Podcast with Gina Kane: A Second Chance After the Joplin Tornado

Posted by Dr. C.J. Huff on November 20, 2017
Disaster Recovery: Taking the First Steps

I was recently a featured guest on Gina Kane's podcast, "A Second Chance." She and I talked about a second chance I had a number of years ago and what it was like to be a community leader in the aftermath of the devastating Joplin tornado that took place in May of 2011.

Gina had some interesting questions for me. We discussed the factors that motivated me to care so deeply about everyone else, when I could have stayed close to my kids and family. We talked about how this experience has changed me and about the things I am passionate about today.

If you'd like to hear the interview for yourself, just click below. Enjoy!

 Click here to listen to the conversation.

Directly after the storm, I tried Googling “disaster response for dummies”. Nothing came up and gradually began to realize that there is nothing you can do to adequately prepare yourself for this type of traumatic disaster.

I've talked before about the power of trajectory and how critical it is for a recovering community to unite around a plan of action. Casting a vision in the midst of a crisis isn't easy, but it's a crucial component of the rebuilding process.

Just dealing with the unknown was incredibly draining during the aftermath of the storm. I prayed for clarity, strength and guidance during this process. Through that, I realized that my role hadn't really changed. In the Joplin school district, it was my job to make a difference in the daily lives of kids.

Fostering growth in kids and communities is one of the most powerful ways to impact society. Our school system facilitates that growth, so we decided to start school on time in August. It seemed impossible, but that goal drove us to work hard to make it happen, and it did. 

This is just a few snippets of our conversation. Click here to listen to the rest of my interview with Gina or read some of my other articles about the lessons I've learned about building resilient communities

Topics: Community Resilience, Joplin's EF-5 Tornado