Events remind us of the importance of disaster preparedness
The year 2024 has certainly started and continues to show that Allah (God) is definitely in control. Catastrophic weather events happened simultaneously across the United States, the weeks of January 8-17.
On January 9, more than three million people in Florida were under tornado watches issued by the Storm Prediction Center. Fourteen tornadoes were reported across Florida, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina, causing significant damage and prompting rescues in Florida’s panhandle.
More than 29 million people in the U.S. were under a high wind warning on January 9, reflecting winds that were causing widespread power outages. More than 800,000 homes and businesses across the eastern United States had outages, mainly in Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina, New Jersey and Virginia, according to tracker, PowerOutage.us.
Florida Division of Emergency Management Executive Director Kevin Guthrie told FOX Weather about 15 tornado warnings were issued across the Florida Panhandle region on the morning of January 9.
“Suspected tornadoes ripped through multiple communities in the Florida Panhandle early January 9 during severe thunderstorms causing damage to homes and businesses,” reported foxweather.com.
A street in Panama City Beach, Florida, experienced extensive damage, with a home tilted about 15 degrees to one side. In the same city, a marina was destroyed, leaving many boats flipped.
Foxweather.com also reported, “Additionally, seven people were injured in an RV campground in Jackson County, according to Jackson County Public Information Officer Dylan Bass. He added that authorities did rescue an individual who was trapped in their home. This person sustained minor injuries. No fatalities occurred in the campground, Bass noted.”
Christina Muhammad is coordinator for the 10,000 Fearless First Responders in Austin, Texas. “I coordinate when there’s a disaster that takes place, gather logistics. I determine how many people we’re going to need, what type of equipment is needed, what supplies are needed,” she said. The group has assisted on several weather and disaster-related situations around the country.
“We have to get serious about our survival and stop thinking that someone is coming to save you. Everyone is going to be busy saving themselves and their families,” she told The Final Call. “The intensity of the storms is going to get worse. We constantly have to prepare on a bigger scale. There’s so much going on, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has already told us this was going to happen. We have to get out and teach our people as far as what to store in our homes and cars. All of this that we see is the beginning of our sorrows, as the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan said.”
A Buffalo, N.Y., news station WGRZ reported on their website about a potent storm forecasted for January 12-14 that threatened to bring strong winds and rain before changing to snow. Temperatures were also slated to drop.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul issued a statement on January 11, urging New Yorkers to be vigilant, along with issuing early warnings to ensure the state response is speedy and effective.
The National Weather Service New Buffalo, N.Y., stated on X, formerly Twitter, “Heavy lake effect snow bands with gusty winds will occur east of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario Saturday (January 13th) through Sunday (January 14th) night. The snow bands will oscillate north to south, impacting the Buffalo and Watertown Metros. Travel will be difficult to near impossible within snow bands.”
The American Red Cross listed potentially life-saving tips on their website regarding how to stay safe before, during, and after a winter storm: “Winter storms can bring extreme cold, freezing rain, sleet, heavy snowfall, ice, and high winds. These storms can cause transportation, heat, power, and communication disruptions. They also can close schools, stores, and workplaces,” noted the American Red Cross. Tips included:
• Learn emergency skills: Learn first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Emergency services may be delayed. Learn how to spot and treat frostbite and hypothermia. Install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors with battery back-ups. Be ready to live without power, gas, and water. Learn how to keep pipes from freezing.
• Plan to stay warm: Stay warm indoors to prevent frostbite andhypothermia. Before the winter season begins, make sure you can heat your home safely. Prepare your home to keep out the cold with insulation, caulking, and weather stripping. Consider using an indoor thermometer or thermostat to monitor the temperature inside. Plan to check on loved ones and neighbors to make sure they are staying warm. This is especially important for older adults and babies.
Drink plenty of warm fluids but avoid caffeine and alcohol. Avoid travel if you can. If you must go outside, plan to dress properly. Keep your nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, and toes covered in warm, dry clothing. These areas are the first to be at risk for frostbite. Wear layers of loose clothing, a coat, hat, mittens, and water-resistant boots. Use a scarf to cover your face and mouth. Know where you will go if your home becomes too cold. You could go to a friend’s house, a public library, or a warming center.
• Gather emergency supplies: Gather food, water, and medicine before a winter storm. Stores might be closed, and it may be unsafe to travel. Organize supplies into a Go-Kit and a Stay-at-Home Kit. Go-Kit: at least three days of supplies you can carry with you if you need to go somewhere else to stay warm.
Include critical backup batteries and chargers for your devices (cellphone, CPAP, wheelchair, etc.) Stay-at-Home Kit: at least two weeks of supplies. Ensure you have enough warm clothing, such as hats, mittens, and blankets, for everyone in your household. You may lose access to drinking water. Set aside at least one gallon of drinking water per person per day. Consider having emergency supplies in your vehicle, such as a blanket, warm clothing, a first aid kit, and boots.
Have a one-month supply of needed medications and medical supplies. Consider keeping a list of your medications and dosages on a small card to carry with you. Keep personal, financial, and medical records safe and easy to access (hard copies or securely backed up). Have a snow shovel and ice-melting products to keep your walkways safe.
• Plan to stay connected: Sign up for free emergency alerts from your local government. Plan to monitor local weather and news. Have a backup battery or a way to charge your cellphone. Have a battery-powered radio to use during a power outage. Understand the alerts you may receive: A WATCH means Be Prepared! A WARNING means Take Action! Create a support team to help everyone stay safe in a disaster. Plan how you can help each other.
The winter storm also impacted Chicago on January 12, causing flight tracker FlyChicago to report the cancellation of more than 1,000 flights combined between Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Chicago Midway Airport. Parts of the Chicago area was expected to get at least a foot of snow, at Final Call press time, prompting hundreds of school closures, one of Chicago’s premier zoos Brookfield Zoo closed, and Chicago’s power company ComEd reported at least 76,000 power outages.
The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the Eternal Leader of the Nation of Islam, for decades warned the nations of the Earth, specifically America, that the wrath of Allah (God) is imminent due to her wickedness perpetrated against the Black man and woman of America.
The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught that God would use the forces of nature to pummel and punish America.
“The four (4) Great Judgments that Allah (God) promises to destroy America with are now coming upon her … hail, snow, drought, earthquake. Allah (God) has reserved His treasures of snow and ice to be used against the wicked country America in the day of battle and war. These are some of Allah’s (God’s) weapons, the storms that we see going on,” He warned in His book, “The Fall of America.”
He also wrote in the same seminal book, “All around the Southern Border of America, storms are raging. There are tornadoes and heavy rains and more storms are on the way—one right after another. And in the North and Far West and in the East, America is surrounded with the judgments of Allah (God).”
—Shawntell Muhammad, Contributing Writer