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Hurricane Harvey
Hurricane Harvey as seen from NOAA's GOES system.  NOAA

Airbnb Is Helping Hurricane Harvey Evacuees Find Shelter

Aug 25, 2017

House rental site Airbnb is helping people who had to evacuate their homes in the face of Hurricane Harvey find temporary shelter. Harvey, currently a Category 2 storm, is expected to make landfall on the Texas coast Friday night or early Saturday, bringing potentially catastrophic flooding to the region.

To help those affected by the storm, Airbnb is waiving all service fees for evacuees checking in between Aug. 23 and Sept. 1. It's also working to pair evacuees with homeowners who are willing to host people for free during the storm. Airbnb's website currently lists a number of homes and rooms available at no cost.

Airbnb has made similar efforts during times of disaster in the past as well. "Collaborating with regional disaster relief organizations in advance of an event allows us to reach a broader audience and help more people during the actual event," reads a statement on Airbnb's website. "That is why we are pleased to partner with local government agencies and disaster relief organizations to help the Airbnb community and the cities prepare for local emergencies."

Airbnb did not immediately respond to TIME's request for comment.

Harvey has been labeled a "life-threatening storm" that poses a "grave risk" to those in its path. It could strengthen into a Category 3 hurricane before making landfall, becoming the first such storm to strike the U.S. in 12 years.

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