The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 2011 Joplin tornado

May 21, 2013

Farmers Insurance teams up with Rebuild Joplin

JOPLIN, Mo. — Farmers Insurance announced Tuesday that the company will team up with Rebuild Joplin for an initiative to help the community complete its recovery efforts.

The company already has placed one of its executives in Joplin, and it is pledging additional funds and volunteer hours by company workers to go toward the city’s recovery.

“Our commitment goes beyond disaster response; we need to be there to the end. So we’re stepping up with additional resources to make sure you cross the finish line,” said Chuck Browning, head of sponsorships and corporate giving for the company, at a news conference Tuesday.

The announcement was made at 2430 S. Murphy Ave., site of the 70th home to be constructed or renovated by Rebuild Joplin. Volunteers from Farmers, including company board members and executives, worked inside, hanging drywall.

The commitment was welcomed by Jerrod Hogan, executive director of Rebuild Joplin.

“We appreciate they have stepped up to continue to help Joplin,” he said. “As time passes, it’s harder to secure the resources, and there are still 350 families out there that need housing.”

The news conference was attended by city officials, state representatives from the Joplin area and John Huff, director of the Missouri Department of Insurance. Huff said Farmers was the first company to arrive in Joplin with disaster crews after the 2011 tornado. He said he is pleased that the company “is still helping Joplin two years later.”

Browning said the insurance company’s pledge is part of a Caring for Communities program that was launched to mark its 85th year in business.

Nan Truel, head of specialty services operations for Farmers, has moved from Grand Rapids, Mich., to Joplin to oversee the effort for the next six months. In addition, employees of Farmers have pledged more than 10,000 volunteer hours to Joplin over the next year.

Browning said Truel will work “to focus our resources and expedite the recovery.” She also will be documenting local efforts for use in a “best practices playbook” that Farmers will compile and give to communities hit by disasters in the future.

“We think it’s just phenomenal that they would want to send someone to work in Joplin, to help us cross the finish line, and to educate others,” Hogan said.

Joplin Mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean agreed, saying the commitment “will give Joplin residents continued hope.”

The owners of the home under construction were not at the event because one of the couple was in the hospital. Hogan said the two moved to Illinois after their home was destroyed.

“They were trying to gain custody of their grandchildren, then they didn’t have a home,” he said. “Now, they have the grandchildren and a home to raise them in.”

$2 billion

WHEN ALL CLAIMS ARE PAID, insurance companies will have paid out more than $2 billion in connection with the Joplin tornado, said John Huff, director of the Missouri Department of Insurance. He praised the response of the insurance industry, saying more than $1 billion in claims were paid in the first 100 days after the tornado.

Text Only
May 2011 Joplin tornado
  • Local new-home construction catches up to previous pace

    After a slow start early in this fiscal year for Joplin, the construction of new houses has resumed at the pace that existed in fiscal year 2013, when permits for new houses averaged more than 16 per month. Since November, the beginning of Joplin’s fiscal year, permits for 118 houses have been issued for a total cost of $12.8 million. The average value has been about $108,000.

    June 11, 2014

  • 052212 unity walk1_72.jpg SLIDESHOW: One year later, One day of unity, updated Photos from a day of events commemorating the May 22, 2011 tornado anniversary

    May 22, 2012 1 Photo

  • 060314 Farmers rebuild 1_72.jpg Farmers Insurance writes manual based on experience from Joplin disaster recovery

    Joplin’s housing recovery from the 2011 tornado is one for the books. Jeff Dailey, CEO of Farmers Insurance, announced Tuesday that not only will Farmers Insurance stick with Rebuild Joplin to repair and replace the homes left on the local group’s waiting list, but the company also will kick off a similar recovery effort today for the city of Sea Bright, New Jersey, based on a book it has written to expedite disaster recovery that is based on its experience in Joplin.

    June 3, 2014 2 Photos

  • r052214butterflygarden.jpg New park feature opens on tornado anniversary to encourage healing

    Cunningham Park has become an emotional place for Pamela Praytor. The name of her son, Christopher Lucas, is engraved on a monument that stands in the park in memory of the 161 people who were killed in the May 2011 tornado. “Even though I cry when I come, it’s OK,” she said. “It’s part of the healing.”

    May 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • r051214greenbldgs3.jpg Home, business cited as examples of energy efficiency, strength

    Ramona and Charles “Hugh’’ Shields were not the least bit reluctant on Monday to open their new house in the tornado zone to a bunch of strangers who had a lot of questions. “I used to live in a house where I had to wear two pairs of socks in the winter to keep my feet warm — not anymore,’’ said Ramona Shields. “This house is nice and warm in the winter, and nice and cool in the summer.’’

    May 12, 2014 2 Photos

  • Mercy Health System to receive $23 million FEMA grant

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide Mercy Health System of Joplin with $23 million in public assistance funding by the end of the year. The disaster relief was announced Friday by U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

    April 25, 2014

  • Respond With Love flower.jpg Joplin pays it forward with flowers; residents asked to return bulbs ‘fostered’ for other towns

    Suzan Morang’s front yard bloomed brightly last year from a colorful array of bulbs that she will happily pass on to someone else this year. Morang, 1207 Xenia Court, is a participant in America Responds With Love, a national nonprofit organization that distributes bulbs to disaster-stricken cities.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Creator of Joplin-based ‘Dear World’ exhibit features Boston bombing victims in new work

    The messages written on the skin of some Boston Marathon victims may be different, but Joplin residents will recognize the handwriting. Robert X. Fogarty, the creator of the “Dear World: From Joplin with Love” exhibit, took his signature style of photography and inspiration to Boston. Fogarty traveled to Joplin in 2011 and took pictures of community members with inspirational messages written on their bodies in black ink.

    April 21, 2014

  • r041414wildwood.jpg Opening of nursing home another recovery milestone

    Gladys Dutton has done a lot of things in her life, but Monday’s dedication of the Communities at Wildwood Ranch nursing home marked a first. “I’ve never cut a ribbon before,” she said. “I hope I do a good job.” Dutton was one of four residents to participate in the opening of the $8.5 million nursing center that eventually will be home to 120 people.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joplin Redevelopment Corp. preparing for first property sale

    The first sale of property from the Joplin Redevelopment Corp. to Wallace Bajjali Development Partners is scheduled for May 16. The city staff will be working to prepare for that sale, it was discussed on Tuesday at a meeting of the JRC.

    April 9, 2014

Purchase Globe Photos

Featured Ads
Tornado: Multimedia coverage
Tornado: Obituaries
Tornado: Columns
Tornado: Mike Pound
Tornado: Lists of missing, fatalities & relief
Tornado: Donate & volunteer
Tornado: Resources & relief