The male missionaries in the sea-level areas of the mission were all moved to apartments at a higher elevation in Brooklyn or Queens. The move took place prior to the closure of public transportation Sunday night.
"Each missionary was instructed to purchase water and prepared foods for the apartments in case we lose power," Calderwood said. "In addition, all apartments have first aid kits, emergency radios and cellphones, which have been charged continuously to prepare for a possible power outage."
A text-messaging cellphone tree has been established through missionary district and zone leaders, and all companionships have been instructed to report their status periodically via the tree.
The missionaries are instructed to stay safely inside their apartments until the storm passes. But as soon as it is safe to do so, "we will move out into the community to help with the clean up," Calderwood said.
"This will give us a chance to work side-by-side with the local New Yorkers," Calderwood said. "Our missionaries know how to work, and this service will be a great opportunity to represent the Savior and give back to our fellow man."
That same attitude is reflected among other Latter-day Saints in the area. Adam and Andrea Daveline, who recently moved to Brooklyn from San Diego, went for a morning walk Monday with their 2-year-old son, Alexander. "It was windy, but not unpleasant," Andrea said. "We understand that the worst part of the storm is going to hit us later tonight."
Still, as they were walking they saw a neighbor struggling with supplies she was trying to transport from a local market to her home, painstakingly moving several piles of supplies a few feet at a time, one pile at a time. Stopping to help their new, previously unknown neighbor "just seemed like the natural thing to do," Andrea said.
"When you go through things like this, everybody just sort of pulls together," she said, recalling similar experiences when she and her husband lived in Florida. "You don't have to be assigned or asked or anything. You just go and help. That's what we do."
Mercedes White contributed to this report.
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