Experiencing a natural disaster is a difficult and traumatic experience. In addition to the emotional process of recovery, impacted individuals need to also navigate complex legal processes to repair their homes and belongings.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) exists to provide support but it can be difficult to navigate the deadlines for different FEMA programs and fulfill all the application requirements in order to successfully receive assistance. As individuals and families begin the recovery process, it’s important they know where to get support and which resources they are eligible to receive. 

CUP collaborated with Pro Bono Net and designer Carmen Rosa Lopez to create Figuring Out FEMA, a pocket-sized guide that breaks down the process of enrolling in FEMA’s Individual Assistance program. It also explains how to appeal FEMA’s decision if you are denied aid or need more assistance and explains your rights when interacting with the agency.

Figuring Out FEMA launched at a conference on disaster recovery housing rights in Houston, Texas. Pro Bono Net is distributing the guide across the country through its network of disaster legal aid organizations.

Resources & Links

Pro Bono Net works to bring the power of the law to all by building cutting-edge digital tools and fostering collaborations with the nationa’s leading civil legal organizations.

Carmen Rosa López is a design strategist working to create products and services that have a positive social impact.

Public Access Design projects use design to make complex urban issues accessible to the people most affected by them.

Funding Support

Support for this project was provided by The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and Council Members Brad Lander and Antonio Reynoso.

Special Thanks

Christine Gaspar, Frampton Tolbert, Elijah Bobo, Miranda Grundy, Jade Levine, Sucharitha Yelimeli, Red Hook Initiative, Long Island Cares, Lone Star Legal Aid, Equal Justice Works, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Neighborhood Legal Services of LA, the Alaska Bar association, and all the survivors who provided feedback.

Participants

  • CUP
  • Clair Beltran
  • Yasmin Safdié
  • Oscar Nuñez

  • Pro Bono Net
  • Jeanne Ortiz Ortiz
  • Designer
  • Carmen Rosa López