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Local disaster relief team making sure people can get back on their feet

When disaster strikes, many people come to answer the calls for help. But the help is needed the most in the aftermath and recovery efforts. One local group wants you to know that they are ready for that part

Posted: Sep 21, 2018 9:08 AM

(St. Joseph, Mo.)—If a tornado would go through Buchanan County, would you know what to do or where to go?

Local emergency mangers want you to know they are ready and it's all thanks to M.A.R.C.—Multi-Agency Resource Center.

It's a place you can find out what help and resources are available to individuals and their families to put their lives back together.

"Last year, there was a tornado in Smithville and they set up a M.A.R.C. in Smithville. I was down there and observed it," said Bill Brinton, Buchanan County Emergency Management Director. "There was a lot of people who came through it because their lives are in shatters and there's a place where they can find out how to do the things that they need and get their lives back to normal."

The Buchanan County COAD (Community Organizations Active in Disasters) Team have been putting this center together now for quiet sometime. It includes state and local organizations like the department of insurance, the health department and the American Red Cross.

"We simply reached out to the same partners we deal with on an everyday basis and brought them together to talk about how we can show this process,how it benefits our community," said JoAnn Woody of the American Red Cross.

On Thursday morning, they conducted a M.A.R.C. exercise, as if it was the real deal. Actors who played the victims were pretty pleased with the process and the help they received.

"Having the person walk with me through every station. Having all the stations there. Everyone knows their job. They knew what everyone else was doing too. That helped out a lot. Everyone will be well taken care of," Actor Curtis Lanning said.

The team says this couldn't be done without the hard working volunteers who make this possible.

"We stand at the ready and we can do it in a heartbeat. None of us can do what we do without the support of our community behind us. It turns into the community helping the community," Woody said.

The M.A.R.C. team is planning to do more practice disaster runs in the future.

They want to remind you that you and your family should always have a preparedness plan in place before disaster strikes.

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Cooler air has moved back over northeast Missouri and northeast Kansas on Friday. Temperatures only made it into the lower 30's on Friday with light winds across the mid west. A storm system will form and will head our way by Saturday night and Sunday. The chance for a rain and snow mix will be there as we go into Sunday night and Monday.
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