The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Philippines has taken precautions in anticipation of Typhoon Haiyan. Church leaders have been evaluating resources and making specific preparations for the storm for the past week, and they will work with local authorities and relief agencies to provide assistance as the storm progresses.
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The storm is forecast to hit the Visayas region of the Philippines, and it may impact nearly two-thirds of the country. Officials are warning that the storm has the potential to cause widespread damage.
Church buildings in areas near the storm’s anticipated path are already being used as shelters for those in need of safer housing, and more buildings will be used as needed.
The Church has 21 missions in the Philippines. Mission presidents have taken precautions to protect the safety and well-being of missionaries, moving them to alternate housing where necessary.
“If there is any concern about the safety of an area, we move our missionaries out of that area,” said Stephen B. Allen, Missionary Department managing director. “We’ve known about this storm for some time, and all mission presidents have moved missionaries to areas where they believe they can be adequately sheltered from the typhoon.”
The Church stands ready to assist affected communities during and after the storm. Emergency response resources have been secured, including food, water and other supplies (items such as blankets, hygiene supplies, tarps, chain saws and shovels).
As the storm progresses, local Church leaders and Welfare Department personnel will make assessments and coordinate with local authorities and response partners to determine needed assistance and future relief efforts.