To date, Joplin, Missouri is still recuperating from the devastating tornado that tore through a six mile stretch in the center of the city. Rescuers fought the impeding rain and avoided down power lines as they sifted through the rubble searching for survivors. Numerous organizations pulled together to help the people of Joplin to cope with the overwhelming task of rebuilding their home and town.
Despite the 159 person death toll, the community pulled together to rebuild the society they were accustomed to. Local authorities were the first on the scene in an attempt to locate survivors and provide medical care to the injured. Providing medical care to civilians was no easy task with a hospital that was flattened by the twister.
Neighborhood construction workers replaced roofs and windows with tarps to prevent further damage to the premises. Non-profit relief organizations also arrived on the scene once the storm and torrential down pours cleared the area. The American Red Cross and Relief Spark provided a list of shelters in the area. The popular technology used for United States citizens to connect with the victims in Joplin, Missouri was the world-wide-web. Abundant in both news sites, disaster relief sites, and shelter location sites, the internet proved to be a viable means for local and distant citizens to aid in the recovery of Joplin.
Two Facebook pages were created to raise awareness of the condition the city of Joplin was left in following the tornado. Joplin, MO., Tornado Recovery Facebook Page and Joplin, MO., Survivors Facebook Page not only heightened the United States citizens awareness of the catastrophe, but provided additional links to web sites where donations could be made to help with the disaster relief. These web pages also aided in providing relief for the family members of the disaster stricken community as it provided an outlet for the survivors to post that they made it through the chaos. These and other sites provided a way for families who were separated during the tornado to locate one another. In fact, the world-wide-web even made it possible for residents of Joplin to locate missing pets via Facebook.
Efforts to rebuild the Joplin hospital were built upon a foundation laid by the Facebook Page for the local hospital. This site raised money to help re-erect the local hospital that was in high demand following the havoc of the tornado. The Show Me Response web site served as a source for nurses and doctors, outside of Joplin to volunteer their time and expertise to heal the injured city. The American Red Cross and Relief Spark both provided meeting locations for first responders.
Feeling sympathetic to the needs of the Joplin Community, but short on money, others donated blood at various donation sites. With a high demand for type “O” blood at The Community Blood Center of the Ozarks, this was a much needed donation. Others lacking money to make donations, volunteered their time to help rebuild the demolished Joplin neighborhoods. Other organizations collected relief items listed on the American Red Cross web site. These items included non-perishable food items, used clothing and shoes, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, and other every day essentials. Used cellular phones were also in high demand following the twister. Verizon wireless set up temporary cell phone towers for the residents of Joplin to communicate with their friends and family across the United States. Some of the groups collecting items to aid in relieving this disaster stricken city were The Edward Jones Branch Office in Republic, MO and The Missouri Interfaith Disaster Response Organization.
The residents of Joplin, Missouri are still rebuilding their homes and are in need of our help. Please visit one of the web sites mentioned in this article, or feel free to comment on this article with more information about Joplin relief resources.