Disaster Prep & Recovery Services
Prepare. Respond. Recover.
Disasters come in many forms. With them come countless stories of preparation, response, and recovery — and Jones Walker is here to help at every step. Whether it is a widespread event such as flooding, a highly focused catastrophe, or a disease outbreak like COVID-19, businesses can rely on Jones Walker for effective guidance.
Our cross-disciplinary disaster preparedness and recovery team advises companies, not-for-profit organizations, and individuals as they prepare for, respond to, and recover from crises. We understand the myriad legal issues that arise when drafting, communicating, and implementing disaster-preparedness plans, and have extensive experience representing clients as they work through the aftermath of a major event. We provide counsel in the following areas, among others:
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance programs
- Insurance coverage and dispute resolution
- Real estate, including negotiating and re-negotiating leases for temporary or permanent facilities
- Construction, including working with cleanup companies, contractors, and subcontractors
- Banking and financial services, including litigation, investigations, and enforcement actions resulting from the Paycheck Protection Program
- Labor and employment, including disaster unemployment programs
- Maritime issues
- Tax and economic recovery incentives
Over the past several decades, our firm has helped hundreds of clients plan for potential emergencies and rebuild their businesses in the wake of disasters, both large and small. We are perhaps best known for our work following the series of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma, which swept across the Gulf Coast in 2005 as part of that year’s record-breaking Atlantic hurricane season. Immediately after Hurricane Katrina passed, we began helping businesses and individuals in Louisiana, Alabama, and elsewhere, despite the fact that the firm’s largest office, in New Orleans, was still inaccessible. Firm lawyers from across the United States created a legal think tank to anticipate and identify issues clients would face during that time of unprecedented loss and challenge. Since then, we have followed a similar model to assist clients in preparation for and response to disasters such as a widespread flood, a hurricane, a healthcare crisis, or other major event.
During a crisis, information is a business’s most important tool, and clear, timely client communications are our top priority. We regularly distribute recovery-related information using the firm’s E*Communications center, through ongoing seminars, and via one-on-one and virtual meetings that, in most instances, are held on a pro bono basis. In recognition of our service following Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans CityBusiness named our disaster preparedness and recovery team one of the 2006 Innovators of the Year — we are the first law firm to receive this honor.
At all times, our goal is to get clients back in business. We help clients address their immediate needs following an event and provide counsel on the short- and long-term opportunities. Many government programs last for years after the triggering event, and we continue to advise clients on available incentives and related legislation.
By their very nature, disasters are unpredictable. But it is possible to prepare for and recover from such events. Our disaster preparedness and recovery team remains poised to assist clients when and where such challenges arise.