Provided by the National Center on Law & Elder Rights (NCLER)
The severe winter weather of the past week has left many households without heat and electricity. For older adults and other at-risk populations, the loss of utilities can exacerbate health conditions. Poor road conditions also further isolate individuals and impact access to essentials and supportive services. Legal assistance providers and aging and disability advocates may be called on to help with various issues during and in the aftermath of these weather emergencies. Here are some resources that can be used to provide assistance:
- National Disaster Legal Aid Resource: The National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA), the American Bar Association, Pro Bono Net, Lone Star Legal Aid, the Texas Legal Services Center, and the Legal Services Corporation have partnered to create an online disaster resource center. The center offers information for individuals who need legal help, legal aid professionals assisting in disaster relief, and resources to connect pro bono attorney volunteers who want to help.
- The Red Cross—Find an Open Shelter: The Red Cross provides an interactive map to locate open shelters, including warming centers.
- DisasterAssistance.gov: This resource provides disaster survivors with information, support, services, and a means to access and apply for disaster assistance through joint data-sharing efforts between federal, tribal, state, local, and private sector partners.
- National Council on Aging (NCOA)—Energy Assistance Benefits: NCOA provides an overview of benefit programs that can help with energy assistance needs, including Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Weatherization Assistance Program, and Emergency Assistance.
- Ready—Winter Weather: Ready provides information on preparing for and responding to winter weather and provides a social media toolkit for communications.
- National Consumer Law Center (NCLC)—Disaster Relief & Consumer Protection: NCLC provides resources for consumers and advocates on mitigating the impact of disasters, covering topics like housing relief, avoiding home repair fraud, and utility issues.
- NCLER—Quick Tips to Help Older Homeowners Access Insurance Benefits after a Disaster: This practice tip provides advocates with information on advising older homeowners filing insurance claims.
NCLER—Legal Services and Disaster Assistance for Older Adults: This collection of resources is for legal assistance providers and advocates working with older adults during and after a disaster.