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Amid Virus, Disaster Attorneys Struggle To Reach Survivors

When the federal government declares a disaster merits individual assistance, FEMA can request that the American Bar Association establish a legal aid hotline through the Disaster Legal Services program.┬áBut without disaster recovery centers, attorneys say they’re having trouble finding their clients

Ordinarily after a storm, as soon as the all clear is sounded, Greg Landry, executive director of the Acadiana Legal Service Corp., would send lawyers and paralegals to mass shelters where displaced survivors stay, or to FEMA disaster centers.

But that’s not what happened after Hurricane Laura caused an estimated $10 billion in property damage and 72 deaths on the Gulf Coast.

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