Saturday, March 30, 2013

Joplin, Missouri!

My team's first assignment is Joplin, Missouri. You may remember that Joplin was hit by a devestating EF5 tornado in May of 2011. Thousands of homes, the high school, businesses, and a hospital were destroyed and 161 people were killed in the storm.

The community of Joplin has rebuilt much, but there is still evidence of the storm throughout the city. My team is here to wrap up the temporary housing program that gave people a place to live while they rebuilt their homes and lives.

We are thrilled to be here and I am humbled by both the power of the storm that ripped through this place and by the human spirit so evident in this community and their efforts to rebuild.

New Mexico!

Because four weeks of training in Denver wasn't enough, I headed down to the New Mexico desert for two more weeks. I have no pictures from those weeks because we were on a federal facility that did not permit any photos. They also enforced curfews and dress codes. It was certainly an interesting experience.

Training was pretty intensive, with eight hour days and only one day off. I am so thankful to finally be done with training and heading out to begin work!

My Team!

It was a crazy process, but I am now a proud member of the team Tundra 4!

My position is Community Relations (CR) which is essentially a three-part job. When a natural or man-made disaster gets a Presidential declaration, CR teams deploy immediately to assess the situation in the community, interview community members, inform survivors how to register for assistance, and report on our findings so that resources can be allocated effectively.

The best part is my lovely teammates who crack me up and teach me things every day.