Just as they did after the September 11 attacks, advisors are rallying to provide pro bono services to victims of Hurricane Katrina.
   This time, however, the victims include a sizeable number of their colleagues.
   The Financial Planning Association is ready to set up a financial planning support center in the New Orleans area with the help of the Red Cross, says FPA spokeswoman Heather Almand.
   The center-modeled after the support center that was created after the September 11 attacks in New York City and which has become a permanent service offered by the FPA-will start operations as soon as the Red Cross is ready, she says.
   "The Red Cross isn't quite ready for us but we will be setting those up we hope in the next few weeks," Almand said.
   The FPA is also getting to work to help advisors who have been impacted by the hurricane, setting up a Hurricane Relief Center at its Web site-www.fpanet.org-where planners can offer office space, equipment or other forms of help.
   The FPA has about 800 members in the region effected by the hurricane, but it's still unclear how many members were displaced by the natural disaster, Almand says.
   "We are slowly starting to hear from those members, but we don't have a good number," she says. "From what we've heard, I would suspect at least several hundred. I tend to think that number may be higher."
   The FPA has already heard from 500 advisors who have offered pro bono financial advisory services for victims of the hurricane.
As it did in New York City four years ago, the FPA will offer victims help in obtaining grants from FEMA, dealing with insurance claims and other issues.
   This would be the third branch of the FPA's support operations. There are already operations in New York City and Washington D.C., with the New York office still handling cases of many September 11 victims, according to Almand.
   The centers have also done work for victims of the recent wildfires in California, hurricane victims in Florida and the victims of other natural disasters, she adds.
   The rest of the financial services industry has also rallied to support those impacted by the hurricane, including monetary donations and support programs. Insurance companies have extended grace periods for premium payments in areas affected by the flooding.
   The IRS has also taken action, offering a variety of deadline extensions and services for hurricane victims. The IRS has set up a hotline for hurricane relief information at 1-866-562-5227.