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Airbnb hosts think about adding evacuation plans for guests

Airbnb bans all parties at its listings, caps occupancy at 16
Posted at 6:39 PM, May 23, 2022

Learning escape routes is not usually high on the travel checklist when getting ready for a holiday, but as California is poised for a very active fire season it might be time to add an evacuation plan to your preparations.

On Airbnb's responsible hosting page, they outline different safety issues to address but nowhere on there does it mention evacuation plans. In a statement, Airbnb told KSBY, that while they don’t require evacuation information they offer other options.

"During natural disasters, we send out emergency notifications to potentially impacted hosts and guests, that include links to the most up-to-date guidance from local emergency management authorities so that they can prioritize their personal safety," said Mattie Zazueta, a spokesperson for Airbnb.

Upon arrival at a rental, you usually receive a guest book filled with tips and tricks for a happy stay, but what is missing in many is an evacuation route for those unfamiliar with the local terrain.

Karen Tallent, an Airbnb owner in Templeton, just recently added an evacuation map to her guest book.

"There was no mention of an evacuation route on the guest book until you brought it up and I thought, oh my goodness I know the way out and I know that the gate is battery backed up, but does that solve all the problems? The answer is no, it doesn’t," said Tallent.

Sitting on 7 acres of olive orchards and backed up to miles and miles of dry brush, Tallent's property The Groves on 41, is a perfect example of a high fire danger area. In order to keep it fire safe, she mows the brush once a month but as fire season starts, even that may not be enough.

"I think it’s a good plan, not just people who have Airbnbs but for everybody to think twice. We live in a fire land and it's fire season year-round, think and be prepared," said Tallent.

Cal Fire always advises people to be on high alert during fire season, especially in an unfamiliar area.

"Before you go on your trip identify where that location is if there is a wildfire threat you can go to websites like readySLOor," advised Adan Orozco, CAL Fire SLO.

How to get out might not be your first thought but knowing that answer could bring peace of mind.