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Typhoon Readiness

Typhoons are a fairly common occurrence in Taiwan between the months of May and November, particularly between July and October, although frequency can vary from year to year. Severity ranges from tropical storms, with wind speeds between 29 and 55.5 miles per hour, to super typhoons, with wind speeds in excess of 114.5 mph.

With the proper precautions and some common sense, experiencing a typhoon need be nothing more than an inconvenience and, probably, a day or two off from work or school. Below are some basic precautions to keep in mind during typhoon season.

During normal periods, be sure you check your home for leaks (windows, roof). Also have on hand plastic sheeting to cover furniture, tape for windows and extra batteries. Consolidate important papers in a waterproof packet or place.

The preparation of an emergency kit, with flashlight, batteries, first-aid kit, windproof lighter, cooking and eating utensils, battery-powered radio, toiletries and similar items is also a good idea.
If a typhoon is anticipated within 24 to 48 hours, other precautions include topping off gas tanks, making extra ice cubes (for short-term cold storage), filling bathtubs and sinks with water for cooking/toilet flushing (use plastic wrap around stoppers to seal drains), checking drinking water supply, moving furniture away from windows, removing debris and loose equipment from yards, trimming trees/bushes, and turning refrigerator/freezer to coldest setting (in case of power outage, a refrigerator will maintain its temperature for 24 hours unless opened).

Follow the example of most local residents, who stock up on plenty of food (particularly types that don't require cooking or refrigeration) and water.

Keep in mind that water and power stoppages from a serious typhoon can last days after the storm has passed. If a typhoon is imminent, refrain from driving unless absolutely necessary and stay indoors, park your vehicle away from falling trees or flying debris, and tape windows (optional, depending on expected severity of storm).

Remember, if strong winds suddenly die down, do not leave your home, as you are probably in the eye of the storm. Winds will resume in full force from the opposite direction.

For updated storm information, stay tuned to English broadcasts on ICRT (FM 100.1). Chinese-language television and radio stations also are good information providers.

(This brief was compiled with information from Taipei VFW Post 9957, ICRT and Chinese Weather Bureau.)


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