The Disaster Legal Services Bootcamp was a full-day CLE held at the North Carolina Rural Center on November 15th, 2019 to prepare interested attorneys and paralegals to help following a natural disaster. The CLE was held in partnership with the Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and the NC Community Foundation. Event presentations were recorded and are linked below.

Thank you to our sponsors and supporters of this event and this work:


Ethics – Issues and Responsibilities for Pro Bono Attorneys

Sylvia Novinsky, North Carolina Pro Bono Resource Center
Nihad Mansour, North Carolina Bar Foundation

In North Carolina, there is one Legal Aid attorney for every 10,000 individuals who are eligible to receive services. Even though providing pro bono services is not required, North Carolina has adopted Model Rule 6.1, which encourages attorneys to provide at least 50 hours of pro bono service a year. This presentation highlights some of the possible ways attorneys in North Carolina can provide pro bono services. Additionally, this presentation discusses how attorneys can use their unique legal skills to help the less familiar navigate the legal system. Throughout the presentation, the presenters highlight the barriers to providing pro bono service, how to overcome these barriers, and the benefits of providing pro bono services. In addition to benefits gained from pro bono service, it is equally important to set oneself, and one’s firm pro bono goals. These goals can be achieved by volunteering time to any of the pro bono programs discussed throughout the video. Finally, this video stresses the importance of reporting pro bono services, and how reporting helps determine what services are needed and where.


Preventing Homelessness After Hurricanes (and Other Natural Disasters)

Lesley Wiseman Albritton, Legal Aid of North Carolina
Daniel Worrall, Legal Aid of North Carolina

Landlord Tenant issues are one of the earliest needs in the state following the first six months after a natural disaster. This video explains the rights private and public tenants can pursue following a disaster that damages their home.


Navigating Insurance after a Disaster

Robert “Robby” Jessup, Howard, Stallings, From, Atkins, Angell & Davis, P.A.
Rebecca Huffman Ugolick, Howard, Stallings, From, Atkins, Angell & Davis, P.A.

Over the course of this presentation, this video discusses what insurance is, and how it interacts with natural disasters. This presentation begins with a basic understanding of the different types of insurance policies; what these the policies do and do not cover; and the insured’s duties under their homeowner’s policy in the event of a loss. After identifying the policy, the presenters walk through the claim’s process and highlight some of the most common insurance questions and issues following a disaster. Finally, this video wraps up by detailing potential claims the insured may have against their insurance company.


FEMA Appeals and Reconsiderations from A to Z

Lesley Wiseman Albritton, Legal Aid of North Carolina
Daniel Worrall, Legal Aid of North Carolina

This video explores how to obtain disaster relief in Individual and Household Programs through FEMA. Included is an overview of FEMA and what to do when its assistance falls short.


Post Disaster – Consumer Protection Issues

K.D. (Kip) Sturgis, North Carolina Department of Justice
Stuart (Jeb) Saunders, North Carolina Department of Justice

Common sources for litigation following a disaster are price gauging, failure to give the consumer a three-day right to cancel services in door-to-door sales, and contractor fraud. This video discusses what to look for, necessities for a successful case, and how to avoid these issues.


What Sources of Help are There?

Jonathan Doerr, North Carolina Department of Public Safety
William Polk, North Carolina Department of Public Safety

This video introduces a comprehensive list of the State and Federal Disaster Recovery Programs available to individuals. This includes assistance under the Stafford Act, Emergency Management Act, and SBA program. The video ends with an overview of funding amounts from these programs for North Carolina disaster recovery and how the funding works.


Working with Disaster Survivors: A Mental Health Overview

Dr. Tatyana Kholodkov, Red Cross of North Carolina

Psychological first aid is the practice of recognizing and appropriately responding to people experiencing disaster related stress. This brief overview of psychological first aid discussed in this video is typically delivered to individuals right before they enter a disaster affected zone. Learning psychological first aid actions will improve your awareness of what you bring, what others need, and how best to respond to a disaster. Not only is it important to know how to meet a client’s basic psychological needs, but also how to maintain one’s own mental health. Finally, when your psychological first aid actions do not seem enough, it is important to know when and how to ask for help, and the resources available.