Hurricane Michael survivors in Florida can call hotline for legal assistance
Hurricane Michael survivors can now call a hotline at 1-866-550-2929 to get legal help from volunteer lawyers.
The hotline is a partnership of the Disaster Legal Services Program of the ABA Young Lawyers Division, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division and legal aid agencies around the state, according to press releases here and here.
Help is available in areas such as obtaining FEMA benefits, making insurance claims, dealing with home repair contractors, replacing wills and other legal documents, and dealing with landlord-tenant and mortgage-foreclosure problems. Assistance is not available for cases that will produce a fee, but in that circumstance, callers will be directed to a local lawyer referral service.
Help is available to Florida residents in Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Taylor, Wakulla and Washington counties.
Callers can leave a message on the hotline at any time, and calls will be returned within two business days between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.
Lower-income consumers can also get help through the Florida Free Legal Answers, an online legal clinic that’s part of ABA Free Legal Answers. There is an income cap for people qualifying for assistance, but it has temporarily been raised to allow more people to use the service.
ABAJournal.com: “North Carolina order opens up pro bono opportunities to serve Hurricane Florence victims”
Disaster Response Resources
North Carolina attorneys can find info on volunteering on the North Carolina Bar's Hurricane Florence page.
Not licensed in those states but looking to donate your time or money? Check out ambar.org/DisasterRelief.
ABA Journal Coverage
Hurricane Heroes: From the February 2018 issue
Legal community meets relief challenges after hurricanes Harvey and Irma
ABA mobilizes aid to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Lessons from Katrina
Social media unites lawyers to help those in need
For our latest natural disaster coverage, click here.
The Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH) is a national hotline dedicated to providing year-round disaster crisis counseling. This toll-free, multilingual, crisis support service is available 24/7 via telephone (1-800-985-5990) and SMS (text 'TalkWithUs' to 66746) to residents in the U.S. and its territories who are experiencing emotional distress related to natural or man-made disasters.
For low-income individuals with disaster-related legal needs, the following phone numbers are available:
North Carolina residents: 1-833-242-3549
South Carolina residents: 1-877-797-2227 ext. 120
Virginia residents: 1-804-775-0808 in the Richmond area, or 1-800-552-7977.
Florida residents: 1-866-550-2929.