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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 5, 2003, 4 p.m.
CONTACT: Tanya Allen, Acting Emergency Manager, (816) 889-1426


Tornado damage update

The Fire Department’s latest estimate of tornado damage in Kansas City, Mo., has determined 25 structures were either destroyed or severely damaged, while 75 structures sustained moderate damage. Fourteen of the severely damaged structures present an eminent danger to public safety and demolition will begin this week.

The Heart of America United Way Community Programs has compiled a list of toll-free numbers for major insurance companies serving the metropolitan area. Residents with storm damage who are not sure what number to call to file claims can call HAUW at (816) 474-5112 Ext. 241 for assistance.

Insurance claims adjustors should contact the Dangerous Buildings Division of the Neighborhoods and Community Services Department, (816) 784-4020, to advise officials of the status of the properties they are assessing. Property owners who have questions regarding the status of their homes also should contact the Dangerous Buildings Division.

Citizens are advised to beware of unscrupulous contractors who may try to contact tornado victims. A complete listing of licensed contractors is on the Codes Administration Department’s Web page at
www.kcmo.org/codes.nsf/web/contrlist. Report unscrupulous contractors to the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, 1-800-392-8222 or log onto www.moago.org.

The Kansas City Health Department has contacted local agencies which offer tornado victims grief or loss counseling services or referrals. The following agencies can provide counseling relief or referrals for services:

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Swope Health Services has a crisis counseling number that residents affected by the tornado can call: (816) 922-7645. Swope Health Services also recommends a state-wide phone number for crisis mental health emergencies: (888) 279-8188.

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The American Red Cross has disaster mental health workers in the field available to assist disaster clients. For referrals for long-term assistance, please call the American Red Cross, (816) 931-8400.

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Affected residents may also call the Salvation Army call center to obtain referrals, (816) 221-1525.

Kansas City Police will continue to patrol the tornado damaged areas and limit access to only emergency workers, contractors and residents who live in the area. Residents are required to show photo IDs that include names and addresses to enter the area. The police have had no reports of attempted looting. Citizens should report suspicious activities to 9-1-1.

    
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