Free legal help is available for survivors of natural disasters in Alabama

Phone lines are open Monday-Friday, 8:30am-4:30pm


Were you impacted by a major disaster in 2020 or 2021?

Severe storms and flooding (February-March 2020)

Severe storms and tornado (April 2020)

Severe thunderstorms (April 2020)

Hurricane Sally (September 2020)

Hurricane Zeta (October 2020)

Severe storms and tornados (March 2021)

Severe storms and flooding (October 2021)

If you have legal needs related to any of these storms, LSA can help!

We can help with the following problems

Are you experiencing any of the situations listed below?

Click the arrow to the left of each item to read how LSA can help or


Review your insurance policy to understand your coverage.

  • Make sure to keep your policy information and agent’s information safe and accessible. 

Make a detailed list of your personal property.

  • Take pictures of your belongings and household items. It is also a good idea to save receipts for higher-priced items

Take pictures of your home before the storm to be able to show the difference before and after the storm if you have damage.

We recommend putting together an evacuation folder.

Important documents to include are:


  • Home ownership documents (deed, title, bill of sale, probate order, etc)


  • Insurance records and your personal property inventory


  • Birth certificates


  • Social Security cards


  • Identification documents


  • Custody/Domestic Relations documents (marriage license, parenting plans, custody/visitation orders, guardianship orders)


  • Wills or other Probate documents


  • Medical records

You will want to consider your family members’ needs before evacuating.


  • Are there medications, special foods, equipment, comfort objects, or other necessary items to pack?


  • If you are heading to a shelter, verify that the evacuation shelter will meet their needs


  • If you are the legal guardian, make sure to include the court papers in your evacuation folder


  • FEMA has hurricane preparedness information for persons with disabilities and special needs here
If you have a court ordered custody order or parenting plan, communicate with the child’s other parent, and explain your evacuation plan.


Try to do this communication in writing, and keep a copy of the email or text messages confirming your plan and conversation.


Court orders have to be followed, even in disasters – if keeping your child safe conflicts with or prevents you from complying with the order temporarily, the court would likely understand but you should be prepared to show the efforts you took to comply and communicate.



If you are a renter, you can file for FEMA assistance based on your disaster losses.
You could qualify for help paying your rent and other needs, depending on the damage.


Any survivor of a major disaster can be eligible for FEMA assistance.
However, FEMA will not duplicate what your insurance covers. FEMA can assist with the uninsured part or other damage or needs that you have.
You can and should still complete a FEMA application and an insurance claim.

FEMA often requires proof of ownership before it can provide assistance funds.


It is a good idea to know who is on the title before a disaster occurs.


If you cannot prove that you own your home, FEMA could deny your application.


If you need help proving ownership of your home, you may need legal assistance.

You have the right to appeal FEMA’s denial.


That appeal will have a deadline, typically 60 days after the date on your letter.
LSA can help you with that appeal.

Events and Presentations

We lead presentations and offer legal clinics for communities affected by natural disasters throughout Alabama.

We also staff tables at resource fairs and other events targeting survivors of natural disasters.

If you are a service provider for residents with low incomes and would like us to speak to your team or your clients about what Legal Services Alabama does to help Alabamians struggling to recover from a disaster, please contact us.

For more information, contact Rachele Reis at




Phone lines are open 8:30am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday