Public-Private Partnerships in Homeland Security
6: Public-Private Sector Collaboration in Disaster Recovery
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Public-Private Sector Collaboration in Disaster Recovery
On May 22, 2011, one of the most powerful tornadoes in American history ripped through Joplin, Missouri.1 With winds in excess of 200 miles per hour, the tornado destroyed everything in its path, tragically killing 158, wounding over 1,000, and damaging up to 30 percent of the city—some 8,000 buildings in total.2 Emergency response efforts began immediately, and with each passing hour, the scale of the disaster became increasingly clear. The principal of Joplin High School remarked to a reporter, “You see pictures of World War II, the devastation and all that with the bombing. That’s really what it looked like…I couldn’t even make out the side of the building. It was total devastation in my view. I just couldn’t believe what I saw.”3 Missouri Governor Jay Nixon underlined the scope of the state’s recovery efforts: “As a state, we are deploying every agency and resource available to keep Missouri families safe, search for the missing, provide emergency medical care, and begin to recover.”4 And among the many organizations that began recovery operations, businesses immediately assumed substantial and broad-ranging roles to help restore Joplin to a sense of normalcy.5
Home Depot and Wal-Mart each pledged $1 million to assist with disaster relief.6 Moreover, Home Depot partnered with Delta Airlines to fly in 200 volunteers from Atlanta, Georgia–area businesses.7 Home Depot also delivered goods to assist in...
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