Our team left Seattle at 11:00am on Friday and drove non-stop to arrive in Joplin an hour earlier on Sunday and immediately went to work.
Our first interview was with professional storm chasers, PDS Storm Tours whom we met at Cunningham park in the center of the tornado’s path. They shared insights into how to spot tornadoes and offered disaster preparedness tips, to include: everyone pursue basic weather education and maintain an emergency kit of water, cash, a flashlight, batteries and a radio.
Next we attended a reading from the Book of Job, put on by Outside the Wire, featuring award-winning actors: Paul Giamatti, David Strathairn and Arliss Howard. After the reading there was an open discussion where the people of Joplin discussed compassion fatigue, survivor’s guilt, the kindness of strangers and coping with the stress of disaster. We interviewed Phyllis Kaufman, co-founder of Outside the Wire, who spoke about social impact media.
After that we filmed a show at Solace Church, a youth ministry that builds community through alternative Christian music. Headliners War of Ages gave us a shout out and Josh got in a stage dive with his camera.
We closed out our day with a midnight supply run at the Joplin Wal-Mart and a quick camp set up at the KOA.