Committee on Disaster Preparedness Wants More Testimonies

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Interim Committee on Disaster Preparedness, Response and Recovery held a meeting at the Capitol Tuesday to hear testimonies from various state organizations. 

Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, the Committee's Chairman, invited several organizations to speak to the committee about how it's being proactive toward disasters.

The committee was founded shortly after the tornadoes in Joplin and St. Louis and the flooding of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.  In the past year, the committee has met in Joplin, St. Louis, Charleston, and St. Joseph, Missouri to hear from community members about how the state can respond better to natural disasters.

The only state department to give a testimony was the Missouri Department of Transportation.  MoDot presented how the department is now proactive toward relief efforts.  Representative Don Gosen, R-Chesterfield, appreciated MoDot's presence at the meeting.

"It's good to see MoDot present.  We don't want to just be reactive to a disaster, but proactive," Gosen said.

Eileen Rackers, MoDot's State Traffic and Highway Safety Engineer, said MoDot is working to have its employees to be better prepared.  "We have been doing training activities of all kinds and we treat these activities as serious as a real response," Rackers said.

Tuesday's session was going to be the final meeting of the Interium Committee, but due to the lack of testimonies, Chairmen Kinder requested written testimonies from the Department of Public Saftey, SEMA, and Department of Insurance.  Once the testimonies are received, Kinder will decide if another meeting is necessary.