I don't really know how to start this but the title
really says it all I think?
I have been down to Joplin last week in support of Salvation Army efforts to thwart a humanitarian crisis that is hard to imagine.
The destruction on the ground seems so much bigger and worse than can be reported through the media that I feel compelled to make this personal plea on behalf of the town for the prayers and support of everyone I can.
The reports of 30% of the town being destroyed may turn out to be underestimated and there is basically a 1 mile wide by 6+ mile long area of COMPLETE destruction. Everything leveled to the ground except solid masonry structures which have no roofs or windows
The power company there says 9000 electric meters will never be replaced,6000 vehicles destroyed,the hospital which has been all over the news is an 11 story building in a complex of building that moved 4 inches on its foundation! The building is now a total loss and also a BioHazard site and will need to be carried away in plastic bags.
The people in this area have nothing left,ZERO! I was told most of the area hit was a lower income area but there is no way to know this if you didn't already know, it is just rubble.
There are cars everywhere with no windows
and smashed beyond recognition but they are on the road still and I walked past many with entire families inside them as this is now their home.
There was a low empty rental home count there before the Tornado and now there are opportunists jacking rental rates everywhere and the lawns of standing homes have tents pitched everywhere.
The Salvation Army where I was attached was making 200-300 meals a day before the storm and is now trying to make 5000-6000 out of the same kitchen.
I was in a Food Canteen at first and we tried finding survivors and feeding them but they do not want to leave the rubble even for a minute and they all say that their neighbor needs the food more than they do!?
As the Radio Operator on the Canteen, I had to call for a medical evacuation several times as the people just will not get the help they need as they are in shock.
It is the most heartbreaking scene I have ever witnessed.
The News Cycle has now pretty much dropped Joplin from the list and yet the recovery has only just begun.
Please think of extending any help you can,Time and Money is what they need.
The Red Cross,United Way and Salvation Army are always in need to help and donations and I would feel confident that anything donated there will go directly to the already strained relief efforts.
I deployed to Joplin in the Casita
ad found a spot in the Joplin KOA next to rows of tents and U-Hauls with families packed inside.
I felt a little guilty having a solid Shell,Roof over my head.
Just realize no matter how bad things may be for you right now these people are outside in 100 degree Missouri Humidity with the clothes on their back and often those are not even their clothes.
Thanks for listening and please help if you can.