Volunteer Opportunities

Disaster Assistance Panel

The wildfires have been described by Oregon authorities and experts as unprecedented; more than 1 million acres of land has burned, hundreds of homes lost, and entire communities destroyed. As of October 19th, approximately 20,000 FEMA disaster assistance applications have been filed and thousands have been determined ineligible. Your help is needed to provide critical legal assistance to disaster survivors. The Disaster Assistance Panel assists wildfire survivors with FEMA disaster benefit appeals. This project covers a discrete area of law. Virtual volunteer opportunity.

Past Trainings:


Landlord/Tenant common disaster issues and tenants’ rights in the wake of a disaster

View recordingDownload Materials


How to Draft Your First FEMA Appeal

  • Types of Individual assistance programs; eligibility; application process
  • Denial of assistance: commons reasons for denial
  • Appeals process: how to file an appeal, appeal requirements and documentation
View recordingDownload Materials


Helping Manufactured Home Park Tenants Who Were Victims of the Recent Wildfires

View recording

To inquire about volunteering on the Disaster Assistance Panel:

Contact Jill Mallery

Why Our Neighbors Need Your Help

Survivors of natural disasters face a wide array of overwhelming legal problems, all hitting them at once.  “Do I have to pay the rent if my apartment is uninhabitable, or make car payments if the car is destroyed?  FEMA denied my request for benefits and I need help appealing it.  My insurance company keeps asking me for more documents.”  These problems, and more, are legal problems and have legal answers.

Be a part of the answer. We offer training and mentoring for volunteer attorneys.  When you sign up to volunteer you will receive regular emails with the latest training and volunteer opportunities.

To volunteer, please email Jill Mallery at jill.mallery@lasoregon.org

I'd like to volunteer!

Our Programs

Any attorney admitted in Oregon is welcome to volunteer.

Legal Needs After a Disaster

1-6 weeks after an event:

  • Landlord-Tenant questions
  • Present insurance claims, pro-active steps to maximize coverage, flood insurance
  • Apply for FEMA assistance (temporary housing, home repair/replacement, other needs)
  • Apply for SBA Disaster Loans to individuals, Disaster Unemployment
  • Replace documents (ID, driver license, SS card, EBT, custody, immigration, deed, etc.)
  • Referral to community services (Red Cross, local government, religious, etc.)
  • Apply for or redirect unemployment, TANF, SNAP/Food Stamps, Medicaid, SSI benefits
  • Wage/Labor Theft Redress
  • Respond to public agency requests for emergency rule modifications on health, human services, and utility concerns.

1-6 months after an event

  • Appeal FEMA assistance denials
  • Renew rent subsidies from either FEMA or HUD
  • Evictions and private lease termination/repair questions
  • Utility shutoffs
  • Security deposits
  • Displaced public housing participants
  • Section 8 portability
  • Mobile home questions
  • Foreclosure prevention
  • Clearing property titles
  • Access to public education while displaced, IDEA and 504 issues
  • Insurance claim disputes
  • Consumer price gouging and other scams, including insurance claim scams
  • Repair contractor scams and disputes
  • Powers of Attorney to care for a child or elderly person
  • Guardianships and Supportive Decision Making for those needing
  • Emergency conservatorships (custody)/Modifications
  • Modification of parenting orders to reflect new home and school locations
  • Domestic violence response, including protective orders

6 months to years after an event

  • Foreclosures
  • Bankruptcies
  • Flood Insurance Proof of Loss preparation and FEMA Flood Directorate Appeals
  • Defend FEMA recoupment
  • Apply for disaster tax relief
  • Civil and disability rights cases
  • Legal counsel for community based organizations on rebuilding plans
  • Litigation to redress systemic disaster response problems
  • LL/Tenant Issues concerning repair issues, non-repair, mold concealment, etc.
  • Disputes regarding home elevation certificates and flood plain zoning
  • Disputes regarding significant damage determination against homeowners