Joplin’s Tornado Survivors Face New Trial

At least 8,000 houses and apartment buildings were destroyed.

Posted: 05/31/2011 12:02 PM EDT
Joplin, Missouri, tornado

Even survival has a price few want to pay. When the May 22 Joplin tornado ripped through Joplin, Missouri it left in its wake 139 known dead and destroyed at least 8,000 houses and apartment buildings.


The survivors of the EF-5, or the strongest possible tornado have had some time to mourn, the loss of loved ones, and for many their homes as well. Like their belongings, the newly-homeless are scattered, in gymnasiums and other structures, across the Joplin metropolitan area.


A Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) spokesperson told a Reuters reporter that a search is on for rental property with 55 miles of Joplin, and the city administrators are deciding if trailer homes should be used on interim basis. Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr said he wants residents to stay closer to the city than 50 miles.


FEMA has told residents that they are eligible to receive two months' rent plus reimbursement for belongings lost or destroyed by the tornado. The amount of aid that a person gets from FEMA depends factor including insurance coverage. Homeowners with a mortgage are in the best position because their policy stipulates that they have insurance. By contrast, renters may not have any coverage.


The new homeless, of course, turn to relatives, friends and social service agencies for support and shelter as the ongoing of the situation and its impact on most aspects of their lives becomes more apparent.


How you can help:


The Joplin Red Cross : Call  (417) 624-4411 or email


Missouri Department of Public Safety

The American Red Cross

(Photo: AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)