Kinder Discusses Disaster Response
JOPLIN - Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder visited Joplin Friday to discuss a new committee formed to analyze Missouri's disaster relief efforts and its level of preparedness for future disastrous events.
Speaker of the House Steven Tilley, R-Perryville, established the Interim Committee on Disaster Preparedness, Response and Recovery and appointed Kinder as chairman.
Kinder, other committee members and state representatives from the Joplin area brainstormed the committee's future plans and responsibilities at an event in Cunningham Park.
"Last year was an extremely difficult year for Missouri with tornadoes - include the historic EF5 that hit Joplin May 22 and flooding that devastated much of our state's most fertile farmland," Kinder said. "This past year provided an unfortunate but valuable opportunity to assess the state's and local communities' response to disasters. We have an opportunity and an obligation to dig into the details to make sure the resources we allocated for disaster recovery are producing the results they should for the people of Missouri."
Also attending the meeting were Joplin-area lawmakers Rep. Bill White, R-Joplin, a member of the disaster committee; Rep. Bill Reiboldt of Neosho; Rep. Bill Lant, R-Seneca; and Rep. Charlie Davis, R-Webb City. Citizen committee members who attended were Bennie Crossland of Crossland Construction; Morris Glaze of the Joplin City Council; Dwight Douglas of Freeman Health Systems; and Jim Honey, Jasper County Associate Commissioner.
Other committee members include House Speaker Pro Tem Shane Schoeller, R-Willard, the committee's vice chairman, and Reps. Don Gosen, R-Chesterfield, Steve Hodges, D-East Prairie, Shelley Keeney, R-Marble Hill, and Sylvester Taylor, D-Black Jack.
Kinder said the he and the other members will work to analyze the successes and failures of disaster relief efforts.
"We've seen the people of this state rally, neighbors helping neighbors," he said. "Missourians from across the state have pitched in to help with the Joplin recovery, and those stories have inspired the nation.
"Now it's time to make a detailed assessment of the roles state and local governments have played in this process and find ways to improve our level of preparedness and our response efforts in the future."
The interim committee will submit a report of its findings and recommendations by December 31.