Airbnb Natural Disaster Policy: What You Need to Know

When planning a trip, the last thing anyone wants to worry about is a natural disaster disrupting their travel plans. Thankfully, Airbnb has a Major Disruptive Events Policy to assist both guests and hosts when unforeseen circumstances, such as bad weather or natural disasters, arise. This article will explore the key aspects of Airbnb’s natural disaster policy, including cancellation options, protection for both guests and hosts, and practical tips for handling emergencies.

The Major Disruptive Events Policy

1. Cancellation and Refund Options

Airbnb’s policy allows both guests and hosts to cancel reservations due to natural disasters with the following options:

Full Refund: Guests receive a full refund or travel credit.

Flexibility for Rebooking: Hosts can cancel without repercussions from Airbnb.

This policy provides peace of mind for guests, ensuring their trips won’t be ruined by unexpected events. For hosts, it prevents dealing with cancellations or no-shows, ensuring their properties aren’t left empty without notice.

2. Covered Situations

The extenuating circumstances policy covers various scenarios, including:

Changes to Government Travel Requirements: Such as evacuation orders or travel restrictions.

Declared Emergencies and Epidemics: Situations where safety is compromised.

Large-Scale Utility Outages: Disruptions to power, water, or essential services.

Military Actions and Hostilities: Unforeseen conflicts.

Natural Disasters: Including hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, and more.

While this list is not exhaustive, it provides a clear idea of the events covered. When in doubt, contacting Airbnb customer support for clarification is advisable.

Protecting Guests During Natural Disasters

1. Emergency Preparedness

Emergency Plan: Hosts should have a detailed plan in place, including evacuation routes and local authorities’ contact information. This information should be included in the house manual.

Stay Informed: Both guests and hosts should keep abreast of weather updates and any changing conditions.

2. Emergency Supplies

Guest Supplies: Hosts should provide emergency essentials such as:

Non-perishable food

Bottled water

Flashlights and batteries

First aid supplies

Backup power source (if possible)

3. Communication

Keep Guests Updated: If the situation changes, inform guests promptly to ensure their safety and well-being.

Essential Emergency Supplies for Short-Term Rentals

In case of an emergency, ensure you have the following supplies on hand and stored securely:

Food and Water:

Non-perishable food items (canned goods, granola bars, etc.)

Sufficient bottled water

Emergency Kit:

Flashlights with extra batteries

First aid supplies (bandages, antiseptics, etc.)

Backup Power Source:

Portable chargers or generators (if feasible)

Preparedness is key to ensuring the safety and well-being of both guests and hosts during natural disasters.

Understanding Airbnb’s Major Disruptive Events Policy

Airbnb’s Major Disruptive Events Policy explains how the company handles cancellations and refunds when large-scale events prevent or legally prohibit the completion of a reservation. It’s important to note that the policy excludes weather or natural conditions that are common enough to be foreseeable in a given location, except when they result in another covered event that prevents the completion of the reservation, such as a mandatory evacuation order or large-scale outage of essential utilities.

Foreseeable Weather Events

Some weather events are common in certain regions and thus not covered by the policy unless they lead to other covered events. For example, tropical storms, cyclones, hurricanes, and typhoons are foreseeable in certain regions during specific seasons. Below are examples of regions frequently impacted by such events:

Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea: June through November

North Atlantic Ocean: June through November

Eastern Pacific Ocean: May through November

Western Pacific Ocean: May through September

Indian Ocean: May through June, and October through November

South Pacific Ocean: November through April

Winter Conditions and Storms

Winter conditions and storms also vary by region. Examples include:

Northern Hemisphere (December through February):

North America: Most of the United States and all of Canada.

Europe & Central Asia: Including countries like Austria, Finland, Germany, Norway, Russia, and the United Kingdom.

Japan and parts of other Asian countries like India and Nepal.

Southern Hemisphere (June through September):

Argentina, Chile, and New Zealand.

Endemic Diseases

Endemic diseases commonly found in certain regions are not covered by the Major Disruptive Events Policy. Examples include:

Africa and the Middle East: Cholera, malaria, yellow fever.

Asia: Dengue, malaria, Japanese encephalitis.

Australia: Hepatitis, rabies, Japanese encephalitis.

Europe: Hepatitis, Lyme disease, measles.

Latin America and the Caribbean: Dengue, yellow fever, malaria.

South Pacific Ocean: Dengue, typhoid, malaria.

United States and Canada: Hepatitis, Lyme disease, West Nile virus.


Understanding Airbnb’s natural disaster policy is crucial for both guests and hosts to navigate unforeseen circumstances effectively. By staying informed, preparing emergency supplies, and maintaining clear communication, everyone can ensure a safer and more secure travel experience. For the most accurate and updated information, always refer to Airbnb’s official policy page and consider purchasing travel insurance for additional protection.

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