Praying for Joplin: Part 4

I will continue to pass along information as it is shared.  Please read the previous posts.

As many of you are aware, a tornado has hit and devastated Joplin, MO. State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) report this morning gives the following detail:

On May 22, 2011 severe storms impacted Missouri with significant damage to the City of Joplin.  Other counties reported minor damages: Saline County (one residence destroyed with minor injuries to occupant), Lafayette County (two residences with minor damage), and Stone (two mobile homes and two turkey barns damaged) counties. 

 The Joplin tornado was described as being about one-half mile wide when it touched down just west of 20th and McClellan at about 5:41 p.m. Sunday. It reportedly grew to as much as three-quarters of a mile wide, before returning to about a half-mile in width and lifting up or dissipating at 20th and Prosperity Road. The track was about 4 miles long, heavily damaging residences, businesses, schools and apartment complexes. This is a densely populated section of the central city and estimates are that 10-30 percent of the city of Joplin had been damaged or destroyed, or approximately 2,000 structures.

 Gov. Jay Nixon deployed 100 National Guardsmen to the affected area with specialized equipment to aid in search and rescue and debris clearing. Expected support missions include: search and rescue, emergency route clearance, communications support and security.

 If you get questions regarding people wanting to help out and volunteer please relay the below information to them as there has been some bad information and mixed messages going out.


 If a licensed medical professional of any type wants to volunteer:
They MUST register on so they can be put into the system, get credentialed, and be deployed via a mission request from the Local Emergency Operations Center (LEOC) in the affected area. If they have not gone through Show Me Response then they will not be able to be used or put to work at a facility because they have not been credentialed. Also, spontaneous medical volunteers will burden the system and cause more hardship to the locals that are in response and rescue mode right now.

 All others that want to volunteer their services that are not medical professionals:

They can do so by calling United Way 211. Dial 211 from inside Missouri or by dialing (800) 427-4626 or by going to their web site to register at  UW 211 works with all of the other voluntary organizations active in disasters (VOADs) and will assist with coordinating volunteer deployments by matching up skills with needs.

They are getting a high volume of calls, so please be patient.

 $10.00 donations for American Red Cross can be given by texting “REDCROSS” to 90999 or visit

 For persons wanting to check on loved ones that they cannot contact or for those that have survived:

Red Cross’ Safe and Well site to register if you are safe and for family to check often for their loved ones that are missing.

 Please pass on this information to your partners and help us get the correct word out!

Thank you!!

  Charity J. Hunter

Disaster Response Coordinator

Division of Senior and Disability Services

Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services

Phone: 573.526.8560

Fax: 573.751.8687

About Craig Thompson

I am a young professional with two great sons, and I work in the healthcare setting. I am employed in hospital administration and serve as Chief Executive Officer at Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare in Clinton, Missouri. At GVMH we care for our families, friends and neighbors. We're committed to providing the safest, friendliest and most compassionate care to all we serve.
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