One year ago, a devastating tornado in Joplin, Mo. killed 161 people, destroyed buildings and tossed debris 70 miles. Radio delivered lifesaving information to citizens during the disaster and responded quickly to help rebuild Joplin.
Zimmer Radio’s KZRG-AM organized a Day of Unity to recognize the tornado’s anniversary. Nearly 6,000 people joined station staff for a 3.5-mile walk along the tornado’s path. Around 8,500 people, including Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, gathered in the rebuilt Cunningham Park to honor the 161 residents who died. Nationally syndicated radio and TV host Clark Howard covered the tornado live last year for a local television station; on the one year anniversary of the tornado, he broadcast from a Habitat for Humanity site in Joplin where he helped build a home. Cox Media’s KRMG-FM in nearby Tulsa, OK provided $35,000 to support the Habitat build. "As for Joplin, this build will take a while. But this town is coming back and as the walls go up, hope returns to the citizens of Joplin," said Howard.