Missouri Governor on Katrina

Blunt Lauds Missourians Compassionate Response, Willingness to Help Victims of Hurricane Katrina
Provides Information on Best Ways to Assist those in Need

ST. LOUIS—Gov. Matt Blunt lauded the overwhelming show of support people throughout Missouri have given or volunteered to the victims of Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast Region.

At a news conference here, Blunt encouraged Missourians who are interested in donating their time or resources to contact the State Emergency Management Office in Jefferson City by phone at (888) 526-6664 or by visiting their Internet site, www.sema.dps.mo.gov.

Blunt also talked about two Executive Orders he issued today allowing physicians from Louisiana and Mississippi to treat patients that have been transported to St. Louis and other parts of the state, and a waiver he issued today temporarily lifting the state mandate on the sale of reformulated gas in Kansas City and St. Louis.

"The tremendous devastation along the Gulf Coast is shocking and disheartening," Blunt said. "Melanie and I join millions of Missourians who are keeping all those who have been displaced or have lost loved ones in our prayers. I have pledged any and all support to those states suffering the most from this devastating storm."

To date, Blunt has mobilized 1,000 members of the National Guard who will provide security, engineering and transportation support for rescue efforts in the Gulf Coast region. The governor also directed the Department of Transportation to waive regulatory permits for commercial motor carriers involved in relief efforts and has asked the attorney general to investigate potential price gouging on gasoline.

In addition to the governor’s actions, state and local governments, charities and the private sector are also offering assistance to those in need. St. Louis County is working with the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, local plumbers, electricians and businesses to open a former jail in Chesterfield as housing.

The Branson Chamber of Commerce is helping coordinate a community-wide effort to provide lodging, jobs and entertainment for hurricane victims. Hospitals throughout the state are caring for patients transported from impacted areas and several Missouri businesses have donated supplies and personnel to help with relief efforts.

Next week Blunt will donate blood at a Red Cross blood drive at the Missouri Governor’s mansion in Jefferson City on Wednesday, Sept. 7. The Red Cross is seeking blood, financial and time donations from citizens throughout the state. Those interested can obtain information at the Red Cross Internet site, www.redcrossblood.org