For the 2011 hurricane season, which spans June 1 until November 30, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is forecasting at least 12-18 tropical storms, 6-10 hurricanes and 3-6 major hurricanes.
President Barack Obama declared May 22-28 as National Hurricane Preparedness Week to emphasize the need for individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and families to prepare emergency plans, create emergency supply kits, and learn evacuation routes.
“Our nation has seen devastating hurricanes and storms, and we must not let our guard down as we prepare for this year's hurricane season. By working together, government, private and nonprofit organizations, emergency responders, and private citizens can help save lives and reduce the damage caused by these storms,” said Pres. Obama in his May 21 proclamation.
“Far too many people will not be prepared and will try to get ready in the last minutes when a hurricane is threatening their community and not have enough time,” said Craig Fugate, FEMA’s Administrator.
Captain Khallid Greene, founder of Houston Inner-City Emergency Response Team (IN-CERT), is encouraging residents to “not wait for the government” but to take personal responsibility.
“As I see these tornadoes hitting like this I really wish our people would take disaster training serious. It’s not the government’s responsibility to save us. As a matter of fact they can’t possibly rescue us all so we need people in every community trained and ready,” said Capt. Greene.
Houston IN-CERT marked the country’s nationally recognized week by hosting its 2nd Annual Awareness for Preparedness Walk from the seawall in Galveston, TX back to the Bayou City on May 20-22.
People from across the state joined Capt. Greene in a mini bootcamp and the intense 55.5 mile trek up the Interstate 45 North Freeway with the goal of warning communities to get ready before it is too late. The walk ended at the S.H.A.P.E. Community Center in Third Ward.
“We not only walked and raised awareness in communities, but we went through various drills with participants to check our readiness for various situations. It is all about self-determination, not waiting on FEMA,” said Capt. Greene.
|(Capt. Greene leads the 2nd Annual Walk from Galveston to Houston)|
Christina Muhammad, a resident of nearby Austin, joined Nation of Islam members from her city, Dallas, San Antonio and Houston who participated in the annual event.
“We brought Houston IN-CERT to our city last year and the training was so valuable. Then to complete this 55.5 mile walk and readiness tests showed us that we have a lot in us. We must get out in the community and warn our people of what Minister Farrakhan has warned is coming and has come,”said Mrs. Muhammad.
Houston IN-CERT offers free 8-week disaster preparedness training in May and August. They also frequently conduct workshops for civic clubs, neighborhoods centers, and religious groups throughout the state.
Residents can learn how to prepare for natural or man-made disasters; extinguish small fires; basic medical aid and treatment for shock; search for and rescue victims; and walk away with a certification to go along with a backpack of survival necessities.
“Everyone must get prepared and get resources in our homes now. Reach out to the people in your community to see how we can invest in survival needs together. And please take some kind of training and outline a plan for your family. We perform the way we practice,” advised Capt. Greene.
If you're interested in taking any of their free class in August or in 2012, please click the flyer below or visit their website http://in-cert.com
(You're welcome to follow Brother Jesse Muhammad on Twitter @BrotherJesse)