How the Legal Community is Helping Victims of Hurricane Michael

By Leigh Barber

Thousands of Floridians were critically affected by Hurricane Michael. Homes were destroyed and lives were taken, but the legal community is doing everything they can to help people in need. The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division (YLD), in conjunction with the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Section & FEMA, has set up the Disaster Relief Hotline (1-866-550-2929) that provides free legal assistance to Hurricane Michael survivors. All Florida Bar members that are eligible to practice can volunteer.

Assistance through this hotline is available to qualified Floridians affected by Hurricane Michael in Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Taylor, Wakulla, and Washington counties. Those who qualify will be contacted by Florida lawyers who have volunteered to provide free legal help including:

  • Securing FEMA and other benefits.
  • Making life, medical and property insurance claims.
  • Dealing with home repair contractors.
  • Replacing wills and other important legal documents destroyed in the hurricane.
  • Helping with consumer protection matters, remedies and procedures.
  • Counseling on mortgage-foreclosure problems or landlord/tenant issues.

Callers can leave a message on the hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Calls will be returned within two business days between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Right now, the most pressing need is for volunteers to return calls. For more information from the Florida Bar, click here.

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