Joplin Pays it Forward – a Collection of Essays from Community Leaders

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Visit to Download this eBook

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Joplin, Missouri was the site of one of the deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history on May 22, 2011.

Firestorm has been privileged to support and share the message of many of those involved in efforts toward recovery and resiliency.  Toward that, we will be sharing a variety of material gathered and produced in May of this year at the Joplin Disaster Recovery Summit held at Missouri Southern State University – Billingsly Student Center.

This second post shares “Joplin Pays It Forward: Community Leaders Share Our Recovery Lessons”, 47 essays written by Joplin leaders active in the recovery process. (also available on Amazon for 99-cents)

Click Here for the Download Site for Joplin Pays It Forward

This collection of essays by community leaders tells the story of Joplin’s resilience and recovery. The men and women who led recovery efforts across every sector of the community recount what they learned in the process and the advice they would give to a leader in a similar position in another impacted community.

Rich Serino, Deputy Director of FEMA, says in his foreword,

“The collection of stories in Joplin Pays It Forward provides us insight into Joplin’s incredible journey to rebuild in the wake of mass devastation. Among its many inspiring lessons, the stories tell us how Joplin was able to live up to its promise to re-open completely destroyed schools by the start of the school year; how Joplin worked with a state university to provide shelter, a surge medical clinic, and a volunteer coordination point; and how Joplin was able to coordinate the thousands of volunteers that flooded in to provide support. The authors of these chapters represent every facet of the community— from state and local officials, to volunteers, to the private sector. Because this book is so crosscutting, providing diverse perspectives and aspects of Joplin’s recovery, there is a lesson for everyone. Whether a novice volunteer or a veteran emergency manager, we can all learn from Joplin’s experience.”

Jane Cage, chairman of the Joplin Citizens Advisory Team (CART), compiled and collected these essays as a way for the Joplin community to pay it forward in recognition of the almost 200,000 volunteers that came to help their city in the two years since the devastating tornado.

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