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Free legal advice offered to storm, flood victims

JACKSON — FEMA implemented the Disaster Legal Services Program on Sept. 23 in response to damages by the severe storms, straight-line winds, tornadoes and flooding between Feb. 22 to March 29 in Mississippi.

The Young Lawyers Division Disaster Legal Services Committee of the Mississippi Bar, in conjunction with FEMA, the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and Mississippi Center for Legal Services, is providing free disaster legal assistance efforts to individuals affected by the recent storms in Clay, Humphreys, Issaquena, Lowndes, Monroe, Sharkey, Warren and Yazoo counties. 

The toll-free number for the Young Lawyers Division Disaster Legal Assistance is (877) 691-6185 and storm survivors may now call the hotline between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Monday through Friday. Local legal aid providers will be available to help with the following:

• Assistance securing FEMA and other government benefits available to disaster victims;

• Assistance with life, medical and property insurance claims;

• Help with home repair contracts and contractors;

• Replacement of wills and other important legal documents lost or destroyed in the disaster;

• Consumer protections such as price-gouging and avoiding contractor scams in the rebuilding process;

• Counseling on mortgage-foreclosure problems; and

• Counseling on landlord-tenant problems

Storm survivors may call the toll-free number and a volunteer attorney will respond by telephone to answer their legal questions.

The goal is to assist as many individuals affected by the storms as possible.

Rebekah Kennedy has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.