Saturday, February 03, 2007

Who Do We Blame?

Thunderstorms and tornadoes hit central Florida early Friday morning creating extensive devasation and 20 deaths (as of this writing).

Immediately, the "drive-by media" (Rush Limbaugh's term!) were all over the area and airways looking for somewhere or somene to blame.

"Who do we blame?" asked CNN's T. J. Holmes? The weather anchor replied that the "blame" belongs solely to an El Nino weather event.

But the media still asks, "Why aren't there warning sirens in these areas?" "Why isn't the 'reverse 911' protocol in effect yet?"

The plain truth is that these weather events are a regular occurrence in Florida. Newly-elected Governor Charlie Crist acknowledges this truth. He said that these extreme weather events are part of living in areas like beautiful Florida.

While we sympathize and pray for the people in Florida affected by this tragedy, we must also shift from the attitude of blame to one of personality responsibility. Simple measures can help.

This storm hit in the early hours of the morning. Many families were alseep and could not hear the warnings on the radio and television. But a home weather radio would have sounded an alarm to wake up the family. Every household needs to own a weather radio. One can be purchased from as little as $20 to on up for more sophisticated models. (Also check out National Weather Radio online).

People who live in mobile homes need to utilize the ties for securing the unit. Even though strong winds can knock down these trailers, it may help to minimize damage or save lives. Inspectors showed reporters many totally destroyed mobile homes that had not been tied down.

The purpose of this post is not to "blame the victim". The purpose is not to "blame" anyone. We must prepare ourselves in life the best we can for what we know will happen sooner or later. It is not a matter of "if" but "when".

Even if we prepare ourselves well, Allah (swt) will still tests us. He tells us in our beautiful Book:

"Be sure We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives, or the fruits of your toil, but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere, who say, when afflicted with calamity: 'To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return." They are those on whom descend blessings from Allah, and Mercy, and they are the ones that receive guidance." (2:155-157)

To the Muslims in Florida affected by this most recent test: Hang in there. We will all be saying dua for you. Be patient and know that Allah (swt) will help you and reward you.

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