The city of Independence has been designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to take on refugees in the case of a natural disaster.

The Mayor of Independence says the city can take on nearly 9 thousand refugees should another natural disaster occur somewhere in the United States. Mayor Don Reimal says part of that comes from a partnership between Kansas City and Louisiana that started after Hurricane Katrina.

He says it wouldn’t have to be people from a Hurricane or a coastal state for refugees to be sent to Independence though. He says for example, if there were to be an earthquake in St. Louis, those people could go to Independence for help.

Reimal says there are more than a thousand people trained in the area to be volunteers at a shelter should Independence take in refugees. He says the American Red Cross has provided some of that readiness training.

(AUDIO) Allison Blood reports. Mp3 [1:03]