5 Things You Should Do Now to Prepare for Typhoon 19

When it makes landfall in the Tokyo metro region on October 12th, forecasts show that Typhoon 19 will be the most severe tropical storm to ever strike Japan. The government is urging people to prepare themselves and their homes well ahead of time.

As reported on JapanToday, houses could collapse in strong winds of 216 kilometers per hour in the Tokai area in central Japan and Kanto-Koshin region, including the Tokyo metropolitan area, on Saturday. Up to 800 millimeters of rain is expected in the Tokai region and 600 mm in the Kanto-Koshin region in the 24-hour period through Sunday morning.

As Typhoon Hagibis approaches the Tokyo metro area, officials and residents of Chiba prefecture are still dealing with the aftermath of Typhoon 15, which hit about a month earlier. Below are the top five things that disaster preparedness officials in Chiba say that you can do right now to prepare for the coming storm.

1. Pay attention to the latest weather info and heed warnings

Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) Official Site

Visit this page for up-to-date weather warnings and advisories from the JMA. Use the menus on the page to select your area.

The color codes on the map tell you what action you should take:

  1. White: Stay on alert for disasters
  2. Yellow: Check evacuation procedures
  3. Red: Elderly people must evacuate
  4. Light Purple: All residents must evacuate
  5. Dark Purple: People must take measures to protect lives

NHK and other media will also broadcast these advisories and warnings as they are updated. Officials strongly urge people to evacuate early if such an evacuation advisory has been issued for your area. Visit your city or ward office’s official website to check the hazard map for your neighborhood; this map will give you assessments of how likely certain areas in your neighborhood are prone to various natural risks such as flooding, landslides, and earthquakes. Flooding and landslides can occur with very little warning. If an advisory is issued for your area, please take immediate action.

Screenshot of currently valid warnings/advisories in Japan, as of 1:30PM, October 11, 2019. Please click on the image to visit the official page (JMA).

5-Step Warning System

Japan’s 5-level warning system for natural disaster and weather-related emergencies. Source: NHK

2. Have enough emergency supplies for at least 3 days

Disaster preparedness officials recommend that you have enough food, water, batteries and other emergency supplies to last at least 3 days and preferably one week.

3. Charge up electronics, secure extra water and batteries, and fill up your car

Typhoons are dangerous not only because they can cause bodily injury and damage to property. Strong winds can also knock down power lines and disrupt water supply. Typhoon 15 (which made landfall in Chiba on September 9th this year) caused widespread power outages throughout the prefecture. Thousands of households went without electricity for weeks, with many people succumbing to heatstroke in the absence of air conditioning.

Make sure your mobile devices and computer are fully charged. You can also run a bathtub full of water for a large supply of emergency water, in case water supply is interrupted.

One way to keep the contents of your fridge cool in a power black out is to freeze PET bottles of water and use these as ice blocks.

If you own a car, you should make sure that it has a full tank of gas.

4. Lock Down: Close storm windows and tape up windows and secure objects

Many single-family homes in Japan are built with storm windows. If you don’t have storm windows, you can minimize the chance of flying glass by taping up your windows in a crisscross pattern and closing curtains. It’s also good to know that most windows in Japan are made of shatterproof glass.

Take pots, plants, and other objects off of your balcony. Typhoon force winds can be strong enough to blow heavy objects off your balcony or right through a window.

Move food and belongings off of the floor and to the second floor

Minimize flood damage to food and your belongings by moving them off the floor or to the second floor, if you have one. This is especially applicable to people living near large rivers.

5. Have a contact system in place to reach family and friends

Also discuss with your family members where you will meet if you are separated.

Lead photo: Emergency supply kit, via Wikimedia

You may also be interested in: Which train lines will be closed and when on October 12th, due to Typhoon 19

Lead photo: iStock, Shibuya Crossing during a typhoon

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