New app helps evacuees find places to stay

If you need to evacuate and aren't sure where to go, a couple of Charlotte entrepreneurs want to help.

"What would it be like to have your kids in your car and have nowhere to go," said Adam Huminsky.

He saw the rush of families fleeing Hurricane Irma last year and decided he couldn't just stand by and watch.

"Families sleeping in parking lots and rest areas. I thought, I have an extra bedroom at my house and I have a pull-out couch somewhere. Maybe somebody could stay with us."

But he had no way to find the people who needed help. This year, he launched an app called "Harmany". It helps connect people who are evacuating with folks who have extra room to share, free of charge.

"'Need a place' is obviously somebody who's looking for a place to stay right now. 'Have a place' is somebody who has a spare bedroom, pull-out couch, vacation rental, or in-law suite that someone can allow them to stay in for a few days in an emergency."

The app launched in June and already has users across the country.

"I can see where users have signed up in the broader geographical area and as I need a place, say I need to go to Charlotte. This takes me to a profile that shows basic accommodations, how many people can stay."

Adam says he's in talks with FEMA, emergency management, and large corporations. As the app grows, he says a company or church could have their own code so evacuees could find a place to stay with their colleagues or church members.

"You have a ready-made network of peers, friends, and associates that can help take the burden when people have nowhere to go. Companies are finding interest in this because they can keep their employees safe and get them back to work sooner."

Click here to learn more about the app.