Photo of Hannah Dyal

Hannah Dyal

  • Hosted by Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc.
  • Sponsored by Disaster Resilience Program
  • Service location Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Law school The University of Texas School of Law
  • Issue area Disaster Recovery, Disaster Response and Preparedness
  • Fellowship class year 2020
  • Program Disaster Resilience Program

The Project

Hannah’s project focused on providing legal needs to disaster survivors to aid their recovery as well as preparing vulnerable individuals living in disaster-prone areas.

Her project addressed ongoing housing and economic needs from disasters in the Coastal Bend and the Rio Grande Valley. Residents in these areas survived Hurricane Harvey, frequent flooding events, and Hurricane Hanna. These areas will continue to be hit by disasters in the future due to the geographic location and the increasing threat of climate change. The resulting legal issues cause low-income individuals to recover from disasters far slower than their wealthier neighbors if they recover at all. Legal assistance allows low-income clients a path to recovery that would not otherwise exist.

Hannah is dedicated to providing direct legal services to low-income clients, towards the eradication of economic discrimination. After beginning her work on disaster recovery following Hurricane Harvey, she began to understand the specific ways in which disasters reveal and worsen economic inequality. As such, she has become an impassioned advocate for low-income disaster survivors.

Fellowship Highlights

Hannah provided legal services to residents of counties in South and West Texas directly impacted by natural disasters, with a focus on direct representation of low-income individuals before FEMA and the State of Texas as well as title clearing for individuals seeking recovery. She also worked to build coalitions and institutional knowledge to support the program’s response to future disasters by participating in Coastal Bend area coalitions involved in disaster work and in larger-scale advocacy efforts, both for long-term recovery efforts as well as ongoing efforts focused on disaster preparedness and new responses. Hannah also coordinated virtual wills clinics in her service area to assist low-income individuals with estate planning.

Hannah previously served as an Equal Justice Works Fellow in the Disaster Recovery Legal Corps.


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