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Many Oklahomans don’t realize they have legal issues after a natural disaster and some cannot afford to address them.

Legal Disaster Preparedness

Disasters create legal issues, but many of these problems can be prevented. 

Taking small steps to prepare legal matters before a disaster strikes can help you do things like: 

  • Qualify for disaster assistance by having proof that you own your home 
  • Protect your finances from contractor fraud and other common disaster scams 
  • Protect your home from eviction or foreclosure 
This page contains tips and resources to help you identify and take steps to prevent these types of common legal issues related to disasters. 

Legal Disaster Preparedness Tips


  1. Renters, learn your rights as a renter after a disaster 

If you’re renting your home, you need to know that you cannot be evicted without reason. Know that a landlord can only make you move by giving you a notice telling you to get out by a certain date and then filing a lawsuit after that date. If your lease is expired, your landlord may be able to force you to move by giving you a 30-day notice. If your landlord locks you out and refuses to give you a key, you may file an action in court to gain re-entry. Click here for more information on renter’s rights. 

  1. Homeowners, make sure your home title is in your name. 

Many disaster assistance programs require proof of home ownership before they can help you. Making sure your home title is in your name can help you get the assistance you need and prevent significant delays to your recovery. Click here to learn how to prevent home title issues. 

     3. Be aware of common scams after disasters and know how to avoid them. 

Sadly, there are people who try to take advantage of others after disasters. A few of the most common scams include imposter scams, insurance scams, home repair scams, and charity scams. Click here to learn more types of common scams and steps you can take to avoid them. (Avoiding Scams and Frauds After a Disaster/During a Pandemic – United Way of Connecticut – 211 and eLibrary ( 

  1. Find out which contractors are used by people you know and trust. 

Finding a contractor that you trust before disasters strike can help you protect your finances and personal information from scam artists. Always check with family and friends to see who they have used before choosing your contractor. Click here to learn more tips about how to choose a contractor and avoid common home repair scams. 

  1. Create or update your will. 

Having a will is vital to making sure that your possessions are handled the way that you want and that your loved ones receive everything that you want to leave them. Did you know that there are certain ways a will can be done? Click here to learn more about why having a will is important and how you can create one. 

  1. Take photos or videos of your home and belongings. 

Having up-to-date images of your home and belongings can help with your insurance claim. Reasons for this is to show that new damage to your home was due to the disaster and not deferred maintenance. Click here to learn more insurance tips for after a disaster. 

  1. Take pictures of your important documents and upload them to a password protected cloud storage. 

Important documents can get scattered or damaged during disasters. Keeping electronic copies of these documents (your insurance policy, social security card, green card, driver’s license, etc.) can help your recovery so you will not have to take the time to replace them before being able to apply for disaster assistance programs. Click here to learn more types of documents that you should protect and steps you can take to do that. 

  1. Learn about SBA Loans. 

Did you know that SBA loans are for homeowners and renters too? SBA Loans have been vital for many disaster survivors when they are needing help with rebuilding their homes and replacing personal belongings. Learn more about how you can use these low interest loan options to recover from a disaster. 

  1. Learn about Disaster Unemployment and Disaster SNAP benefits. 

You may qualify for disaster unemployment benefits and disaster snap benefits even if you would not normally qualify for these programs outside of a disaster. Did you lose your job or become unable to work after the disaster? Follow the link here and learn more on these programs. (Link to content page) 

  1. Learn how FEMA can and cannot help you. 

Did you know FEMA does not respond to every disaster? Learn when FEMA responds, how they can help you, tips for your application process and much more (link to content page) 

Find A Presentation
Near You

The LASO Disaster Team is currently providing free legal clinics to strengthen Oklahomans against disasters. Click the button to find an upcoming presentation near you.

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