UA partners with Airbnb to improve emergency management response

March 30, 2019     The University of Alaska has joined Airbnb’s Global Disaster Response & Relief program. The partnership will strengthen the university's emergency response capabilities in communities where UA has a campus, research site or rural center.

“During and directly after a disaster like the recent Anchorage earthquake, it can be almost impossible for relief workers to find temporary shelter or accommodations,” said Steve Mullins, UA Continuity Director and Emergency Planner. “Additionally the program would help us find temporary housing for students, faculty or staff in the case that university housing facilities are impacted by an emergency event.”

The agreement facilitates free accommodations to first responders responding to an emergency incident and to local residents who are evacuated from their homes. The accommodations will be provided by local Airbnb hosts who are part of the disaster response and relief program. The initiative helps the University of Alaska better respond in the event of a disaster like extreme weather, wildfires, floods or earthquakes.

The agreement includes 26 communities across the state, where UA has a campus or facility. The communities include Anchorage, Bethel, Cordova, Delta Junction Fairbanks, Fort Yukon, Gakona, Glennallen, Homer, Juneau, Ketchikan, King Salmon, Kodiak, Kotzebue, Nome, Palmer, Petersberg, Seldovia, Sitka, Tok, Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, Valdez and Wasilla.