Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hurricane Irene

DATE:    August 27, 2011TO:         NHMM Missionary ParentsFROM: President Wilkey, New Hampshire Manchester MissionRE:          Hurricane IreneAs you may or may not be aware, we will shortly experience a New England rarity: A hurricane named Irene.  We have been tracking this storm for several days now and it appears the storm has lost some of the predicted intensity.   However, we will not under-judge this storm and will err on the side of safety for your missionary.  Our middle daughter and her family just moved to North Carolina where they experienced Irene first hand yesterday and today.  She tells us the storm was downgraded there to a Class I from a potential Class III.  Our mission lies squarely in the middle of the storm track so we know the mission will be affected.  We have consulted with local members and officials, the National Weather Service and media outlets.  Irene looks to produce some high winds up to 70 miles per hour and potentially 6”to 10” of rain this evening through Sunday.  With the size of New England, the impact will vary, of course, by location.         Embedded within our emergency plan is a calling tree wherein each companionship communicates with district leaders who in turn communicate with zone leaders to my assistants and then to me.  I will receive those “All-in-safe” reports for the next two days.  We continuously monitor any new developments and will update you in the event of any significant change in conditions.  Yesterday I instructed the entire mission to obtain non-perishable food, water, flashlights & extra batteries etc. according to emergency guidelines in our published plan at each apartment.Shortly I will decide what our response will be for tomorrow when the brunt of the storm hits.  Some wards and branches will likely cancel church services and we will have our missionaries follow the lead of local officials regarding church attendance.  In all likelihood, I will ground the car fleet and have the missionaries stay indoors for the day.  I have already moved missionaries in low-lying areas along the coast and in known flooding areas to “Higher ground” with members or other missionaries as an early precaution.    At this point I am confident our missionaries are prepared well .  The only thing that will prepare them further is your faith, your prayers and your confidence in these great Latter-day warriors!  Thank you for preparing them in all ways for just such moments as this.  I feel much as did Helaman with his stripling warriors, “...they were firm and undaunted.  Yea, and they obey ...with exactness; yea and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them (Alma 57:20-21).”  With that backdrop to our present situation I am confident in their obedience and in what they were taught at home.   Therefore, they will “...be preserved by his marvelous power.”  (Alma 57:26).  

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