Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness 

Our mission is to: educate lawyers, bar associations and the justice system to help them prepare for and respond to disasters; provide resources to assist lawyers and the public recover from disasters; and, ensure the rule of law in times of disaster. 

Virtual Disaster Symposium

The ABA Standing Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness presented a 5-part webinar series in September for National Preparedness Month.

Equal Justice Works survey

Equal Justice Works is currently conducting a needs assessment survey to understand the legal needs of low-income communities affected by disaster. The objective is to collect information from legal service providers across the country to understand whether and how Equal Justice Works may help support the response of local service providers through its Disaster Resilience Program. The survey will close on October 1, 2020.

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Katrina 15th Anniversary Programs: From Katrina to COVID

To honor the 15th Anniversary of Katrina, the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defense (SCLAID) together with the Deason Center at SMU Law School, the ABA Criminal Justice Section and the ABA Section on Civil Rights and Social Justice present two programs on the criminal justice system in times of crisis. The programs will look at both incarceration and public defense in times of extreme systemic stress and how the criminal justice has changed - and has not – in the face of such stress.

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The ABA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Task Force

The task force will identify the legal needs arising from the pandemic, make recommendations to address those needs, and help mobilize volunteer lawyers and legal professionals to assist people who need help

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COVID-19 Mental Health Resources

Subtitle: Lawyer Assistance Programs (LAPs) throughout the country provide confidential services and support to judges, lawyers and law students who facing are mental health or substance use issues. Provided by ABA Commission on Lawyers Assistance Programs.

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Law Practice Tips in the Time of Disaster

Explore a series of videos on working away from the office during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

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FEMA Pandemic Continuity of Operations Template

This template from provides guidance to assist organizations in developing a Pandemic Influenza Continuity of Operations Plan or, if the organization already has a continuity plan, a Pandemic Influenza Annex.”

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ABA Disaster Response Resources

Learn how you can disaster-proof your firm and how lawyers can help with recovery efforts with our up-to-date resources from the ABA and beyond.

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ABA Journal Responses for Disaster Response

Stay up-to-date on natural disaster legal news with the ABA Journal’s coverage


A Guide to Disaster Planning for Bar Associations

Disaster planning tool created specifically for Bar Associations.

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A Lawyer's Guide to Disaster Planning

Disaster planning tool created specifically for a legal practice.

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ABA Policy

In recent years, the Standing Committee has adopted numerous policies related to disaster preparedness and response in the areas listed below. Please see summary of these policies that cover 2003 – 2017, with links to view the full text of each policy.

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Surviving a Disaster: Are you Prepared?

This Committee's video on disaster preparedness was honored with a Gold Stevie® Award.

Message From the Chair

About Us

The Standing Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness is committed to educating lawyers, bar associations and the justice system to prepare for and respond to disasters.

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