeting the relief workers staying at your space in-person, you can always share this information in a message on Airbnb.

    Prepare your home with long workdays in mind

    By hosting relief workers and volunteers, you’re already taking a meaningful step to help your community recover. If you’re staying nearby and are able to, actions like stocking the fridge with healthy snacks and providing clean drinking water—or just leaving a nice note thanking them for their work to rebuild your community—can go a long way.

    “Relief workers work basically 12-hour days, 7-days a week,” says Bowers. “So eating healthy and staying hydrated is incredibly important.”

    Information contained in this article may have changed since publication.

    Highlights

    • After a disaster, nonprofits and governmental agencies often send relief workers to rebuild communities

    • As an Open Homes host providing a free place to stay, you’ll want to tell your guests about your space, amenities, and the local area

    • Relief workers often work 12-hour shifts, so it’s helpful to prepare your space with long workdays in mind

    Airbnb
    Jul 18, 2019
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