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Mar 12, 2012 6:20 AM by AP

Unlikely partners unite after natural disasters

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Two cities with little in common are forging an unlikely partnership to change the way American cities prepare for and recover from natural disasters.

Civic leaders from Joplin, Mo., recently visited New Orleans to observe its recovery from Hurricane Katrina. Joplin was hit by a tornado 10 months ago that killed 161 people and destroyed 4,000 homes.

A successful New Orleans nonprofit that rebuilds homes across the city has added a similar Joplin-based group to its organization. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu hopes the two local governments also can forge a relationship.

A founder of Rebuild Joplin expects the collaboration will allow the southwest Missouri city to share its own disaster recovery expertise with other communities yet to be harmed by severe weather.

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