Joplin Hope Center working to build database of lessons learned during tornado recovery


JOPLIN, Mo. — Community leaders in Joplin hope to assemble a digital disaster database based on the things they learned in the May 2011 tornado.

Not long after an EF-5 tornado struck the Joplin area, city leaders made contact with two other communities that had gone through devastating tornadoes themselves — Oklahoma City and Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

But, these days, towns contact Joplin for recovery information.

And that’s the purpose behind the Joplin Hope Center for disaster recovery.

Dr. Renee White, Joplin Area Long-Term Recovery, said, “Is to have everything digitized so that our research, our knowledge can be accessed by anyone who wants to understand disaster work and specifically the best practices that came out of the Joplin tornado as well as all of the research that was done.”

Board members of the organization hope to have the cloud based digital information center up and running in time for the 10th anniversary of the Joplin tornado next year.

Emergency Management Director Keith Stammer thinks it’s a great idea and that it would create a treasure trove of information for communities that end up going through the same thing.

Keith Stammer, Jasper County Emergency Management Director, said, “To be able to have an available database of our experience over the last several years would be invaluable to any other organization that does through a similar event.”

“We are looking for funding, our goal is to hire one archivist that will do the digitization and organize all of the work and then secondly, within the next three to six months we hope to have people submit items that we can digitize,” said White

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