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   ST. LOUIS (AP) - A federal review of the 2011 Joplin tornado is calling for stronger building codes and more storm shelters in vulnerable areas.

   The National Institute of Standards and Technology released its 492 page draft report Thursday at a Joplin news conference. The U.S. Department of Commerce agency calls the study the first to take a systematic look at how communities across the country can better prepare for twisters.

   The study's recommendations include improved emergency communication systems to better warn residents of approaching danger. But institute officials emphasized that most of the power to make such changes rests with state and local governments and private businesses.

   The May 2011 Joplin tornado destroyed 8,000 buildings and killed 161 people, making it the country's deadliest single tornado since records have been kept.

 
Published in Local News

   NEOSHO, Mo. (AP) - Several southwest Missouri school districts that have planned new safe rooms since a deadly May 2011 tornado destroyed much of Joplin say their projects could be delayed by the federal shutdown.

   In Neosho that means more than $10 million in projects are on hold because there's nobody at the Federal Emergency Management Agency that can approve the work. Similar projects in Webb City, Avilla and Joplin also are in limbo because of the shutdown.

   The Joplin Globe reports school officials believe a delay in awarding contracts could mean construction on the safe rooms might have to be pushed back until next year.

   An architect for several of the projects says it takes six to eight weeks to complete the bid process after FEMA approves of the designs.

 
Published in Local News

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