Response and Recovery after the Joplin Tornado: Lessons Applied and Lessons Learned

Daniel J. Smith

Troy University

Daniel Sutter

University of Oklahoma

May 6, 2013

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

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Date posted: May 7, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Smith, Daniel J. and Sutter, Daniel, Response and Recovery after the Joplin Tornado: Lessons Applied and Lessons Learned (May 6, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2261353 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2261353

Contact Information

Daniel J. Smith (Contact Author)
Troy University ( email )
Bibb Graves Hall 137F
Troy, AL 36082
United States
334-808-6485 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.danieljosephsmith.com/
Daniel Sutter
University of Oklahoma ( email )
307 W Brooks
Department of Economics Office Hest 329
Norman, OK 73019
United States
405-325-2861 (Phone)
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