Civil Legal Aid: The Second Responders

When hurricanes and other natural disasters strike, first responders make sure people have the basics – food, shelter, utilities and medical care. But when the survivors start picking up the pieces of their lives, it’s the second responders on whom they depend. Civil legal aid providers are among the most critical of the second responders.

Florida’s civil legal aid organizations provide help:

  • 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

Hurricane Irma Story Map

With the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) expertise of the Self-Represented Litigation Network (SRLN), the Foundation has developed an interactive story map that provides access to geospatial data from FEMA, HUD, the CDC, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Clicking on a location will open a pop-up with detailed data for that location.  Data include hurricane impacts, social vulnerability, housing and location affordability, FEMA applications, D-SNAP/Food for Florida applications, immigrant and limited English proficient populations, poverty below 125 percent, renters and uninsured people.

The Foundation also worked with SRLN to develop an innovative Legal Vulnerability Index, which displays the sum of multiple at-risk indicators for each county’s population and is part of the story map.

Floridians seeking civil legal help have several options:

Request assistance from volunteer lawyers

Florida’s Disaster Legal Services Hotline: (866) 550-2929