By Kristine Liao, American Red Cross California Gold Country Region volunteer
As the smoke clears and recovery begins, Californians impacted by the recent wildfires often face a variety of disaster-related legal issues. Thanks to the American Red Cross legal partners, Legal Services Corporation and the American Bar Association Disaster Legal Services, free legal services are available.
“The Red Cross values our partnership with the legal community and appreciates the assistance and invaluable service they provide to communities,” said Mary Dewitt-Dia, National Partnerships Manager.
From navigating insurance claims to requests for government programs such as FEMA assistance, a coalition of organizations and law firms in North America are ready to help.
“The partnership between Disaster Legal Assistance Collaborative and the Red Cross is so exciting,” said Alexa Villagomez Montlavo, Disaster Legal Services Coordinator at Legal Access Alameda. “We have so many great free legal aid programs available to those impacted by the recent wildfires. It’s one thing to have resources ready for those in need, but by partnering with the Red Cross it’s another way to make sure that the resources are making their way to the people that may need them.”
Janet Snyder of the Alameda County Bar Association said, “I am proud and excited about our partnership with the Red Cross. There is true strength in numbers, and joining forces will allow us to connect more disaster survivors with free legal assistance. We want disaster survivors to know that they are not alone, and that we are here to offer support in their recovery process.”
“Providing FREE legal help after a disaster ensures that low-income disaster survivors receive needed legal assistance,” Mary added. “Problems can often be resolved quickly therefore preventing additional complications.”
If you need help navigating legal issues, please visit disasterlegalservicesca.org or call the free Disaster Legal Assistance Hotline at 888-382-3406. You can also submit legal questions at ca.freelegalanswers.org