These people are opening their homes to Hurricane Florence evacuees

Leah Van Buren Bolton (standing, fifth from right) opened her Tennessee house last year to 26 people evacuating from Hurricane Irma.

(CNN)Leah Van Buren Bolton, Jim Gregory, Mary Jackson and Robert Riker have never met. But they have at least two things in common.

All four live in mountainous areas hundreds of miles inland from the East Coast. And all have just offered their homes to some of the more than 1 million people facing mandatory evacuation orders as Hurricane Florence takes aim at the coasts of Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
In recent days, Facebook groups such as Hurricane Florence 2018 and Hurricane Florence Lodging For Evacuees have hosted dozens of posts from people and organizations offering shelter to those fleeing the Category 4 storm.
    "We've fled our share of Hurricanes. And we know the cost of staying in a hotel and having to eat out can quickly add up at a time when anxiety, fear and uncertainty is high," Riker told CNN. He and his family live in Waynesville, North Carolina -- in the western part of the state -- and are opening their house to a couple or small family.
    "We just want to offer some relief to someone who has greater worries going on in their life than I do. We're all in this life together. And we only have each other to rely on," he added.
    Riker said he, his wife, three children and a dog used to live in Jacksonville and had to flee several hurricanes over the years, including Hurricane Matthew.

    When trampolines become beds

    Last year Leah Van Buren Bolton opened her house in Kingsport, Tennessee, to 26 people evacuating from Hurricane Irma.
    "We're human and people need help. When people need help you help them," she told CNN.
    Bolton also owns a trampoline park called Quantum Leap Trampoline Sports Arena, about 20 minutes away from her family home. She's planning to first fill her house with evacuees, then open the trampoline area for up to 70 more people. Pets are welcome.
    "We slept on those trampolines many times for lock-ins and our kids' birthday parties. They're actually pretty comfortable," she said. "With over 1 million people needing a place to stay, how can we not let them when we have 71 beds open?"
    Last year Bolton managed to cram 26 people in her house as Irma hit Florida, asking on Facebook for more mattresses, sheets and blankets as more evacuees arrived.
    "My sister came up from Florida first, then our really good friends who are originally from Venezuela, and we put them up. And then we started getting phone call after phone call from friends and friends of friends that had nowhere to go," she said.
    "One guy came in crying at four in the morning because he had a 2-year-old and a very pregnant wife," she continued. "They were so relieved to be able to finally put their head down in a safe place."

    Rustic lodging in the mountains

    Bolton isn't the only person opening a business to evacuees.
    Jim Gregory owns a hostel and campground on almost 2.5 acres next to the Appalachian Trail and Watauga Lake just outside of Hampton, Tennessee.
    He previously lived in Florida for 13 years and has been through several hurricanes.