Disaster Legal Resources Hotline | Federal Disaster Declaration
General Winter Storm Resources | Insurance Resources | Scams and Price Gouging
Barratry or Improper Solicitation by an Attorney | Renters’ Rights
Immigrant Assistance | Food Banks | Lawyer Referral Service
Legal Aid Service Provider Directory | Donations
Texas Winter Weather Resources
Note: This page will be updated as more resources are available.
Statewide Disaster Legal Resources Hotline
A toll-free legal-assistance hotline is available to low-income individuals and families across Texas who are confronted with civil legal problems as a result of severe winter weather in Texas. People may call 800-504-7030 toll-free to be connected with legal service providers in their area.
Areas of legal assistance or guidance include:
Employment issues, unemployment applications and appeals;
Life, medical, and property insurance claims;
Consumer protection issues such as price-gouging and scams;
Bankruptcy and debt-collection matters;
Mortgage or foreclosure problems;
Public benefits issues (e.g., Medicaid, SNAP/food stamps, Social Security);
Healthcare directives and powers of attorney;
Child custody, visitation, and support issues; and
Family and domestic violence concerns
Individuals who qualify for assistance will be matched with Texas lawyers who can provide free legal help. Callers should be aware there are some limitations on the legal services available. This service is a partnership among the State Bar of Texas, the state’s legal aid agencies, volunteer organizations, and access-to-justice organizations.
Federal Disaster Declaration
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has approved a disaster declaration that now covers 126 Texas counties as a result of the winter storm that began February 11, 2021.
The declarations make federal funding available for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the disaster.
The counties covered are: The counties covered are: Anderson, Angelina, Aransas, Archer, Atascosa, Austin, Bandera, Bastrop, Bee, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Bosque, Bowie, Brazoria, Brazos, Brooks, Brown, Burleson, Burnet, Caldwell, Calhoun, Callahan, Cameron, Camp, Cass, Chambers, Cherokee, Clay, Coleman, Collin, Colorado, Comal, Comanche, Cooke, Coryell, Dallas, Delta, Denton, DeWitt, Dimmit, Duval, Eastland, Ector, Ellis, Erath, Falls, Fannin, Fayette, Fort Bend, Franklin, Freestone, Frio, Galveston, Gillespie, Goliad, Gonzalez, Grayson, Gregg, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hamilton, Hardin, Harris, Harrison, Haskell, Hays, Henderson, Hidalgo, Hill, Hood, Houston, Howard, Hunt, Irion, Jack, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jim Hogg, Jim Welles, Johnson, Jones, Karnes, Kaufman, Kendall, Kerr, Kinney, Kleberg, Lamar, Lampasas, Lavaca, Lee, Leon, Liberty, Limestone, Live Oak, Llano, Lubbock, Madison, Marion, Matagorda, Maverick, McLennan, Medina, Midland, Milam, Mills, Montague, Montgomery, Morris, Nacogdoches, Navarro, Newton, Nueces, Orange, Palo Pinto, Panola, Parker, Polk, Rains, Randall, Refugio, Robertson, Rockwall, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, San Saba, Scurry, Shackelford, Shelby, Somervell, Smith, Starr, Stephens, Tarrant, Taylor, Titus, Tom Green, Travis, Trinity, Tyler, Upshur, Val Verde, Van Zandt, Victoria, Walker, Waller, Washington, Webb, Wharton, Wichita, Wilbarger, Willacy, Williamson, Wilson, Wise, Wood, and Young.
To apply for assistance online please go to disasterassistance.gov. Applicants may also call 800-621-3362 or 800-462-7585 (TTY). If you need help applying, call the Statewide Disaster Legal Resources Hotline at 800-504-7030 to be connected with a legal services provider in your area.
This guide: Figuring Out FEMA helps the public understand the various steps and requirements needed to take advantage of FEMA assistance.
General Winter Storm Resources
TexasLawHelp.org Winter Storm Resources — The Texas Legal Services Center operates a web hub of legal resources that includes a page devoted to disaster relief and recovery from Winter Storm Uri. The website also has a live chat feature to assist low-income individuals with their legal questions.
Lawyers from Baker Botts LLP created this “Winter Storm Uri Consumer Resource Guide,” which provides an array of tools to help Texans affected by the storm.
What To Do if a Pipe Bursts and Other Insurance Resources — TexasWatch has created this webpage of resources devoted to tips for surviving the storm.
Insurance Tips Following Winter storms — The Texas Department of Insurance has this list of tips.
Scams and Price Gouging
Disaster and Emergency Scams — Find information from the Texas Attorney General’s Office on common disaster and emergency scams. Consumers can report suspicious or fraudulent activity by filing a complaint online.
Protect Yourself from Contractor Fraud — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers tips on how to protect yourself after a disaster.
Barratry or Improper Solicitation by an Attorney
In many cases it is a crime in Texas for a lawyer or someone representing a lawyer to contact a person for purposes of legal representation if the person has not first requested the call or personal visit. The contact is not illegal if the attorney is not seeking payment or has a preexisting professional-client or family relationship with the person being contacted. If you witness something you believe to be improper solicitation, or barratry, please get the name and phone number of the person making contact and report it to your local law enforcement authority or the State Bar Chief Disciplinary Counsel’s Office Toll Free at 866-224-5999.
Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) has created this guide to help people understand their rights after the property they were renting was damaged in a disaster. It is also available in Spanish. TRLA also created a guide to lockout threats made by landlords. Here it is in English and in Spanish.
A Legal Self-Help Guide for Tenants Affected by Natural Disaster — This guide provides basic information and forms to assist residential tenants whose homes were damaged by a natural disaster.
The Texas Immigrant Rights Hotline provides information about changing immigration laws and offers referrals to legal services providers and attorneys. The toll-free hotline operates 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays (except holidays). The number is 833-HOU-IMMI (468-4664).
Find a Local Food Bank – Feeding Texas has this webpage to find resources near you.
Lawyer Referral Service
If you need a lawyer, contact the State Bar’s Lawyer Referral & Information Service at 800-252-9690 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays.
Legal Aid Service Provider Directory
If you can’t afford a lawyer, please consult this Referral Directory for Low-Income Texans to locate legal service providers by county.
The Texas Access to Justice Foundation is raising funds to support emergency legal services related to the 2021 Texas winter storm. Click here to learn more and donate.