NLADA Joins with ABA, LSC and Pro Bono Net to Create the National Disaster Legal Aid Web Site
The National Legal Aid and Defender Association, in partnership with the American Bar Association (ABA), Legal Services Corporation (LSC) and Pro Bono Net, has developed a new Internet resource for individuals and communities seeking civil legal advice in times of disaster.
The National Disaster Legal Aid Web site, www.disasterlegalaid.com, is a resource and information center for individuals, attorneys, aid organizations and volunteers working to disentangle the numerous legal woes faced by communities in the wake of disastrous events.
Major disasters result in a variety of legal issues for those impacted. These can include the timely and appropriate handling of the physical loss of a home or other property, loss of income, mortgage issues, death of a loved one, insurance claims, ensuring adequate health care and much more. The necessity of dealing with these issues is often only realized in the wake of a disaster, after important papers and numbers have been misplaced or lost.
This site aims to serve as a vital resource for the people going through the traumatic event, as well as those who are committing their time and effort to help them through the experience.
Included on the site are:
- Resource links to agencies and organizations providing legal aid assistance
- Basic legal aid actions individuals can take to improve their situation
- Guidelines for keeping and managing important and vital documents together and in secure of a location as possible
- Information on what individuals legal rights are following a disaster
- A guide and links for individuals looking to volunteer legal aid or legal aid support
- Links to resources for a specific disaster
- News updates on legal aid
- Links to agencies handling additional aspects of disaster relief
Disasters can come in many forms, from natural disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes to medical epidemics and terrorist attacks. The National Disaster Legal Aid Web site serves as a comprehensive resource for information on all aspects of ensuring appropriate legal assistance to all people regardless of financial ability following a disaster.
While the National Disaster Legal Aid Web site was only established in 2008, it is based on the earlier Katrina Legal Aid Web site, created in 2005 following the massive destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, and later Hurricane Rita, along the Gulf Coast. This site, while narrower in focus than the subsequent site, served as an important and unique resource guide for those seeking to navigate through the legal maze caused by the most catastrophic disaster to hit the United States since the San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906.
In recognizing the importance of this Web site in helping communities deal with the legal issues caused by a disaster, the American Bar Association, the Legal Services Corporation, the National Legal Aid & Defender Association and Pro Bono Net collaborated to create a permanent Web home for sharing and making available resources and information pertaining to handling disaster related legal issues.