Other Emergency Issues After A Disaster

Authored By: Lagniappe Law Lab



This category concerns legal problems that might emerge after a disaster event as other emergency issues. This includes:

  • Finding Missing Persons 
  • Disaster Services and Information
  • Emergency Rule Modifications 
  • Rebuilding and Reconstruction 

The legal timeline below goes over the various other emergency issues and related legal needs that a disaster survivor might encounter. Expand each section of the timeline to learn about the various other issues a disaster survivor might face. Each issue below is included as information in the relevant tabs on this page. 

Other Emergency Issues After a Disaster

These are some of the short-term 1-6 weeks after a disaster event emergency issues that disaster survivors might face: 

  • Locating and finding missing persons 

  • Finding information and resources related to disaster help

  • Implementing and understanding emergency rule modifications

  • Major Disaster Declarations

These are some of the medium-term - 1 to 6 months after a disaster event emergency issues that disaster survivors might face: 

  • Referrals to community services

  • Understanding federal procedural information about disaster authorities

These are some of the long-term - 6 months to years after event after disaster event emergency issues that disaster survivors might face: 

  • Planning for rebuilding and reconstruction

Missing Persons

Missing Persons

Help Finding Missing Persons

This includes information about how to find missing persons or check on the well-being of certain persons who register themselves during a disaster. 

Persons affected by a disaster may notify loved ones of their well-being by registering on the Safe and Well feature of www.redcross.org.

Click the “Get Help” tab, and then click “List Yourself as Safe and Well.”

Concerned family and friends can search the list of those who have registered themselves as “safe and well” by clicking “Search for a Family Member.”

Another source for information on how to locate a family member or friend affected by a disaster is https://www.usa.gov/after-disaster (then go to steps 4 & 5 below) or www.usa.gov, and follow the steps below. 

Go to “All Topics and Services” in the top menu.

  1. Click the “Disasters and Emergencies” tab

  2. Then click the “After a Disaster” tab.

  3. Next, scroll down to the “Find Family After a Disaster” section. 

  4. Finally, access the “Find a Missing Person After a Disaster” and “Let Family and Friends Know You’re Safe After a Disaster”

Disaster Services and Information

Information and Resources Related To Disaster Help In Louisiana

Referrals to Community Services

Disaster survivors may need to access other community services and programs that may help in their recovery after a disaster. Disaster survivors can learn what resources and information are available to help with their issues. ​​​​​​

Louisiana Disaster Legal Tip Line

Louisiana Disaster Legal Tip Line: Text "Subscribe" to 318-405-4185

SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline

SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990

Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH)

The Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH) is the first national hotline dedicated to providing year-round disaster crisis counseling. This toll-free, multilingual, crisis support service is available 24/7 via telephone (1-800-985-5990) and SMS (text 'TalkWithUs' to 66746) to residents in the U.S. and its territories who are experiencing emotional distress related to natural or man-made disasters.

Red Cross

Red Cross: 1-800-REDCROSS



United Policyholders (UP)

United Policyholders (UP) is a national non-profit 501(c)(3) consumer advocacy group that specializes in helping disaster victims with insurance claim issues. UP also trains case managers and legal aid lawyers to assist clients with insurance and recovery matters. For help with flood, wind, hurricane, and auto insurance questions.

ABA Disaster Legal Services Program

ABA Disaster Legal Services Program: Through the Disaster Legal Services Program, the ABA Young Lawyers Division (ABA-YLD) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provide immediate temporary legal assistance to disaster survivors at no charge. Please visit their page here for other disaster recovery resources.

FloodProof App

FloodProof App: Proving you own your home is necessary to qualify for FEMA, SBA loans, or other disaster rebuilding funds. The Flood Proof app helps users get their documents and information in order and connects those that qualify with free legal help.

After A Disaster - www.usa.gov

Get help with www.usa.gov after a disaster to find family and friends, temporary housing, and emergency food. 

Emergency Rule Modifications

Emergency Rule Modifications

When an emergency exists that the Federal government must act under, the President may declare an emergency. The President can declare a major disaster for any natural event, including any hurricane, tornado, storm, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, tsunami, earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide, mudslide, snowstorm, or drought. The President determines the damage and severity of damage caused by the disaster requiring the capabilities of the state and local governments to respond. A major disaster declaration provides a wide range of federal assistance programs for individuals and public infrastructure, including funds for both emergency and permanent work. 

To learn more visit the resource: 

After a disaster, a community may implement different emergency rule modifications. Check to see what type of emergency rules affect the parish where the tragedy occurred. Local, state, and federal rules may deal with a disaster event.

To learn more visit the resource: 

Federal procedural information about disaster authorities includes the: 

This also includes information about how a disaster gets declared, declaration types, and how federal assistance may reach a community after a disaster. 

To learn more visit the resource: 

Rebuilding & Reconstruction

Rebuilding & Reconstruction

This concerns legal issues in rebuilding homes, business properties, and regional plans after a natural disaster. This includes dealing with building regulations and other utility and infrastructure issues.

After a natural disaster, federal funds may flow to state and local governments to set up grant programs for affected persons, including housing repair programs, rental assistance programs, personal property and appliance replacement funds, and other services.

Restore Louisiana Action Plan will provide federal assistance for Louisiana. The Program's intent is to provide grant assistance to vulnerable low-to-moderate income (LMI) homeowners affected by Hurricanes Laura, Delta, Ida, or May 2021 Severe Storms. They must meet the following requirements:

  • Owned and occupied their home at the time of the disaster 
  • Received major/severe damage determination by FEMA
  • Have the greatest unmet needs. 

Learn more by visiting the website - restore.la.gov.

Last Review and Update: Sep 12, 2022
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