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FEMA opens hotlines for free legal, mental health services for residents of tornado-impacted areas

Lisa Autry

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is now offering free legal advice and crisis counseling to victims of the Dec. 10-11 tornadoes that spanned several counties in Kentucky.

The help is available to residents in the 16 counties hardest hit by the storms: Barren, Caldwell, Christian, Fulton, Graves, Hart, Hickman, Hopkins, Logan, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, Muhlenberg, Ohio, Taylor, and Warren.

Free legal assistance is available by calling 877-782-4219 from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m Monday-Friday. Voicemail messages can be left 24 hours a day.

A news release from FEMA says when leaving a message, callers should include the county where they're located and describe what type of legal issue they're experiencing. Callers may receive assistance from staff at Kentucky Legal Aid or a volunteer attorney. The legal helpline can assist tornado victims with consumer protection matters and the replacement of  important legal documents.

FEMA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have opened another hotline to provide free and confidential counseling to those facing mental health challenges related to the storms.  The Disaster Distress Helpline can be reached at 800-985-5990.

The deadline to apply for federal disaster assistance is Feb. 11.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.
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