wI have been doing some research lately on the Moore, OK tornadoes and am having a surprisingly hard time finding useful websites for basic information about that disaster. I wish it were easier to do basic information gathering for case studies and to document not only response but especially recovery in a useful and consistent way so that cases could be compared and contrasted. Sadly, that is not the situation presently in the U.S. And from a few conversations with Canadian colleagues, they too are having a hard time getting information about recovery. Both countries would benefit from a knowledge base about local recovery. But that is the topic for another conversation.
The main purpose of today’s posting is to give credit to the city of Joplin for its extraordinary website — www.joplinmo.org. Local leaders are to be commented for a website that is a model of practical and essential information about a city recovering from a disaster. For example, see the page titled Fact Sheet.
If more cities that were recovering from a disaster shared the kind of data and information that Joplin has, researchers, practitioners, and others could readily do the studies we so desperately need to document the recovery process. I think such a website should be a requirement as a condition of receiving a federal declaration!
PLEASE READ BEFORE COMMENTING: Update on June 12: Please note that this posting is not meant to criticize Moore for not having a fact-filled website in a matter of weeks after the disaster.My suggestion is one that would be addressed by the public officials assisting Moore and the other impacted areas; it is not something additional that citizens have to do.
The state, which has sponsored the site StrongOK, has done a pretty good job with its website in the short term. Since the State has asked for and received a Presidential Disaster Declaration, it has signed a contract that requires it to make public its expenditures of federal money and also to take mitigative actions regarding future tornadoes and other hazards. Consequently, all of the political officials should be aware of these requirements and comply with them.
I am of the opinion that all cities that have had a major disaster might consider creating a substantive website when they get into the recovery phase, because I think it would help those wanting to assist, and those documenting the event. And it might cut down on phone calls and other requests for information.