/ Press Release
This press release was previously scheduled to announce the start of Disaster Resilience Awareness Month. We acknowledge that disasters occur in many forms and around the world, and our hearts are with the people of Ukraine and with all people affected by the most recent actions taken by Russian military forces.
Equal Justice Works, American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, American Red Cross, Legal Services Corporation, Pro Bono Net, and DisasterLegalAid.org lead effort to raise awareness for disaster resilience
Disaster Resilience Awareness Month will take place in March 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C., FEBRUARY 24, 2022—Equal Justice Works, the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law, announced today that it has teamed up with the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (ABA YLD), American Red Cross, Legal Services Corporation (LSC), Pro Bono Net and DisasterLegalAid.org, to commemorate Disaster Resilience Awareness Month in March 2022.
“As the frequency, severity, and complexity of disasters continues to increase, it is vital that we increase support to legal professionals who can ensure that critical services are accessible in disaster-affected communities,” said Sara Morello, executive vice president & chief of staff at Equal Justice Works. “We are honored to partner with these leading associations and nonprofits to help increase visibility around the importance of disaster preparedness and resilience.”
We are honored to partner with these leading associations and nonprofits to help increase visibility around the importance of disaster preparedness and resilience.
Sara Morello /
Executive Vice President & Chief of Staff at Equal Justice Works
Disaster Resilience Awareness Month—observed every March—was created by Equal Justice Works in 2021 as a collaborative effort to share key resources for disaster survivors and attorneys and shine a light on the complex legal needs of disaster survivors. This year, the ABA YLD, American Red Cross, LSC, Pro Bono Net, and DisasterLegalAid.org will join Equal Justice Works in an awareness-raising and education campaign to highlight the important role legal professionals play in helping people and families navigate all kinds of disasters including COVID-19, hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, and winter storms.
“Disaster management and humanitarian aid organizations have had to reevaluate how communities and individuals can better adapt and prepare for future disaster events. Increasing a community’s resilience level increases its ability to cope with the changes that affect it,” said Disaster Cycle Services, Red Cross. “Creating awareness of the vulnerabilities in an area, and addressing these vulnerabilities with preparedness training, disaster risk reduction and sustainable changes made over the long-term can develop a community’s adaptive capacity to be more resilient.”
Increasing a community’s resilience level increases its ability to cope with the changes that affect it.
Disaster Cycle Services /
“The Legal Services Corporation is honored to join this effort. LSC-funded legal services organizations have been a critical partner in disaster preparedness and recovery for almost two decades. Our work in this area continues to grow,” said Lynn Jennings, Legal Services Corporation Vice President for Grants Management. “However, in order to increase the disaster resilience of low-income individuals, families, and communities, legal services providers must shift their approach away from legal preparedness as a siloed activity and toward integration of preparedness into all facets of their work with clients and communities.” LSC’s Disaster Task Force Report and the Legal Aid Disaster Resource Center provide comprehensive resources to assist legal services organizations, courts, individuals, and communities in enhancing their disaster resilience.
Legal services providers must shift their approach away from legal preparedness as a siloed activity and toward integration of preparedness into all facets of their work with clients and communities.
Lynn Jennings /
Legal Services Corporation Vice President for Grants Management
Fellows in the Equal Justice Works Disaster Resilience Program will share their expertise and information on the legal services available to disaster survivors and best practices to advocate for individuals and families who need help recovering from the legal effects of disasters. Topics will include how to create a disaster preparedness plan, legal help after wildfires, housing assistance options following a disaster, and FEMA benefits and assistance tips for practitioners, among other disaster-related legal matters.
“Hurricane Ida’s impact last year across the Northeast was once again a reminder of the value of partnership-building and cross-sector planning to support survivors with their most pressing needs,” said Mark O’Brien, Executive Director at Pro Bono Net. “This is an important initiative to continue that work, and we are glad to raise awareness around disaster resilience again this year.”
Hurricane Ida’s impact last year across the Northeast was once again a reminder of the value of partnership-building and cross-sector planning to support survivors with their most pressing needs.
Mark O’Brien /
Executive Director, Pro Bono Net
DisasterLegalAid.org, a national online clearinghouse that provides information on legal issues impacting communities hit by natural disasters, will be offering legal aid and pro bono attorneys access to additional specialized disaster advocacy resources through its National Disaster Legal Aid Advocacy Center, a growing online community of advocates working on disaster response and recovery.
“With the staggering rise of natural disasters, we need more lawyers, law students, and other advocates who can assist in legal response efforts and eliminate barriers to recovery,” said Linda Anderson Stanley, senior program manager at Equal Justice Works and director of the ABA YLD Disaster Legal Services Program. “This is a brilliant opportunity to raise awareness about available legal services and the need for preparedness, before the start of hurricane and wildfire seasons.”
With the staggering rise of natural disasters, we need more lawyers, law students, and other advocates who can assist in legal response efforts and eliminate barriers to recovery.
Linda Anderson Stanley /
Senior Program Manager at Equal Justice Works and Director of the ABA YLD Disaster Legal Services Program
Through their Disaster Legal Services Program, the ABA YLD will engage in community outreach and education by posting information on how to get involved in national disaster legal aid efforts. ABA YLD will also share service delivery strategies and best practices for representing disaster survivors.
Since 2005, Equal Justice Works has mobilized more than 80 passionate public service lawyers to deliver legal services to disaster-affected communities. To learn more about the organization’s efforts to mobilize public service leaders who are helping communities prepare for and recover from disasters, visit here.
If your organization is interested in joining us for Disaster Resilience Awareness Month, please reach out to us at [email protected].
About Equal Justice Works
Equal Justice Works is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that creates opportunities for lawyers to transform their passion for equal justice into a lifelong commitment to public service. As the nation’s largest facilitator of opportunities in public interest law, Equal Justice Works brings together an extensive network of law students, lawyers, nonprofit legal aid organizations, and supporters to promote a lifelong commitment to public service and equal justice.
About the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Disaster Legal Services Program
The ABA YLD, the largest national organization of young lawyers, provides leadership in serving the public and the profession, and promotes excellence and fulfillment in the practice of law. Its parent organization, the ABA, is the national voice of the legal profession and one of the largest voluntary professional membership groups in the world.
Through the Disaster Legal Services Program, the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division (ABA YLD) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency provide immediate temporary legal assistance to disaster survivors at no charge. Since September 2007, the ABA YLD has responded to 178 declared disasters in 44 states and 4 U.S. territories.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to survivors of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
The American Red Cross name and logo are used with its permission, which in no way constitutes an endorsement, express or implied, of any product, service, company, opinion or political position. The American Red Cross name and logo are registered trademarks owned by the American National Red Cross.
About Legal Services Corporation
Legal Services Corporation (LSC), an independent nonprofit established by Congress in 1974, is the nation’s largest funder of civil legal aid to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 132 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. The Legal Aid Disaster Resource Center is a one-stop information hub to provide additional support and resources to disaster legal aid organizations and professionals, pro bono volunteers, and disaster survivors.
About Pro Bono Net and DisasterLegalAid.org
Pro Bono Net brings the power of the law to all by building cutting-edge digital tools and fostering collaborations with the nation’s leading civil legal organizations. DisasterLegalAid.org is a collaborative effort of Lone Star Legal Aid, Pro Bono Net, the American Bar Association, and the National Legal Aid & Defender Association. It was launched in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. For over 15 years, DisasterLegalAid.org has served as a national centralized resource for disaster survivors and the legal community. To learn more, please visit www.probono.net/our-work/initiatives/disaster/.