Friday, June 23, 2017

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During National Preparedness Month FEMA Deputy Administrator Tim Manning stressed that most emergency management professionals believe that his agency has made significant progress since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. However, Manning also argued that most Americans are not sufficiently prepared for natural disasters.

While Manning does not support his view with specific data, CEN would share his opinion. CEN recognized that the Church itself did not have a heart problem in wanted to respond and it did not even have a resource problem at the local level, but the Church has a huge “FACILITATION” problem in harnessing its own resources and leveraging them with the Gospel. This is why CEN created the ReadyChristian, ReadyChurch and ReadyCity programs to assist the Christian community in biblical readiness and response for such a time as this.

 “But I cannot afford it!” How often we hear that answer. Yet, many believe mistakenly that they cannot afford to prepare. Having an evacuation communication plan with your family and rinsing out used milk containers then filling them with water is not a matter of cost. It is a matter of attitude followed by action. Picking up one more can of beans and stocking up for a couple of months is not costly since you rotate out the item and will use it anyway! This is why CEN offers ReadyChristian online training FREE so no one is unable to become biblically ready to respond.

Prayers have been answered for residents of New Orleans as the city itself was spared massive damage largely due to levees having been strengthened after Katrina. Meanwhile, preliminary assessments on the disaster needs in greater New Orleans, MS, and LA are still challenging due to the extensive flooding. The suburbs of New Orleans appears to have taken the largest hit as local levees have been breached and damage to the 26 mile long beach areas of MS. In some areas whole communities are now underwater and in LaPlace LA more than 3100 residents evacuated in a rescue operations because they had not heeded the evacuation order. Isaac has dumped more than 20 inches of rain in three days. Mississippi’s Lake Tangipahoa swelled beyond its banks. Authorities will have to release some of the water to avoid 60,000 people from losing their homes to 17 feet of flooding. Governor Jindall is urging the residents in the area to evacuate. 5,000 people have been moved to shelters and almost one million are without power in the Gulf States.


Isaac has generated twisters and continues as a tropical depression headed for Illinois, Missouri, and the Ohio River Valley and may dump up to ten inches of rain as it moves northward. The rain will arrive as farmers see it as bad timing. After so many years and months of little rain and weakened harvests, the excessive rain may damage what was hoped to be a comeback harvest season.

US forecasters expect Tropical Storm Isaac to hit Haiti and Cuba, the National Hurricane Center projected that Isaac would become a hurricane on Thursday and make landfall Saturday near the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay in southern Cuba. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate issued a statement for families to take this seriously and prepare families, homes and businesses according to AP News report. 

Isaac is potentially a very dangerous storm for Haiti, where 400,000 people still live outside underneath tarps in the wake of the 2010 earthquake. Heavy rains from Isaac will begin on Friday morning in Haiti, and last through Sunday. Rainfall amounts of 8 - 12 inches are possible, which will be capable of causing extreme flooding on the vegetation-denuded slopes of Haiti. It will be a major challenge to keep those Haitians living outside safe, if rainfall amounts of 5 - 10 inches occur.

CEN calls on those in the path of the Tropical Storm Isaac to review their ReadyChristian emergency plans with family and friends to prepare for the potential landfall later this week. CEN calls upon churches who have completed their ReadyChurch training to insure they have notified CEN of their availability in the area to respond. Contact CEN with your ReadyChurch updates. And, for Christian networks in cities all across Florida, if you have not completed the ReadyCity assessment and notified CEN of your readiness to respond, we would ask that you contact CEN immediately.

Whether it is the Milwaukee shooting this past week or the 5- 10 churches who may be affected by a fire incident this month nationwide, no Christian organization or church is immune from a potential incident that has never occurred before.

Having good strong relationships with your local law enforcement is key to a quick effective preparedness plan and response.

ReadyCity and ReadyChurch Security officers will find these few tips helpful with building relationships with local law enforcement.

 

 

On Wednesday Department of Homeland Security and the FBI issued a bulletin to DHS partners across the nation that while there is no specific threat to the U.S. known at this time, they remain concerned “lone wolf” terrorists could use the date to avenge the death of former Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.

In open source websites terrorist groups such as Al-Shabaab in Somalia, Northern Africa’s Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and the Pakistani Taliban have called for revenge against the United States for killing bin Laden during the May 1, 2011, raid on his hideout in Pakistan. Websites indicate Al Qaeda or its affiliates would view an attack ‘on this anniversary as a symbolic victory,’ especially in the wake of losses suffered by Al Qaeda through U. S. drone attacks and other efforts overseas.

This comes as a reminder to report suspicious activity to your local law enforcement. It is a call for vigilance and community responsiveness.