Free legal services for Arkansas disaster survivors

Besides the physical, emotional and mental challenges they pose, disasters such as the April 27 severe storms, tornadoes and floods may leave some survivors with legal issues. Arkansans who need help with storm-related legal issues but can’t afford a lawyer may find one for free. If you’re in this situation or know someone who is, this is what you need to know:

How to request free legal help: to request a lawyer, call 844-344-7904 toll free. The phone is staffed between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, messages can be left at any time. Callers should state they are seeking disaster-related legal assistance. Those who qualify for the free service will be matched with Arkansas lawyers who have volunteered to help, all calls are completely confidential.

Types of legal assistance include: assistance with insurance claims life, medical, property, etc. Help with replacing legal papers such as wills, advice on problems with landlords, counseling on mortgage-foreclosure problems and help with home repair contracts and contractors or with building permits.

This program is for survivors in the counties designated for federal disaster assistance to individuals: Faulkner, Pulaski, Randolph and White.
Disaster Legal Services are provided through a partnership among the Arkansas Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which funds some of the administrative costs.

Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.

The Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM) is the state's homeland security and preparedness agency. The agency works to identify and lessen the effects of emergencies, disasters and threats to Arkansas by developing effective prevention, preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery actions for all disasters and emergencies. For additional information, contact ADEM at (501) 683-6700 or visit the website at www.adem.arkansas.gov

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