Joplin, MO — a useful model for recovery

Joplin as a model recovery example and one of the useful features of their efforts is the exemplary website the city has produced; see:

I ran across it while trying to determine how Joplin is doing two years after its devastating tornado disaster event.  See this Fact Sheet for basic info re Joplin the damage, impacts, and outcomes of recovery.

I wish every city engaged in disaster recovery did this.  We would finally have the basis for some serious case studies, and cross case comparisons needed to build a significant recovery knowledge base.

Use of Social Media in Disasters – the Colorado wildfires-updates

Česky: Logo Facebooku English: Facebook logo E...

With all the fire and flooding disasters going on presently, I thought I would pull up some practical resources for people to use.  See this handbook created by residents of Joplin, MO with help from their state university:  The Use of Social Media for Disaster Recovery. Note that the same two ladies who were the creative force in Joplin have created a Facebook page for the Colorado Wildfires.

Additional resources are on Kim Stephen’s blog:
Be sure to check out the Resources page.


From the Denver Post, resources and assistance available to evacuees.

Website for the CO Voluntary Agencies Active in Disasters.

From USA Today, some interesting facts about why the risk is so high in Colorado and other western states:

Throughout the West, firefighters have toiled for days in searing, record-setting heat against fires fueled by prolonged drought. Most, if not all, of Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana were under red flag warnings, meaning extreme fire danger.

The nation is experiencing “a super-heated spike on top of a decades-long warming trend,” said Derek Arndt, head of climate monitoring at the National Climatic Data Center.


I keep wondering how you shelter 32,000 people who have evacuated rapidly from an unexpected disaster event. If anyone has details, please let me know.

Recovery in Joplin MO. one year after the tornado disaster – updates

"We're here to help," says Secretary...

“We’re here to help,” says Secretary of Homeland Security to residents of Joplin

On the first anniversary of the Joplin, MO tornado disaster declaration, an AP wire story, titled FEMA’s Role Questioned Anew, actually questions what the state role is rather than criticizing FEMA. It appeared in the Portland, ME Press Herald. The article does raise an interesting point about the role of state government and why a “rainy day” fund was not used to help Joplin recover.

Missouri has a rainy-day fund with about $500 million that was created for costly emergencies. But the fund hasn’t been tapped for Joplin because Gov. Jay Nixon and some lawmakers are reluctant to trigger a constitutional mandate that the borrowed money be replenished within three years.

Some critics of federal disaster aid point to Missouri’s rainy-day fund as a prime example of how states pass the buck to the federal government for local tragedies.

On the same topic, the Wall St. Journal has an article about Joplin.  The subtitle is: Laissez-Faire Zoning Laws in Tornado-Stricken Joplin Leave Neighbors Bristling. Unfortunately, you have to have a paid subscription to get the whole article and I do not. I would like to know more about the zoning issues, if someone out there has more details.

Earlier today I wrote ” Once again, I want to point out that it is essential to learning and retention that someone write up these examples as case studies so that future recovering communities will have the benefit of these experiences. FEMA – where are you on this matter?”  By coincidence, I learned that FEMA is working on collecting recovery information and mounting it on their LLIS system.

One more article, this time on a new report and journal article about health information systems and their restoration in Joplin.

On May 24, FEMA issued a Hazards Mitigation Report on Joplin; click here for the direct link.