Residents as well as area government officials are invited to speak about their tornado experiences and preparedness at a public hearing the state will conduct Tuesday.
The Interim Commission on Disaster Preparedness, Response and Recovery hopes to gather information about state and local issues related to disaster.
The hearing will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., or until all speakers have been heard, in Corley Auditorium at Missouri Southern State University.
“We want all the public to be invited,” said Missouri House Speaker Pro Tem Shane Schoeller, of Willard. “We think it’s important to hear about the experiences Joplin residents have gone through since the tornado.”
The commission was created by House Speaker Steven Tilley, of Perryville.
Hearings also will be held in other areas of the state that were hit last year by flooding and tornadoes.
Tilley said in a news release that the state needs to review how it responds to disasters so that it can be better prepared for the future.
Commission members last year toured the state to hear about its immediate response and the needs of residents directly after the disasters.
Schoeller said that now that a year has passed, residents may have thought of suggestions for how to deal with the disasters.
“Time has a way of teaching,” he said. “A year later, we know people are going to have a better sense of the coordination between the state and local level.”
While representatives of local governments, organizations and businesses are expected to speak, residents also should feel welcome to give their input, Schoeller said.
“I think it’s very valuable to have citizen input, and I’m a firm believer there’s a lot of common sense that needs to be learned about things that public officials don’t necessarily see,” he said. “That’s why we want to hear from the people who experienced it firsthand.”
CORLEY AUDITORIUM is located on the east side of Webster Hall on the Missouri Southern State University campus.