Systemic Advocacy Initiative: Protecting Disaster Survivors and Preparing for the Future

Posted on: December 16, 2019

 Nearly 15 years after the storm, the toll of Hurricane Katrina continues to plague families and communities in and around New Orleans. Currently, we are working to protect residents devastated by Katrina from whom the state now is unreasonably trying to recoup money it paid to the residents through the Road Home elevation program.

Thousands of homeowners are being penalized for not having elevated their houses, though the funds they received were insufficient to pay for the elevations. So far, our attorneys have defeated one such suit for over $37,000. We have also been able to get relief involving smaller grants of $7,500. We are now working with the state on policy advocacy to minimize the adverse impact on families still adversely impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

As we approach the 15th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the 4th anniversary of the Great Louisiana Flood, which devastated much of Baton Rouge and the surrounding parishes, we look to help our communities prepare for future disasters. For example, through our Flood Proof program, we help homeowners clear title to their homes so they can better protect their families from future disasters.

We also participate in several projects throughout our service area to improve coordination of future disaster response between the government, for-profit, and non-profit sectors. And, our executive director, Laura Tuggle participates in the Legal Services Corporation Disaster Task Force and co-chairs its Integrating Civil Legal Aid into Emergency Management Subcommittee. This past October, the committee released its report on how to better integrate civil legal aid into disaster response, recovery, and preparation at the national level.

People who are low-income bear the greatest social, economic, health and environmental costs in the wake of natural disasters. Our supporters are helping to ensure that low-income families are prepared and can access the help they need the next time disaster strikes. We hope you will join our supporters in the fight for fairness today by making a donation at

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