By Yaminah Muhammad

DETROIT—From arctic blasts in North America to vicious wildfires across Canada and Hawaii, disasters are constantly impacting various sectors of the global population. Disasters are also seemingly becoming more frequent. Despite this many people fail to properly prepare themselves, their families or their homes for such occurrences. This often leaves them in a state of life-altering suffering during and after these tragedies take place.

To minimize these challenges, Sisters Cecelia Muhammad, Tequella Muhammad and Colette Muhammad, along with Brother Clifton Muhammad, hosted a life-saving workshop during Saviours’ Day 2024 to take on the topic of disaster preparedness. In conducting this survival-focused workshop held Feb. 23, their goal was to aid attendees in creating and maintaining an emergency response plan.

Doing so ignites proactive planning, a discipline taught and emphasized by the Nation of Islam (N.O.I.) for several decades. The survival enhancing workshop was broken down into a three-part presentation—making a plan, domestic hands-on planning, and house preparedness.


All of these work together to build a strong defense against when various natural disasters may strike. The 10 most common disasters include: tornadoes and severe storms, floods/flash floods, incidents of terrorism/mass violence, wildfires, earthquakes and drought/famine.

Sister Cecelia took the stage first to lay the workshop’s foundation. She facilitated an interactive icebreaker to test the audience’s knowledge level about disasters. Through the icebreaker, it became clear that many attendees were not as informed as necessary about how to prepare for disasters. Yet, this was no issue for Sister Cecelia as she offered the audience the opportunity to take the first step in planning their preparation for disasters by understanding the necessary steps to take.

“It’s not going to happen overnight, but you can start today,” she said. 

Sister Tequella offered the audience a hands-on approach to domestic disaster preparations.

“A prudent man foresees the difficulties ahead and prepares for them,” she said quoting the Bible. Her presentation featured a detailed outline on the importance of disaster preparedness and essential ways to establish it in the home. This includes the storing of essential survival tools, drink and foods.

To continue the education on storing foods, Sister Colette instructed the audience on canning, which is the process of preserving foods by placing it in jars and heating properly to specific temperatures. She has made “a goal to teach to the Brown, Black and inner-city communities,” to assure their survival in harsh conditions.

To bring the presentation to a close, Brother Clifton educated the audience on household preparedness. With tips, data, and do-it-yourself methods, he walked the audience through ways to secure their homes from intruders.

“A simple way to detect and prevent trespassing and intruders is to simply get to know your neighbors,” he said, describing community building as an essential tool to disaster preparedness. This advice left one audience member intrigued.  

“We usually just come and go and don’t truly take the time to know the people around us. I’ve been living in the same town for decades and can admit that I don’t truly know my neighbors,” Yolanda Muhammad said. “But now I know that to make a survival plan to secure my family and home, I need to build those relationships.”

Ending with a question-and-answer segment, the workshop galvanized the audience of dozens of believers and people from the community.