A Look Back…Remembering Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda)

While going through some notes, I came across this update I posted to my friends and family on Facebook, post Super Typhoon Haiyan. Does an experience like this help one prepare better or make it easier next time? No. It just brings a new-found appreciation for life and living. After revisiting this post, it affirms in my mind how fragile life can be.

(Nov – 2013) By now I’m sure folks are beginning to wonder about us, but we are fine. As you have probably heard, Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) turned out to be one of the worst storms of all time. We have been without power since the storm arrived last Friday and my battery on the laptop expired the next day. Because there was so much damage to the power distribution system on the island of Leyte, it may be some time, maybe a month or longer, before we get our power back. We are also on water rationing now so the city turns off the water from 4pm to 4am to conserve fresh water.

Cell Service Down
Cell Service Down

Because there is somewhat of a communications blackout due to the lack of power, we have only heard reports of the staggering amount of death and destruction to the city of Tacloban and the Central Philippines. The last number I heard was in excess of 14,000 dead and I’m sure, as in most large-scale disasters, that number will grow. Here in Calbayog City, Samar, we feel blessed that we dodged this disaster by only a few kilometers. We were well prepared, fully stocked, and now we will just camp out for the duration, until power is restored and things return to normal. Please understand that normal is a relevant term here as many of our neighbors in our village live their everyday lives with no power or running water. So when the winds and rain ended, their return to normal was essentially immediate. We will learn a great deal in how do deal with everyday life without the amenities that many of us Westerners take for granted. Since the storm, we have been okay (except for sleeping) and we have found a source of ice to keep things cold. We have been eating well the last few days as we have had to cook many of our meats before they spoiled. Conservation is key and we will just take things easy, one day at a time. We are well stocked on water and propane and will try to stay ahead of demand before supplies get low. We have invested in rice production and our harvest came in last week. With the ocean on our back porch and the catch of the day coming right by our doorstep, we will not have any problem with eating or a food source. Right now though, the call for French Toast has been issued as we have much bread to consume before it goes bad. Take care and thank you for all your well wishes and prayers.

Half way through the current typhoon season and all is well…and except for a brush with typhoon Henry (and a couple other small disturbances) we hope the rest of the season is uneventful. 

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