Message From the Chair
Greetings and thank you for your interest in the ABA Standing Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness. Since 2006, the Committee has been a trusted resource for lawyers, bar associations, and the justice system to get the tools to prepare for and respond to disasters.
Advance planning may be the single most important factor in your ability to adequately respond to a disaster, which is why we encourage you to review the many resources our Committee has to offer. Specifically, the Committee authored two publications, Surviving a Disaster: A Lawyer’s Guide to Disaster Planning and Surviving a Disaster, a Guide of Disaster Planning for Bar Associations, both of which are excellent and comprehensive resources on disaster preparation.
I also encourage you to learn more about the ABA Young Lawyers Division’s Disaster Legal Services Program. The DLS Program is the exclusive legal services coordinator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The Program dates back to 1972 and operates to help disaster survivors get free legal assistance for disaster related matters. You can read more about the history of the YLD’s Program in a recent article I wrote in the Touro Law Review, entitled The Calm After the Storm: 45 Years of the ABA Young Lawyers Division’s Disaster Legal Services Program.
I write this message during very uncertain and trying times in this country and around the world. Today, the World Health Organization declared the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) a global pandemic. COVID-19 presents a different challenge compared to the other natural disasters that come to mind, such as hurricanes, fires, or earthquakes. The COVID-19 pandemic should reinforce that readiness is not a spectator sport, and that in order to build more resilient communities, we all need to have a personal stake in the planning process.
On behalf of the Committee, we welcome you to visit our web page for current updates on disaster legal news, hotlines and valuable resources for you to incorporate in your practice and management of your office. Join our efforts to help lawyers, bar associations and the justice system remain resilient in the wake or aftermath of a disaster. If you have ideas that might support the Committees’ efforts, please contact the Committee's staff liaison, Chad Johannes. I can also be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.