Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Disaster Preparedness for the Arts

Joplin Tornado
The scene around much of the Joplin, Missouri area is one of destruction and devastation. Mother nature has been unkind to a number of areas throughout the Midwest but on Sunday, May 22nd she was ruthless.

A severe storm came through the area and dropped a large tornado that tore a 6-mile path across southwestern Missouri, to date killing 116 people and injuring 400. This twister was the single deadliest tornado to strike the U.S. since a June 1953 tornado in Flint, Mich., that storm also killed 116, according to the National Weather Service.

A state of emergency has been declared and the National Guard has been activated to assist with the clean up efforts.

Below are resources for affected artists and arts organizations as well as links for anyone who wants to help.

How You Can Help Joplin
If you would like to help the victims of the Joplin tornado there are a number of different ways to do it.

  • The American Red Cross set up a page for Missouri tornado and flood relief.
  • The Joplin Red Cross could use donations. You can contact them at (417) 624-4411 in order to find out what is necessary.
  • The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has set up a donation page.
  • A list of major non-profits that operate regularly in Missouri can be found on the National Donations Management Network website. You can also call (800) 427-4626 for further information.
  • The Missouri Interfaith Disaster Response Organization is taking donations for longterm recovery efforts.
  • The Community Blood Center of the Ozarks is in need of blood — particularly type O. A list of donation sites can be found here.
  • 211 Missouri is helping organize volunteers in the affected areas. More information can be found by calling (800) 427-462.
  • Nurses or doctors looking to help can call (417) 832-9500 for the Greater Ozarks chapter of the Red Cross.
  • Health professionals can register to volunteer through the Show-Me Response website.
Animal rescue
  • For those in the Joplin area: Emergency Pet Center of the Four States at 7th & Illinois near the Sonic is OPEN and accepting found/injured animals. Its phones are down at this time.
  • The "Animals Lost & Found from the Joplin, Mo tornado" Facebook page is tracking lost and found pets.

 Safety Information
  • The National Americorp Volunteers are setting up a national hotline for residents to call to check on loved ones. The number is (417) 659-5464.
  • The American Red Cross has set up a site on which you can check in, report on the safety of others, or look for information on loved ones.
  • The "Joplin people accounted for after the storm" Facebook page is helping people track loved ones who fell out of touch during the storm.
  • The St. John's Health System has been updating its Facebook page regularly with information relevant to the aftermath of the storm.
Other efforts
As always be aware that there are individuals that may attempt to take advantage of tragic situations such as this. Do some research before you decide to donate to an organization. A good tool to use is Charity Navigator, a service that has information on more than 5,000 nonprofit organizations.

Resources for Artists & Arts Organizations Affected by Disasters
Being prepared for a disaster of any magnitude means the least amount of disruption to the creative work of an artist or arts organization. For anyone involved in the arts this is inherently important and with the recent natural disasters the U.S. has seen weighing on many minds it's good to know where to find help or support. Below are some resources to assist in being prepared when calamity strikes.
  • ArtsReady.org - This organization assists artists and arts organizations prepare for and recover from a disaster.
  • Craft Emergency Relief Fund (CERF+) - An organization committed to safeguarding and sustaining the careers of craft artists throughout the United States through business and career-strengthening programs, emergency relief support, advocacy and research so that they can thrive and, thus, contribute to the quality of life in our communities.
  • The Actors Fund - a nonprofit human services organization founded in 1882, serves all professionals - and not just actors! - in film, theater, television, music, opera, and dance through programs that address their unique and essential needs.
  • Alliance of Nonprofit for Insurance - a 501(c)(3) nonprofit serving more than 3,000 501(c)(3) nonprofits in 25 states (available in Missouri) and the District of Columbia by providing stable, fair prices for their liability insurance needs.
815 Olive Street, Suite 16
St. Louis, MO 63101-1503
Phone: 314-340-6845
Toll Free: 866-407-4752

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