Disaster Relief Services Program
In response to the 2017 wildfires, LASC created our Disaster Relief Services Program. We provide outreach & education, fire rights clinics, and individual representation. We assist individuals throughout the entire recovery process, including insurance, Federal benefits (e.g. FEMA), certain housing and employment issues, as well as consumer issues.
We assist individuals in our community with the following:
- FEMA Benefits / Appeals
- Contractor Issues
- Price Gouging
- COVID-19 Unemployment programs / EDD appeals
- Employment issues related to COVID
Read about LASC’s services to fire victims Download the 2019 Disaster Recovery Report
Watch Out for Home Improvement Scams! Download energy contractor warning flyer
Actual Stories Of How Disaster Services Helped Fire Victims
He was made homeless by the fires. His rental burned down, and he lacked resources to afford a new deposit and rental. When he came to LASC, KJ had been living in his car for 9 months.
He needed benefits from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as he lacked other means to address his losses. LASC helped him obtain the FEMA housing and personal property replacement funds.
FEMA paid for the security deposit for his rental, and he secured future rental payments until April 2019. As a result, KJ was able to move out of his car and into housing.
After losing his home in the fire, Bob tragically also lost his mother due to complications of smoke inhalation. Neither Bob nor his mother had insurance. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) denied Bob’s claim, even though Bob desperately needed their support to recover.
Attorney Kendall Jarvis filed an appeal with FEMA on Bob’s behalf. Both claims were approved. FEMA accepted the appeal and was immediately provided housing, personal property and the funeral expense support to Bob.
Fire Survivors Voices
Sonoma County Man Who Lost an Eye While Firefighting is Denied FEMA Assistance
Sonoma County Fire Survivors Struggle
How to Disaster
Watch the podcast video, “After The Fire: Recover. Rebuild. Reimagine.”
“Advocate for yourself as best as you can in terms of knowing what your rights are. There’s this element where you lack confidence as a survivor, you think that that person knows more than you do and that’s not true.”
–Kendall Jarvis Esq.
Impact of the Disaster Relief Services Program
Since the devastating 2017 fires, the Disaster Relief Program at Legal Aid of Sonoma County has helped hundreds of disaster survivors rebuild their homes and lives. We assist individuals throughout their recovery and are helping vulnerable individuals navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you have questions about your legal rights relating to disaster recovery or COVID-19 in the workplace, call us at (707) 308-2512