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Springfield Disaster Response Committee holds open forum for citizens

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/springfiel_820.mp3

The Springfield Disaster Response Action Committee held a public forum last night to give citizens the chance to voice concerns about disaster relief. Not many people attended the event but there were still some issues important to the public that were addressed. KSMU's Joe Morgan was at the forum and explains the purpose of the meeting and the public's concerns.

The city of Springfield and Greene County established the Disaster Response Action Committee, also known as DRAC. They established this group after the January ice storm to come up with strategies that will help better prepare citizens and organizations if this sort of event happens in the future. General Manager of City Utilities, John Twitty explains the purpose of the DRAC committee.

Twitty says that city Utilities is working on better approaches through customer surveys and these response meetings. He says the biggest complaint about the ice storm was that CU could not tell its customers when their electricity would be restored.

The Director of the Greene County Office of Emergency Management Ryan Nichols explains the biggest complaint he heard during the ice storm.

He says that his office is already making plans for future expansion among other things to help in case this disaster happens again.

DRAC Committee Co-Chair Bernie McCarthy says that the committee was established for one big reason.

Committee Co-Chair Judy Stainbeck says that more people need to attend these meetings because it's important for the committee to know what the concerns of the public are.

Last night's meeting was the second of three open public forums. The last one will be Tuesday June 6th at the Library Station on N. Kansas Expressway from 4:30 to 6:30pm. For KSMU news, I'm Joe Morgan.