Lacey, Wash -- The free disaster legal services toll-free hotline, 1-866-434-8939 that began in late December of 2006, will be turned off on March 16, 2007. Residents who suffered damage from the November 2-11 severe storms and floods have only ten days remaining to receive free-disaster-related legal assistance from the Young Lawyers Division of the Washington State Bar Association.
Persons in disaster-designated counties may seek legal consultation for the next 10 days regarding:
- Insurance claims for doctor and hospital bills, loss of property, etc.
- Replacing wills, drafting powers of attorney and other legal documents lost in the disaster
- Help with home repair contracts and contractors
- Advice on problems with landlords
- Help with guardianships and other similar problems
- Other available state and local assistance related matters
Disaster Legal Services provides volunteer attorneys who offer free, disaster-related legal assistance to individuals affected by the November 2-11 floods. The Young Lawyers Division of the Washington State Bar Association, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), provides legal counseling and referrals to residents through a toll-free hotline, 1-866-434-8939. Applicants should call the phone number and leave their name, phone number, county of residence and the best time to be called back. They will be called back the next business day.
This program has been running since late December and will end on March 16, 2007.
FEMA manages federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident, initiates mitigation activities and manages the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA works closely with State and local emergency managers, law enforcement personnel, firefighters, and other first responders. FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 1, 2003.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, disability, economic status or retaliation. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, you should call FEMA toll-free at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or contact your State Office of Equal Rights. If suspicious of any abuse of FEMA programs, please contact the fraud hotline at 1-800-323-8603.