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Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Missouri Purchases Two Storm Shelters

The shelters were originally part of the housing assistance program for residents affected by the 2011 disaster.
JOPLIN, MO.--- Eleven federal emergency management agency tornado shelters are providing security for several people in Joplin. The Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Missouri have purchased two of the shelters. The shelters were originally part of the housing assistance program for residents affected by the 2011 disaster.

"Gives them the ability to shelter during bad weather that they may not have had otherwise. It means that the shelters aren't leaving our community and we're putting them to a good use," said Leslie Haase, City of Joplin Finance Director. 

Leslie Haase is finance director for the City of Joplin. She tells us the city proposed a plan to FEMA and the State of Missouri several months ago to make these shelters available to local and county governmental entities based on a priority list. 

"So we went through those priorities and we were able to award all of them and those agencies have been moving them over the last several months," said Haase. 

The Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Missouri bought two shelters through the first response tornado fund.  

"We serve about 250 kids a day and that's in after-school and summer programs," said MacKenzie Garst, Boys and Girls Club Development Director. 

MacKenzie Garst is the development director for the Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Missouri. She tells us although they have classrooms that act as storm shelters, there are numerous reasons they purchased two FEMA shelters. 

"One of those being that a lot of the lasting effects of the tornado that happened here in Joplin, and we need to provide them with the safest opportunity in those times of severe weather," said Garst. 

She adds it also gives parents a sense of security. 

"When they drop their kids off here at the club, they expect us to keep them as safe as possible. And these FEMA shelters are going to give us the opportunity to make sure our kids are the safest that they can be," said Garst. 

The other local and county governmental entities are listed, click here for more information. 

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