Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today traveled to Joplin, Mo. where she joined Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, Joplin Mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean, Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Deputy Administrator Rich Serino and Red Cross President Gail McGovern to participate in the 2nd Annual Day of Remembrance of the Joplin tornado. During the event, Secretary Napolitano presented the 2012 Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience to Jane Cage, Chair of the Citizens Advisory Recovery Team (CART), and the citizens of Joplin, recognizing their contributions in the aftermath of the devastating tornadoes in May 2011.
"Earlier, I was in Moore, Oklahoma, where the community is still responding to the impacts of severe weather, and the federal government is bringing all available resources to bear to support our state and local partners, emergency managers, and first responders as they work to recover and rebuild," said Secretary Napolitano. "It is truly remarkable to see how far the Joplin community has come, not just getting back on your feet, but rebuilding stronger, and more resilient, serving as a model for communities across our nation."
The entire Joplin community has played an important role in the recovery process, deciding together to build more resilient schools outside of the floodplain, develop stronger standards for home construction, and to develop shared facilities to use as storm shelters. As Chair of CART in Joplin, Jane Cage demonstrated exceptional leadership in helping the Joplin community recover from the devastating tornado.
During the ceremony, a moment of silence was observed at 5:41 PM to commemorate the loss of 161 lives on May 22, 2011.
Last year, Secretary Napolitano announced the creation of the Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience, in memory of Richard "Rick" Rescorla, who on September 11, 2001 led a massive evacuation of Morgan Stanley's 2,700-person workforce located in the South Tower, saving the lives of many of his coworkers. The Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience is the Department of Homeland Security's first national resilience award for superior leadership and innovation by a non-governmental individual or organization who exemplifies the qualities and achievements of Rick Rescorla, emphasizing leadership in effective preparation, response, and recovery in the face of disasters.
Earlier today, Secretary Napolitano, FEMA Deputy Administrator Serino and Red Cross President McGovern traveled to Moore, Okla. where they met with Governor Mary Fallin, Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb, U.S. Representative Tom Cole, Mayor Glenn Lewis, and other state and local officials to ensure that first responders are receiving the assistance they need in on-going response and recovery efforts to the severe weather that impacted the region.
For more information, visit www.dhs.gov.