Tuesday, October 30, 2012

City of Joplin offers assistance to storm-ridden East Coast

(From the City of Joplin)

Joplin City officials have reached out to Missouri’s State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to offer assistance to our fellow citizens along the east coast as Hurricane Sandy impacts several states and cities in its path.
“We’ve been monitoring this storm, as most of us have,” said Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr. “We have pledged our assistance to SEMA to help. We remember the amount of assistance that poured into our community following the tornado, and we want to help others as they helped us a year and half ago. For that reason, we have formed a team to provide this help and benefit others affected by a major disaster, and our policy is to respond if asked, based on the expertise we developed as a result of our experience last year.”
Rohr noted that the City of Joplin has staff experienced in disaster management, as evidenced by the City’s response to and recovery from the May 22, 2011 EF-5 tornado, and encompasses the areas of Administration, Finance, Police, Fire, Health, Public Works, and Emergency Management. Rohr directed the team’s formation last year and staff has identified approximately 30 personnel who could serve on this team as necessary. Keith Stammer, Emergency Management Director, notified SEMA that Joplin personnel are ready and willing to respond appropriately via an Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) request to the State of Missouri. EMAC is the general interstate agreement utilized during disaster responses.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with our fellow countrymen impacted by this storm, and we’re ready to help when called upon,” he said. Rohr, Police Chief Lane Roberts and Fire Chief Mitch Randles were scheduled to give a presentation at the New York Governor’s Conference on Emergency Preparedness today, but the event was postponed due to the pending arrival of the storm.
States impacted by Hurricane Sandy have already been inundated with offers of clothing, food, etc., so the city is asking Joplin residents to hold off on sending such items until they are requested through official channels. In the meantime, those who want to help are encouraged to donate money to the Red Cross, as the need for sheltering of displaced residents will be high until such time that power can be restored to affected areas.

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