Letter to the Editor

Missouri's response to hurricane

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

To the editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to commend all Missourians for their efforts to aid Americans displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Our state is living up to its motto as the Show Me State by offering a helping a hand and welcoming thousands of displaced Americans.

Missouri has almost 2,000 National Guard members committed to the recovery effort. Already, 31 young hospital patients and their families have been transported to Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City from New Orleans on two C-130s belonging to the Missouri Air Guard. The Department of Economic Development's Division of Work Force Development has mobilized 40 career centers to help displaced Americans in our state find work. Close to 500 children from the Gulf Coast are enrolled in schools across the state. Several colleges and universities are prepared to accept late enrollments and offer financial assistance to students who planned to start this semester in Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama.

In order to maximize our impact, we need to be organized. I have appointed Adjutant General King Sidwell to serve as Missouri's hurricane relief coordinator. If you want to help, contact the State Emergency Management Agency at (888) 526-6664 or visit our Web site at katrinarelief.mo.gov. It is important for displaced Americans in Missouri to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency at www.fema.gov or 1-800-621-FEMA to obtain a $2,000 voucher. Registering will help ensure they have access to services offered by the federal government.

MATT BLUNT, Governor, Jefferson City, Mo.