Blaine's Bulletin: Rebuilding Together

Washington, May 31, 2019

Last week, Americans across the nation awoke to terrifying images of destruction after tornadoes ripped through Mid-Missouri. Our community suffered massive damage including the destruction of more than seventy-five buildings and hundreds of other homes and businesses across the Jefferson City and Eldon areas. In the aftermath of Wednesday’s storm, our neighbors have shown immense kindness and resilience.

After witnessing the power of mother nature, we’ve seen the best of humanity. Our first responders drove into the storm to protect our communities, faith-based, private, and non-profit organizations are delivering truckloads of emergency supplies and drinking water to local Missouri communities, while volunteers from near and far have donated their time to disaster relief efforts. If you’re interested in volunteering to help those dealing with devastating damage, I urge you to visit United Way of Central Missouri’s website and register to volunteer.

As volunteers assist our community in rebuilding and recovery efforts, please be cautious. Volunteers must be alert when entering property as safety is of the utmost importance. In addition, those who are in the process of recovery and rebuilding must stay vigilant as they turn to professional service providers for help.

Unfortunately, while many organizations will show compassion and kindness, some people may take advantage of those affected by the devastation. In order to protect yourself and your business make sure you are working with a licensed service provider, inquire whether the service provider has adequate insurance, and don’t be pressured into hiring anyone. You may also find important guidance on post-disaster insurance claims on the Missouri Insurance Department’s website or by phone at the Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-726-7390.

Governor Mike Parson has activated the Missouri National Guard to help with response efforts and praised emergency alerts for working as they were intended to during the tornado; saving many lives. Immediately following the tornado, I pledged to help our devastated communities in any way I can. I will continue advocating for Missouri to receive disaster aid and will work to ensure my constituents have the resources they need as rebuilding efforts continue.

I am blown away by the many good Samaritan stories I’ve heard from across Missouri’s third district. As our neighbors, loved ones, and friends continue to face the reality of the devastation, I hope we can all work together to assist in the rebuilding efforts. The people of Jefferson City and Eldon are resilient, and I stand ready to work hand-in-hand with state and local officials as our communities come back better than ever.