Lawyers step up to help disaster survivors

But as the interest in the story wanes, legal needs for the people affected by these storms are just beginning to surface. Disaster survivors' legal problems can be lengthy and complicated. That is where lawyers can help.

Op-Ed (Louisiana, Texas)

Hilarie Bass
Houston Chronicle
October 23, 2017

Tags: Disaster Recovery

Organizations mentioned/involved: Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA), Lone Star Legal Aid, Legal Aid of Northwest Texas, Houston Volunteer Lawyers, Legal Services Corporation (LSC)


Legal problems can extend into the workplace: People can lose jobs because they cannot get to work when their cars have been washed away or because their workplace closed due to storm damage.

Important legal documents, such as wills and property titles, can get destroyed in a hurricane, and lawyers can assist residents in replacing them. Lawyers provide legal counseling when lenders attempt to foreclose on properties owned by storm survivors who fall behind on payments. And they represent homeowners dealing with crooked home repair contractors. They also can help people who need assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or making life, medical and property insurance claims. The American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division has responded to disasters since the 1970s. Since contracting with FEMA in 2007, the ABA’s Young Lawyers Division has helped in more than 160 declared disasters in 43 states and two U.S. territories.