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Disaster Response Underway for Joplin, Missouri, in Wake of Deadly Tornado

  • May 24, 2011

Relief Expert Deployed as $1 Million in Tornado Relief Continues for Victims in Hard-Hit States

An AmeriCares disaster relief expert is on the ground in Joplin, Missouri working with partner clinics to assess emergency aid needs for families displaced by a massive tornado which left the heart of the city in ruins.

The twister — now on record as the single deadliest U.S. tornado since 1953 — blasted through the city on May 22, killing at least 125 people and causing widespead destruction.   

According to local emergency management officials, the tornado flattened Joplin’s high school and destroyed more than 2,000 homes and buildings, including St. John’s Regional Medical Center, which suffered a direct hit and was completely evacuated. A state of emergency has been declared, the Missouri National Guard is on the scene, and 40 agencies from four states have responded. 

AmeriCares is working with partner clinics, shelters and health care providers in Joplin and nearby Springfield to help victims of this monumental disaster with deliveries of acute and chronic care medicines and supplies. “The first 48 hours of an emergency are the most critical,” said AmeriCares Vice President of Emergency Response, Ella Gudwin.  “AmeriCares pre-positions emergency relief supplies so we are ready to respond to disasters around the world and across the United States at a moment’s notice.”

Meanwhile the humanitarian crisis continues in the South, after late April tornadoes ripped through Alabama, Mississippi, and five other states, killing 350, crushing entire neighborhoods, and displacing tens of thousands. AmeriCares responded immediately and has since launched a prolonged tornado relief operation, including deliveries of more than $1 million in medicines, humanitarian aid and grants to help families struggling to recover.  Read more about our ongoing tornado relief.

AmeriCares responds immediately to disasters: tornadoes in the South, hurricanes in the Gulf, floods in the Pacific Northwest, wildfires in the West. Wherever disaster strikes in the U.S. and around the world, we are ready to help save lives and restore health and hope.

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