Typhoon Haiyan -- known as Yolanda in the Philippines -- made landfall in the central Philippines on November 8, 2013, bringing strong winds and heavy rains that have resulted in massive fatalities, flooding, landslides and widespread damage.
According to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the storm affected an estimated 9.7 million people across the country, damaging or destroying more than 23,200 homes as well as public infrastructure and agricultural land. Those numbers are expected to increase in the coming days and weeks as more information becomes available.
The heartfelt sympathy of all Californians is with the people of the Philippines in this time of crisis. California is also home to the largest population of Filipino Americans in the United States, and we extend our thoughts and prayers to them as many still struggle to contact their families, friends and loved ones in the disaster area to find out if they are safe.
I encourage all of you to stay current with the news from the Philippines, and to take the time to review your own family's disaster preparedness plan. A natural disaster can occur with little or no warning and it is important to be prepared. The California Department of Public Health and state OES have worked together to offer these tips on how to prepare a disaster plan, and how to assemble an emergency supply kit. Additional information about California disaster preparedness can be found here.
State Senator, 13th District