September 30, 2018

ABA providing legal assistance in wake of Hurricane Florence

The ABA, through its Young Lawyers Division’s Disaster Legal Services Program, is coordinating with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide legal assistance to those affected by Hurricane Florence.

As the storm approached, ABA President Robert M. Carlson said the association’s network of volunteers “stands ready to assist those affected by the hurricane with any of the legal needs that so often arise after these natural disasters.”

Hurricane Florence continues to cause extensive damage and flooding in North Carolina and South Carolina since it made landfall on Sept 14. Resources for lawyers who would like to volunteer and for lawyers who have been impacted by the hurricane can be found here on the ABA website. The page also includes the following hotline number for residents: North Carolina, 1-833-242-3549; and South Carolina, 1-877-797-2227, ext. 120.

Carlson also sent a letter Sept. 17 to FEMA Administrator William B. “Brock” Long emphasizing the importance of proper training for staff and volunteers so that they can respond to the unique needs of intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual violence victims during and after a disaster.

“Victims of IPV and sexual violence are uniquely vulnerable in the aftermath of a disaster when their housing has been destroyed and their support networks and have scattered,” Carlson wrote. “When a person is evacuated to the same shelter as their abuser, or when IPV and sexual violence occur inside a shelter, emergency management agencies and other important stakeholders like the American Red Cross must be prepared to handle those eventualities.”

Carlson also said the ABA urges Congress to appropriate funds to FEMA for training and education related to IPV and sexual violence.Carlson also said the ABA urges Congress to appropriate funds to FEMA for training and education related to IPV and sexual violence.