Dear UM System community,
It has been a terrible day for many Missourians. We know faculty, staff and students at all four universities share our sorrow for the devastating losses experienced due to destructive storms, as well as our dedication to helping with the recovery.
After months of ongoing flooding, a series of tornadoes caused significant structural damage to many business and homes in Jefferson City, Eldon and other communities, and tragically took the lives of three of our citizens in Golden City. We do not yet know the extent of the damage in many areas of the state. However, additional storms may affect our state this evening, and ongoing rain will cause even greater flooding across Missouri.
As these communities assess the damage and brace for further flooding, the UM System is working to provide support to our fellow Missourians in need—from clean-up efforts to assisting citizens as they navigate the emotional and physical stress of a natural disaster. As needs become clearer, we will work to find ways that we can be of assistance.
The University of Missouri-Columbia (MU) is offering temporary, on-campus housing for storm-displaced University of Missouri and MU Health employees, students and their families, as well as those connected to Lincoln University. Those interested in housing should contact MU Residential Life at 573-882-7275.
MU Health Care has authorized a pledge of up to $50,000 to provide care to health care workers experiencing trauma due to recent tornadoes. Additional information will be available soon.
MU Extension County Emergency Management Program teams have activated in Cole County, with specific disaster-related training in health and nutrition. Lynda Zimmerman and her colleagues will provide recovery information and education around food safety and storm cleanup, as well as recommendations for avoiding heat stress while working on storm recovery. To learn more, call the Cole County Extension Center at 573-634-2824.
If you would like to help efforts in Jefferson City, the Cole County Emergency Management Agency is opening a Volunteer Reception Center at 8 a.m. tomorrow in Jefferson City. Interested parties can also call 2-1-1. Volunteers will be organized by the St. Louis United Way.
Over the past month, many in northwest Missouri have lost homes and livelihoods to flooding, with ongoing accumulation threatening even more areas in our state each day. In order to get essential supplies to those who need them most, the UM System is raising money in partnership with Feeding Missouri. Whether you would like to donate to this effort or access some of the many disaster-related educational resources that are available to you, please visit the Disaster Resources and Support webpage.
Dr. Guirong (Grace) Yan, assistant professor of structural engineering at Missouri S&T, is an expert in wind engineering. She and her team are available to assess damage in Missouri communities struck by tornadoes and will use this data to develop recommendations for tornado-resistant building designs, which will help improve building codes in the future. To receive damage assessment support from Dr. Yan, please reach out to Missouri S&T at (573) 341-4328.
These are just a few of the efforts underway, but there are many ways that we can all contribute and show our fellow Missourians who have been touched by these terrible events that they are not alone.
Thank you for your concern and your continued efforts to support those in your own communities and beyond. Let’s ensure our collective resilience and continued collaboration are a foundation upon which others can rebuild.
Mun Y. Choi, President, UM System
Alexander N. Cartwright, Chancellor, MU
C. Mauli Agrawal, Chancellor, UMKC
Christopher G. Maples, Interim Chancellor, Missouri S&T
Thomas F. George, Chancellor, UMSL