Training and Advocacy Materials

From FEMA Answers



Training Materials and Flyers

This section is a collection of training materials, both for those applying for FEMA benefits, and for those assisting eligible individuals and families.

First is an overview of disaster assistance for legal aid practitioners, prepared by Terry Coble for the Florida Bar Association. This presentation outline covers all aspects of disaster response. Disaster Legal Assistance Presentation This overview is one part of the larger Florida Disaster Manual (note this is a large file).

Also from Florida is this Guide to Long Term Recovery from Catastrophic Disasters. Written for Legal Services Practitioners, this July 2005 guide by Charles Elsesser covers a wide range of federal programs. Long Term Recovery Guide

The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty created a fact sheet to clarify how those made homeless by hurricanes Rita and Katrina can access education, disability benefits, housing, and identification replacement services.


FEMA Eligibility

Flyer issued for those who need to contact FEMA for aid from Hurricane Katrina, updated October 17. Katrina FEMA Flyer

From the Florida Disaster Manual, this is a chapter with an overview of FEMA disaster assistance under the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act). It includes the steps that a legal assistance program should take to help ensure that this assistance reaches low-income disaster victims, and practice pointers to guide the advocate in representing clients. Legal Representation Guide


HUD Assistance

HUD Slideshow on disaster response. This slideshow includes an explanation of the Katrina Disaster Housing Assistance Program (KDHAP). On Sept 30, HUD officials state on the NLIHC conference call that the program will be available Oct. 1. HUD Disaster Slideshow


Advocacy Materials


Past Administrative Complaints

FEMA has a long history of systematically mismanaging disaster relief for low-income victims in violation of the Stafford Disaster Relief Act which is now repeating in the Katrina disaster. Three administrative petitions filed on behalf of low-income victims of several disasters document the unlawful mismanagement and propose a series of recommendations, many of which apply to FEMA’s mismanagement of the Katrina disaster. Find them at


Past Litigation

Class action litigation in federal court against FEMA for its unlawful and discriminatory treatment of Loma Prieta Earthquake victims resulted in a settlement providing for comprehensive disaster relief, including rebuilding the Bay Area’s residential hotels in partnership with a coalition of non-profit providers. Pleadings from the litigation, captioned Smith v. FEMA are available at