Springfield, MO -- Officials of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) delivered final Comprehensive Recovery Plans to the cities of Stockton and Pierce City. FEMA presented the plans at each city's weekly council meeting, Monday, August 25.
The tornadoes and severe storms of May devastated many parts of the Midwest, but The U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Agency (EDA) identified Pierce City and Stockton as being severely impacted communities. In response to the EDA analysis, FEMA implemented a Sustainable Recovery Initiative for the two cities. The Comprehensive Recovery Plan is one key component of that initiative.
"The Sustainable Recovery Initiative is an effort to help these devastated communities take the first step on the road to recovery," FEMA Region VII director Richard Hainje said. "I've witnessed the incredible optimism and enthusiastic spirit of the people of these two proud communities and, in the long run, that is going to carry them through to a better tomorrow."
FEMA deployed teams of technical specialists to develop plans to address the specific recovery issues of each city. Since the first week of July, engineers, architects, landscape architects, and economic development specialists have completed extensive field research, listened to community input, and analyzed the opportunities and constraints of each city. These plans identify projects which, when implemented, support and promote revitalization of the communities.
FEMA presented draft plans to the communities within one month after beginning the initiative August 5 in Pierce City and August 7 in Stockton. Residents, local, state and federal officials had until August 14 to submit comments on the draft. Following that open comment period, the specialists finalized the plans.
"Governor Holden established the Missouri Long Term Recovery Task Force, which will coordinate state resources and give the cities of Stockton and Pierce City the expertise needed to help rebuild and once again become robust communities," said Jerry B. Ulhmann, State Emergency Management Agency director.
For each rebuilding issue addressed , the plans define three levels of recovery options for the two cities: basic, restore and progressive . Option 1 (Basic) describes the basic alternative needed to provide minimum acceptable function or level of service; Option 2 (Restore) describes the alternative needed to restore the facility or service to pre-disaster functionality; or Option 3 (Progressive) describes improvements that are intended to expand upon pre-disaster condition in order to enhance economic activity and to accommodate planned growth.
FEMA finalized the Comprehensive Recovery Plans, however, the agency will remain in two towns and continue to work with the local communities, state and other federal agencies to obtain needed funding and other assistance.
On March 1, 2003, FEMA became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. FEMA's continuing mission within the new department is to lead the effort to prepare the nation for all hazards and effectively manage federal response and recovery efforts following any national incident. FEMA also initiates proactive mitigation activities, trains first responders, and manages Citizen Corps, the National Flood Insurance Program and the U.S. Fire Administration.