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Despite One Disaster After Another, SEMA Stands Strong

Kevin Killeen
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Cars are piled everywhere in Joplin, Missouri on May 23, 2011 after a massive tornado hit the small southwestern Missouri town of Joplin on May 22, 2011. Officials say the tornado cut a path a mile wide by four miles, destroying over 2000 homes and businesses, including the hospital claiming 116 lives so far. UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock

Cars are piled everywhere in Joplin, Missouri on May 23, 2011 after a massive tornado hit the small southwestern Missouri town of Joplin on May 22, 2011. Officials say the tornado cut a path a mile wide by four miles, destroying over 2000 homes and businesses, including the hospital claiming 116 lives so far. UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX) –  The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency acknowleges it’s been a very bad year for natural disasters.

 But SEMA officials insist they’re not spread too thin.

“You know, you have to make it work,” points out SEMA spokesman Steve Besemer.  “You can’t just say to a community or a county that ‘Hey, we’re all tapped out, or we’re tired, or we’re getting low on funds’.”

He points out that they have 60 to 70 staff members to respond to disasters at any given time.

If yet another emergency were to follow on the heels of the disaster in Joplin, Besemer says SEMA could request more help through mutual aid pacts with other states.

Copyright KMOX Radio

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