Joplin, MO, May 26, 2011 -- Administrator Craig Fugate surveys a damaged fire station with a Joplin firefighter.
Since the deadly tornadoes first struck parts of the country last week, the federal government has been in constant contact with all of the impacted states as they responded to and began recovery efforts from these devastating storms.
The administration, through FEMA, is committed to bringing all of the resources of the federal family to bear to support Missouri and the other states devastated by the deadly tornadoes and storms this weekend.
Through our regional offices in Kansas City, MO and Chicago, IL, has been in close contact and coordination with the states since the storms first struck, and has already deployed staff and resources to the impacted areas in Missouri to help with response needs.
Here is a recap of the support efforts of the federal family today:
Thursday, May 26
- At the President's direction, White House National Security Staff Senior Director for Response Policy Dabney Kern, Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute, Department of Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Bill Corr, Small Business Administration Associate Administrator James Rivera and Department of Commerce DOC/ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA Assistant Secretary of Commerce Dr. Kathy Sullivan join Federal Emergency Management Agency FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, in Joplin to tour the damage and meet with state and local officials.
- The NFL Players Association sends current and former St. Louis Rams football players to Joplin to participate in community outreach activities with FEMA and the American Red Cross.
- In coordination with LodgeNet hotel video network, FEMA disaster assistance videos begin to air on hotel room welcome channels across Missouri.
- As of 7 a.m., more than 1,900 Missourians affected by the Sunday tornadoes in the Joplin area, in Jasper and Newton counties, have applied for assistance, and more than $1.3 million in assistance has been approved. Tornado survivors in those counties can apply for federal disaster aid, either by phone, online, or on their mobile phones. To register, survivors can call (800) 621-3362 / TTY (800) 462-7585, apply online at www.disasterassistance.gov or apply on their smartphones at m.fema.gov.
- Community relations teams remain on the ground meeting with disaster survivors in the Joplin area, canvassing neighborhoods, visiting shelters and supporting the operation of disaster recovery centers.
- FEMA personnel join state and local officials to begin joint preliminary damage assessments in Hennepin County, Minnesota. These damage assessments are the first step in helping a governor determine whether the scope of the damages are beyond what the state is capable of handling and if additional federal assistance is needed.
- FEMA personnel join state and local officials to begin joint preliminary damage assessments in Johnson County, Arkansas.
See yesterday's recap of federal support efforts on the blog.