Homes damaged by Hurricane Irma. Credit: Felix Mizioznikov/Shutterstock.com

The American Bar Association and the Federal Emergency Management Agency have set up a legal aid hotline for Hurricane Irma victims in five coastal Georgia counties: Camden, Chatham, Glynn, Liberty and McIntosh.

Callers will be matched with Georgia lawyers who’ve volunteered to provide free legal assistance.

When the president declares a major disaster, FEMA, with the ABA’s Young Lawyers Division, sets up a legal hotline for the affected area. The ABA group is partnering with the State Bar of Georgia, Georgia Legal Services Program and Atlanta Legal Aid Society to recruit local lawyer volunteers to handle survivors’ cases.

Typical matters include: securing FEMA and other benefits, making insurance claims, dealing with home repair contractors, counseling on landlord or foreclosure problems and replacing wills and other legal documents lost in the hurricane.

The toll free number is 866-584-8027 and, locally, 404-527-8793. The line is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

When connected to a voice mailbox, callers should say they are seeking disaster-related legal assistance, what county they live in and briefly detail the assistance needed. Survivors may also email yld@gabar.org for assistance.

To volunteer, contact the Georgia bar’s YLD disaster legal assistance committee chair Bert Noble of Jenkins & Bowen at rnoble@ga-lawyers.pro; GLSP pro bono director Heide Behnke at hbehnke@glsp.org; ALAS pro bono coordinator Laura Rashidi-yazd at lrashidi-yaz@atlantalegalaid.org; or the ABA’s director of disaster legal services Andrew VanSingel at vansingelIDLS@gmail.com.