The Florida Bar’s Young Lawyers Division has been partnering with the ABA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and Three Rivers Legal Services, Inc., to assist those impacted by Tropical Storm Debby.
The type of legal assistance available includes:
· Assistance with securing FEMA and other government benefits available to disaster survivors;
· Assistance with life, medical and property insurance claims;
· Help with home repair contract and contractors;
· Replacement of wills and other important legal documents destroyed in the disaster;
· Assisting in consumer protection matters, remedies, and procedures;
· Counseling on mortgage foreclosure problems; and
· Counseling on landlord/tenant problems.
Storm victims facing legal issues who are unable to afford a lawyer may call (866) 550-2929 or email firstname.lastname@example.org between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday, to request assistance. Those who qualify for assistance will be matched with Florida lawyers who have volunteered to provide free legal help.
When the president declares a major disaster, FEMA, in cooperation with the ABA Young Lawyers Division, establishes a toll-free number for disaster survivors to request legal assistance. Funding for the toll-free line comes from FEMA under the authority of Section 415 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Public Law 100-707). The ABA YLD, in turn with the state bar associations and other legal organizations, recruits volunteer lawyers in affected areas to handle survivors’ cases.