LSC Releases Disaster Task Force Report

September 16, 2019

The LSC Disaster Task Force released the Disaster Task Force Report on Tuesday, September 17, on Capitol Hill.  Formed over seventeen months ago, this report contains information vital for communities to respond in disaster situations and emergencies.  The report aims to increase awareness of civil legal aid disaster preparedness and response and develop systematic approaches to respond to civil legal needs. The report contains a toolkit, best practices, and recommendations to help LSC grantees improve effectiveness and disaster response times.

LSC Board Chair John G. Levi and ABA President Judy Perry Martinez delivered welcoming remarks at the event marking the release of the report. Disaster Task Force Co-Chairs Jonathan Lippman, former Chief Judge of New York and currently of counsel for Latham & Watkins LLP, and LSC Board member Father Pius Pietrzyk also spoke. The third Co-Chair, LSC Vice Chair and Harvard’s 300th Anniversary University Professor Martha Minow, provided recorded remarks.

Experts on post-disaster legal issues took part in a panel, “The Importance of Relationships to Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Recovery.” The panelists included Paul Furrh, Chief Executive Officer, Lone Star Legal Aid; George Hausen, Executive Director, Legal Aid of North Carolina; Ellyn Josef, Pro Bono Counsel, Vinson & Elkins LLP; and Will Polk, Deputy General Counsel, North Carolina Department of Public Safety. LSC President Jim Sandman helped moderate the discussion on how legal services providers can partner with representatives from government, the private bar, and community services to better prepare for and respond to disasters.

Following that discussion, Michael Byrne, Specialist Executive at Deloitte and former Senior Executive with Federal Emergency Management Agency, shared insights into the importance of disaster preparedness. 

Read the Disaster Task Force report (link needs to be added)

Disaster Legal Hotlines (By State)
Find disaster-related legal aid in your state. 

Find Disaster Recovery Centers
Disaster Recovery Centers are accessible facilities and mobile offices you can visit to learn more about FEMA and other disaster assistance programs. The DRC Locator helps you find the hours, services, and locations of DRCs near you.

Flood Zone Lookup
Make sure that your home is protected. For properties in high-risk areas, all federal or federally insured lenders require that the homeowner purchase flood insurance pursuant to federal law. Use this map to see if your home falls in a flood zone.