It’s being called the worst storm to ever make landfall.
In the days leading up to it, Iowa State graduate Audrey Myhr says you’d never know a storm was approaching at all.
“No one was making a big deal about it so we didn’t really worry about it,” said Myhr.
It’s not surprising.
Typhoons hit the Philippines more than twenty times each year.
For a traveler who didn’t know what to expect, it was scary.
“I’m not familiar with typhoons. If the power goes out, we didn’t know how soon we would regain power,” Myhr told Channel 13 News.
Audrey called back to the states often and responded to friends worried about her well-being through Facebook.
The calls helped her keep up to date on the storm’s path.
It is information she says was difficult to find otherwise.
“There wasn’t much information on the news until the day before when they provided safety advice and started evacuating other cities,” said Myhr.
The storm hit south of where Audrey was staying in Manila.
Not everyone was as fortunate, which is why efforts to help storm victims have started all the way in Des Moines.
At the Filipino Store, several people have stopped by to drop off donations.
“Just today, two people have stopped by and dropped off money for people in the Philippines,” said Banilda Roberts, co-owner of the Filipino Store.
Some have donated clothes.
Once enough money is raised, the clothes will be boxed up and shipped to the Philippines.
“We’ll be accepting anything you can give at the Filipino Store,” said Roberts.
Fundraisers are also being planned.
Rosa Reyes from the Filipino American Association of Iowa says the group is organizing a chili cook-off they hope to have this weekend.
A separate event with live music is also in the works with proceeds directly benefiting those in need.
“It will benefit the Philippine Red Cross and the Catholic charities,” said Reyes.
Typhoon Haiyan hit 14 time zones away. It’s a storm that has affected people all over the world.
For information on how to help locally, click here.