Evacuating your home due to a natural disaster can be stressful but, thankfully, there are programs in place to make the burden a little easier to bear. Hurricane Florence is expected to bring extreme winds and flooding to the Carolinas, and to make landfall on Sept. 13 or 14, according to The Weather Channel. This outlook has caused people to flee their homes.
If you’re in the affected area, there are some options for free lodging thanks to companies such as Airbnb and the Atlantic City Casino. Here’s what’s out there if you’re looking for a place to stay while displaced from your home:
Airbnb’s OpenHomes program has been in place since Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012. The program works to provide free places to stay by allowing for people to list vacant properties and/or rooms for those fleeing their homes. According to People magazine, 350 Airbnb hosts had already opened their homes as of Sept. 12.
Airbnb tweeted about the free lodging options, writing, “Airbnb has activated our host community to open their homes for $0 for those who have been evacuated from their homes as a result of Hurricane Florence”:
Airbnb has activated our host community to open their homes for $0 for those who have been evacuated from their homes as a result of Hurricane Florence. https://t.co/FOkjsG7Ffa
— Airbnb Help (@AirbnbHelp) September 12, 2018
Ocean Resort Casino
The Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City is opening its doors to anyone affected by the storm. Those who have been displaced by the storm are invited to stay for free as long as rooms are available. According to CBS Philly, Bruce Deifik, the casino’s owner is just asking that people show proof that they live in an area being impacted by the storm.
“They have to show proof that they live in an area that is threatened with a direct hit or an area in danger,” Deifik told the publication. “Ninety-five percent of people I’m sure will be honest about it. There’s always going to be some scammers, but if it takes letting a few of them slip by in order to help the majority of people, then so be it.”
According to a recent update from the hotel’s Twitter account, however, rooms are already booked through Sept. 15 and will reopen for those in need on Sept. 16:
Due to the overwhelming response, we are sold out through Saturday 9/15. However, we will be able to offer rooms Sunday 9/16 through Thursday 9/20. Rooms can be booked by calling 1-866-50-OCEAN.
— Ocean Resort Casino (@TheOceanAC) September 13, 2018
Nearby hotels are also offering discounts for those who need rooms, waiving cancellation and pet fees to help out during this time of need, according to USA Today. For instance, the city of Bristol has several hotels offering discounted rates, including rooms for $43.99 a night for those who may need a place to stay.
According to the Discover Bristol Twitter account, they’re also offering discounts on museum visits and more, in case your family needs the distraction:
Florence evacuees, we know you're tired & stressed over what you've left behind. We're here to help make your time away as enjoyable as possible. @BCMM and @tricitiesescape are offering discounts to evacuees.
Visit https://t.co/cGImpaxNFS for a complete list of lodging specials. pic.twitter.com/8EKYJG73QV
— Discover Bristol (@MyBristolVisit) September 13, 2018
According to CNN, venues such as the Atlanta Motor Speedway and the Charlotte Motor Speedway are also offering campground spaces for families needing to create a makeshift shelter until the storm passes. Visit their websites for more information.
The Atlanta Motor Speedway spread the news via Twitter:
Attention Hurricane Florence Evacuees! We will be opening our Premiere and Legends campgrounds to those who need refuge! Dry camping will be FREE and full hookup sites will cost $20 per night.
— Atlanta Motor Speedway (@amsupdates) September 11, 2018
We hope you find a safe place to stay until you can return home!