City hosting free Pre-Disaster Training Workshops for homeowners, businesses

Citizens in southwest Missouri know about disasters. When Mother Nature delivers a frigid ice storm, a blasting blizzard, an impactful flood, or an extreme tornado, residents have weathered the storm, helping their family and friends affected. With these past experiences, we’ve heard the warnings: citizens fare best when they have a plan BEFORE the disaster strikes. However, many of us may have put the planning aside before it is completed, which could be problematic if something should occur in the future.

Now is the time to finish the plan with the assistance of some pre-disaster training workshops. The City of Joplin has partnered with St. Bernard Project, the non-profit that worked with Rebuild Joplin during the recovery from the 2011 tornado, and is offering several sessions for both homeowners and businesses.

The hour-long sessions will discuss the process of making an emergency plan, documents needed following a disaster, how to file an insurance claim, along with questions to ask your insurance agent to ensure proper coverage, and securing your home and property to avoid or reduce damage.

The session is free and offers a detailed checklist to help be prepared and a resource guide of both local and national agencies that can provide assistance following a disaster.

“This is a great opportunity to learn more about the simple steps you can do today to make tomorrow a bit easier,” said Stephen Grindle, Manager of Neighborhood Services for the City. “One hour could truly impact our citizens’ future, and we encourage all to attend.”

Representatives from Joplin Fire Department and Emergency Management will also be at the sessions to answer questions about local response in a disaster. In addition, attendees are encouraged to bring their weather radios if needing assistance in tuning to the proper channel(s) for your geographic area.

Times and dates for the Homeowners Sessions are: 7 p.m. Thursday, January 28; 1 p.m. Tuesday, February 2; 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Wednesday, February 17 and 6 p.m. Thursday, February 18.

Sessions for Small to Mid-Size Businesses will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, February 2 and Wednesday, February 17. All sessions will be held in the Council Chambers of Joplin City Hall, 602 South Main Street. Plenty of parking is conveniently located on the west side of the building. The evening entrance is also located on the west side of the building.

Reservations are not required for these free sessions. For more information, contact Neighborhood Services of Joplin City hall at 417-625-0820, ext. 518.