Alex Del Carmen is a retired doctor and local business owner who came to Chattanooga from the Philippines in the 1970s. When he knew Super Typhoon Haiyan (called Yolanda in the Philippines) was heading for his home country he became a bit worried. His family members 30 minutes north of Manila don't live in homes able to withstand winds near 200 mph.

"They are more secure in Manila than in the provinces because houses in the Philippines are not really safe," says Del Carmen.

He eventually received good news.

"My nephew called me about what's going on and my first concern was how they're doing, and they're ok," says a relieved Del Carmen.

The storm didn't quite pack the anticipated punch as predicted and made landfall on the island of Samar, well south of Del Carmen's family.

Tany and Dolorosa Yap's families, however, live closer to the storm's landfall. They're breathing a small sigh of relief, too, after hearing from some relatives.

"We're not working, we're asked to stay at home and be safe. Don't go out. And so far they're ok," says Dolorosa.

Even after a typhoon last year killed more than a thousand people in the Philippines and this potential monster of a storm took shape, the Yap's say they weren't overly worried. It happened all the time while growing up there.

"At least once a year there's a typhoon there," says Tany.

"They're always ahead. They always prepare," explains Dolorosa.

At this point, they say, they simply hope for the best as they wait to hear from the rest of their loved ones.

"All we can do right now is pray that there's not much damage and loss of life," says Dolorosa.