New Orleans Relief, part 1

I’m planning to collect and post a set of links about ways to help out with the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
For now, however, my biggest relief is that my friend and blogging colleague Ernie Svensen has gotten out New Orleans safely. The posts on his blog about his experience are both touching and compelling. The last email he sent to our private Between Lawyers email list when he first tried to evacuate was harrowing at the time and frightening accurate in the aftermath. I’m very happy that he’s out of the city now.
Although lawyers don’t often reveal personal feelings, I will admit that I worried greatly over the last few days about Ernie once I learned that he had not been able to evacuate before the storm hit.
It’s difficult to comprehend what it means for a major US city to be out of business and all-but-vacant for what may be a period of months.
I will try to post links to relief and other efforts and point to ways people can help.
I was also asked to help publicize the following press release:
THE ABA WILL HELP HURRICANE VICTIMS
WASHINGTON, D.C., Aug. 30, 2005 – As the eyes of the nation remain focused on the hurricane-ravaged southeastern United States, especially Mississippi and Louisiana, the American Bar Association stands ready to assist those injured by Hurricane Katrina.
ABA President Michael S. Greco has announced that he is enlisting the ABA Young Lawyers Division and lawyers from several ABA sections to assist hurricane victims in the coming days and weeks. The lawyers will assist with insurance claims, home repair contracts, wills and other documents, and related issues.
The ABA has provided pro bono assistance to storm victims since 1978, when the ABA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency agreed to utilize the ABA Young Lawyers Division in staffing a toll-free hotline open to disaster victims.
FEMA is now in the process of establishing a hotline staffed by ABA volunteer lawyers to assist victims in each affected state. A complete listing of the FEMA hotlines and other available legal resources will be posted on the ABA Web site, www.abanet.org, in the coming days.

While legal services are obviously not the first priority at the moment, there are many other things that lawyers and other readers of this blog may be able to do to help. I recommend staying tuned to Ernie’s blog for his reports and insights into the situation.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskenney.com/blog/)]

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