Press Release

2008 Southern California Wildfires Helping Handbook

11/26/2008

SAN FRANCISCO (November 26, 2008) – In response to the wildfires that have destroyed approximately 1000 homes in Southern California, Morrison & Foerster LLP just published and is distributing an invaluable free resource guide for residents and small businesses in the region, packed with useful, actionable information to help them recover and get back on their feet.

The 88-page 2008 Helping Handbook was compiled by more than eighteen MoFo attorneys with specialties in labor/employment, real estate, tax, consumer issues, finance, business recovery, litigation, environmental and land use, immigration, and other disciplines.  Attorneys in the Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Palo Alto offices worked on the project.

In accessible, Q&A style, the handbook covers critical post-disaster topics such as finding temporary housing, insurance, unemployment, dealing with government agencies such as FEMA and the Small Business Administration, replacing lost documents, and much more.  (See below for a complete list of topics covered).  

This is the seventh Helping Handbook compiled by the firm in recent years.  The first two handbooks were created in the immediate aftermath of September 11, 2001, to help residents and small businesses in Lower Manhattan recover in the wake of the World Trade Center attacks.  Since then the firm has produced handbooks following the California wildfires of 2003 and 2007, as well as a series of major floods in upstate New York, and in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  

The newest Handbook includes information based on lessons learned from the last Southern California wildfire as well as other recent disasters.  For example, a section on pets and animals started after numerous animal-related horror stories circulated in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.  

Following is a list of topics covered in the 2008 Southern California Wildfires Helping Handbook:

Housing
Employment
Insurance
FEMA
State Aid Programs
SBA Loan Assistance
Small Business Issues
Personal Finances
Government Benefits
Document & Record Replacement
Communication Services
Immigration
Consumer Tips & Fraud Prevention
Pets & Animals
Lawyer Referral Services & Legal Aid
State/Federal Agency Quick Phone List
Other Resources

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