Response to the 2011 Joplin, Missouri, Tornado Lessons Learned Study   [open pdf - 2MB]

"On Sunday, May 22, 2011, a catastrophic Enhanced Fujita-5 (EF-5) tornado struck the City of Joplin, Jasper County, and Newton County in southwest Missouri in the late afternoon. With winds in excess of 200 miles per hour (mph), the ¾-mile-wide tornado cut a 6-mile path of destruction through central Joplin. The tornado caused 161 fatalities and approximately 1,371 injuries as of May 27, 2011, making it the single deadliest U.S. tornado since 1947. Thousands of structures were destroyed or damaged, from single family homes to apartment buildings to large retail and public buildings, including St. John's Regional Medical Center, the Home Depot, and Wal-Mart. In the aftermath of the tornado, emergency responders and the public began conducting search and rescue operations in damaged buildings and provided medical care and shelter for survivors. The tornado overwhelmed the capabilities of the City of Joplin, Jasper County, and Newton County, requiring a massive response from Federal, State, county, local, private sector, non-profit, and voluntary organizations. Personnel from more than 400 public safety organizations deployed to Joplin to assist with response and recovery operations. […] The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Preparedness Assessment Division (NPAD) of the National Preparedness Directorate contacted Region VII to offer support to identify preliminary findings related to the Whole Community's and FEMA's contributions to the Joplin tornado response. With the approval of Region VII Regional Administrator Beth Freeman, a joint Region VII -- NPAD team conducted in-person interviews, analyzed data, and identified preliminary findings."

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United States. Federal Emergency Management Agency: http://www.fema.gov/
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