Volunteers Needed to Help with FEMA Issues in American Samoa - Articles

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Posted by: Stephanie Vonnahme on May 31, 2018
Did you know American Samoa yields the highest rate of military enlistment of ANY U.S. State or Territory per capita? The ABA YLD Disaster Legal Services Team anticipates potentially three to four thousand appealable issues. There is only one legal aid agency on the island, and it is staffed with two full-time attorneys and one paralegal, which was operating near capacity prior to the disaster. The private bar is also very small, with less than a dozen private attorneys on the island who could take cases. Without your help, most of the people with FEMA issues in American Samoa will not have access to legal assistance.  
Please volunteer by signing up here or contacting Linda Anderson at landerson@bals.org
If you're not sold on volunteering yet, here are some other points to consider: 
  • We have a coordinator stateside and a local paralegal in American Samoa to help manage the casework.
  • American Samoa is a few hours behind the states, (seven hours behind Eastern) so if you set aside some time in the afternoon/evening, you'll be corresponding during the normal workday in American Samoa.
  • Many of the Appeals are not complicated, and may only require a relatively straightforward response to FEMA.
  • Training/mentorship/templates are available. 
  • You don't need to have any prior experience in this area. 
Please see the DLS Briefing for more information.  You may also contact Terica Smith for more information.