Preparing for the Storm –November 7, 2013

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The texts started last night. The first was from Sister Schmutz.

Hello couples,

We have been alerted by the Church of the powerful typhoon heading into our area. Its path brings it over the upper part of Cebu; obviously we will all feel the effects. We have asked all missionaries to have emergency food and water in their apartments, enough to last 3 days. It is expected to come in late Thursday and early Friday, moving out on Sunday. We are asking you to please help us monitor the safety of the missionaries. Encourage them to have their supplies and move valuables to the upper levels of their apartments in case of flooding. We feel most missionaries will be safest waiting out the storm in their own apartments, but if you feel like some areas are vulnerable would you please let us know and we will combine apartments. We want to make sure that we know where all the missionaries are throughout the storm. Thanks for all you do. This is turning out to be a quite an eventful month.

Love you,

 Sister Schmutz

The zone Leaders sent a text to all the missionaries. On Thursday morning we received a test from President Schmutz.

As we have watched the developments of STV Yolanda, we can see that it will make landfall in Samar/Leyte Friday before noon as a category 5 Super Typhoon. It is very wide and a very powerful storm with the potential to be very destructive. The eye will pass north of Cebu but because of its size, we will probably sustain a lot of high winds (200km/hour) and much rain (4 to 8 inches) across Cebu and Negros.

So we need to take precautions. Please contact the Zone Leaders and ask them to notify all missionaries that if anyone did not stock up with 72 hours of food, water, and candles, it is absolutely necessary to do that before 1 PM today.

Also notify the Lamac elders to travel this morning to Pinamungajan and stay with the elders there until the storm has passed. Ask the upper Busay elders to come into the city and stay with the other Busay or Apas elders. We are concerned about mud slides in the higher elevations.

Have all the missionaries who live right near the ocean be prepared for flooding from the ocean storm surge. They should pick up all valuables or books and materials off the bottom floor and move it to the top floor of their apartments.

 I want to have every missionary in their apartment no later than 5 PM today (Thursday) and stay in the apartment until after the storm has passed.

 Missionaries should not use any more load on their phones so that they can save load for communication during or after the storm.

 I want every missionary to notify their district leader to confirm they are safe in their apartments tonight by 6 PM. DL’s report to ZL’s and ZL’s report to AP’s by 7 PM. I want reports given again at 8 AM Friday morning, at noon Friday, and at 6 PM and 10 PM Friday; then again at 8 AM Saturday and noon Saturday.

The storm should be pretty well passed by noon Saturday. We will give further notice as developments occur. Elders, if you can think of any apartments that are right on the ocean, contact me. We might have them relocate to another apartment or to the nearest church.

Let me know if you have any questions.


President Schmutz

We contacted the Zone Leaders. They had texted and tried to call the Lamac elders, but had not received an answer. Cell phone reception in the Lamac area is very spotty. They said that they would contact the Pinamungajan elders and ask if they had heard from the Lamac elders.

We went to the bank, to the market, and to the mall to get more supplies. When we returned, Elder Hall moved everything that might be moved by the wind into our house.

As no one had yet heard from Lamac, Elder Hall and one of the Zone Leaders went to get them. The trip took about 4 hours, but was uneventful. The Lamac elders had not gotten any texts, and were busily going about their work.

I stayed in our house, as there are four elders in Lamac and room in the pickup is limited. It showered on and off all day. The electricity was on and off all day. The water was on and off all day.

We were excited to be able to find some dry beans in the store this morning. They were labeled as “white kidney” beans, but look more like Great Northern beans. It was the first time we have been able to find dry beans. Even canned beans in the store are in tiny cans and very limited in variety.  I put the beans on to cook with some bacon. After all, it is November and there is a storm coming. When Elder Hall and the ZL returned, we had a feast.

The sister missionaries and a member came by this afternoon to use our CR. As we talked about the typhoon coming in, the member said, “I think it will be delayed by the storm.” I love the humor of these people.

We have done our part to prepare and are sure that the Lord will do His part. We feel very safe in our snug dry home.




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