Joplin mo., One Year Later
missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has been a regular fixture in Joplin since the multi-vortex twister ravaged the city last year.
At the Freeman memorial service held on
May 22, 2012, Baker lauded Gov. Nixon
for his ongoing commitment to rebuilding the community from the ground up.
The morning service culminated in the
release of sky lanterns to pay tribute to
the “selflessness and love” that has defined a community.
A number of commemorative events
took place on the one-year anniversary,
including a Walk of Unity through the
path of the tornado, as well as ceremonial
groundbreaking festivities for various
schools, including Irving Elementary and
the new site of Joplin High School/Frank-lin Technology Center.
G GOVERNOR JAY NIxON
G SKY LANTERNS HONOR RESCUE WORKERS AND
Photos courtesy of Dwight Douglas, all rights reserved.
the storm. Miraculously Freeman West
Hospital, located just a few blocks from
St. John’s, was largely spared damage of
similar enormity but nevertheless was
reeling from the impact of the storm.
Ambulances were out of commission,
and so critically injured residents began
arriving via pickup trucks. The wounded
were dropped off at the hospital parking
lot, which would morph into a makeshift
triage area. Dwight Douglas, general counsel for Freeman Health System, worked
alongside doctors, nurses and volunteers
at the emergency room for 6 continuous
hours, and is thus intimately familiar with
devastating injuries, such as severed limbs
and objects impaled in bodies.
“We handled at least 500 traumatic injuries and performed 22 life-saving surgeries
in about 10 hours,” Douglas explains.
With so many in need, getting the hospital functional was of paramount importance. Douglas immediately contacted
CNA, with whom Freeman carries total
replacement coverage of $450 million, for
“This is when you get to see if an insurance company has adjusters in the field
with the necessary experience, and if the
company can bring in experts who can
quickly assess the damage and begin remediation,” he said.
It might be fair to say that Douglas,
like many commercial insurance customers, was exhibiting the healthy skepticism
required of a prudent gatekeeper of immense resources.
“Before [Douglas] could report the
loss, we were already preparing for possible deployment to Joplin,” Klingaman
says. How can this be?
“One can never be too prepared,” he
continues. “Make the weather channel
your friend. You should always be in-
formed so you can be of service to the
Klingaman immediately called Todd
H. Waers, a property general adjuster at
CNA, instructing him to “pack his bags.”
All of this transpired before the call from
“When he asked when we could be
there, my response was four minutes,”
Klingaman says. “We then identified the
key players and contacted the local agent.”
Involving the agent, Waers and Klingaman say, is essential because of the relationship already established. An insured
will obviously not know the claims adjuster, so the agent can ease the comfort
level and provide assurance that everyone
is acting in his or her best interest.
CNA then supplied Douglas with all
pertinent contact information—including
cell phone numbers and email addresses.
This illustrates another essential compo-
nent of the catastrophe response equa-
tion, Waers points out.
Joplin p. 28 A