In the aftermath of dam breaches in Midland County, Michigan in May, many residents are picking up the pieces from the resultant flooding. With more than 2,500 homes damaged and many individuals and families displaced, the path to recovery can seem daunting, but there is legal help available. This video covers some tips and legal resources for victims of the flooding and residents of Midland, Arenac, Iosco, Saginaw, and Gladwin to help recover from the disaster. Check out the additional resources section below for more information the free hotline and other legal resources.
Special thanks to Andrew Wylie for volunteering his time and taping remotely during a time of COVID-19 social distancing.
In creating this video, TalksOnLaw relied on insight from pro bono and public interest attorney experts. Pro bono support was provided by Dykema Gossett, Bodman, Honigman, Miller Canfield, and the State Bar of Michigan.
Additional thanks to the Legal Services of Eastern Michigan, Lakeshore Legal Aid, The Kansas City Chiefs, and Dow.
Andrew Wylie is an NFL offensive lineman.
Toll-Free Legal Aid Hotline for Michigan residents in Midland, Arenac, Iosco, Saginaw, or Gladwin: 1-866-418-8315
Lakeshore Legal Aid: https://lakeshorelegalaid.org/
Legal Services of Eastern Michigan: http://www.lsem-mi.org/
Heartland Flood Help Michigan 2020 Flood Resources: https://heartlandfloodhelp.org/michigan-2020-flood-resources/#:~:text=Survivors%20who%20are%20unable%20to,brief%20details%20of%20their%20situation
FEMA.gov President Donald J. Trump Approves Major Disaster Declaration for Michigan: https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2020/07/09/president-donald-j-trump-approves-major-disaster-declaration-michigan
Tips and Mistakes to Avoid in Filing FEMA Claims: https://www.talksonlaw.com/briefs/disaster-relief-top-5-mistakes-in-filing-with-fema
On May 19th and 20th, two dams on the Tittabawassee River failed, which lead to major floods and water levels reaching nearly 35 feet high. Luckily, there were no fatalities, but unfortunately, more than 2,500 properties and homes were severely damaged.
Hi, I’m Andrew Wiley, and I play for the Kansas City Chiefs. I’m also a Midland-area native, so my heart goes out to my old neighbors and friends affected by the floods around Midlands. I am not a lawyer. I’m a football player, but I’m here with you today because I was asked to share some resources that may help you recover in the wake of the flood. I’ll pass along two tips and some legal resources that I received from my friends at the Legal Services of Eastern Michigan and Lakeshore Legal Aid and other volunteer attorneys who’ve helped gather information for flood survivors.
First Tip. Make sure to document your damages and save your correspondences. This is important because documents will increase your chance to recover from insurance or government funds should they become available. Take photos on your phone and email them to yourself so that they are backed up. Also be sure to save copies of anything you send or receive relating to your damages or claims and receipts for any expenses involved. If you have an elderly neighbor who may not know how to document or take photos, consider lending a hand.
Second, you may benefit from free legal assistance as a survivor of the flood. This stuff is complicated, so getting a free lawyer on your side can be a real help. Some common questions these lawyers have mentioned they are hearing include: 1) getting assistance filing for insurance or understanding your rights if the claim is denied, 2) interpreting any city requirements made on homeowners and rights to appeal, and 3) impacts to renters or mortgage holders after a disaster.
Now for some legal resources. Whatever your question, a free hotline has been set up you can call if you’ve been impacted by the flood and live in Midland, Arenac, Iosco, Saginaw, or Gladwin. The number is 866-418-8315. When you reach the hotline, let them know that you are seeking disaster-related legal help. TalksOnLaw will provide additional information on the hotline and links to free resources in the description below.
Finally, if you know a friend or loved one who was affected, pass on the word by sharing the video. I’m Andrew Wiley. Thanks for watching.