Red Cross/MSSU partnership proved invaluable after the tornado

JOPLIN, Mo. – Ahead of the 2011 tornado, Missouri Southern and the Red Cross formed a partnership, and it proved to be vital when disaster struck.

That partnership designated Missouri Southern as a shelter for people to use following a natural disaster. After the tornado hit, Chris Harmon with the Red Cross says officials quickly took action.

“Wait a minute we got this,” said Harmon recalling the moments after the tornado. “I pulled out of the agreement, I’m looking at the facility and Debbie is like I’m going down there. She was immediately able to open up doors and people were able to show up. That university became the focal point and the reason that response was so successful.”

The agreement between MSSU and the Red Cross has expired but officials say they’re working on another one.