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FEMA disaster preparedness Think Tank held in Joplin - KOAM TV 7

FEMA disaster preparedness Think Tank held in Joplin

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FEMA officials come to Joplin to meet with Four Staters about disaster preparedness.

On Tuesday a meeting was held at Missouri Southern State University.  It's the fourth FEMA Think Tank conference held in the country.  Previous locations were Wisconsin, San Francisco, and Atlanta.

FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard Serino lead the conference.  Twitter and speaker phones were used to link people in Joplin to others elsewhere in the country.

Among those in attendance at MSSU's meeting were Joplin School District workers, and city officials, including health department workers.

One idea previously discussed was utilizing amateur radios when emergency responders' transmissions are down.

"That's not new technology, that's pretty old technology, but it's one that will continue to work," says Serino.  "We're linking the amateur radio operators with the local emergency managers.  It really hasn't been done in 20 to 30 years."

Serino says FEMA learned a lot from the May 22 tornado that struck Joplin and Duquesne.

"We can not do this alone.  In fact, I was asked not even 24 hours after the hit.  If you remember, a year ago, not only had the tornado happened here, there was a rash of tornados in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, the Missouri River was flooding, there were fires all throughout the south and we were really busy, and somebody said 'can FEMA handle this alone?' and quite simply, 'no'.  If was it was just FEMA, we can't handle it.  We need to work together as a community."

FEMA continues to ask for public input on disaster preparedness and recovery.  Resources are available online at http://www.fema.gov/

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