Response and Recovery after the Joplin Tornado: Lessons Applied and Lessons Learned
Daniel J. Smith
University of Oklahoma
May 6, 2013
The Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy 18(2) 2013: 165-188.
An EF-5 Tornado struck Joplin, MO on May 22, 2011, leaving a twenty mile long path of destruction in its wake. An estimated 7,500 homes and over 500 businesses were damaged or destroyed, with damage estimated at up to $3 billion. Joplin has seen a rapid recovery despite the extensive damage. The Joplin tornado provides a valuable opportunity to determine if findings from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina apply to other major natural disasters. This study uses interviews with various government officials, church leaders, charities, business owners, and homeowners, as well as conventional data, to examine the response and recovery efforts in Joplin. We argue that Joplin’s rapid recovery is a result of Federal, state and local officials letting the voluntary sector, including businesses, national charities, churches, and local community groups, lead the response and recovery.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 37
Keywords: disasters, disaster management, recovery, tornadoes, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
JEL Classification: H84, Q54
Date posted: May 7, 2013 ; Last revised: January 25, 2017