Just a few days after moving to Kaohsiung, Taiwan. I was greeted with Super Typhoon Meranti; the strongest tropical cyclone worldwide in 2016 and the strongest since 2010!
During a time when it is too dangerous to go outside and the rain is going sideways, I thought I should write about my experience in the hope it will help others. So here’s my advice and warnings on how to prepare for a super typhoon:
1. Avoid Going Outside
One of the most frequent and dangerous causes of injury can be from rusty signs, tree branches, or worse, falling on unsuspecting people below.
Because of this, follow the next steps to ensure you are well prepared to stay inside for a few days. Also don’t forget to remove any rubbish from your home. If your bin is full, you don’t want to be stuck with it!
2. Prepare for a Disruption in the Water Supply
Storms may cause poor water quality and they will likely disrupt the water supply. Luckily, we were prepared. Here’s what to do:
Fill your bathtub with water for washing yourselves, and flushing the toilet
Store at least 3 litres of clean water per person for drinking
Make sure your kitchen items are clean beforehand
If you are lucky, the fire services will pay you a visit to top you up when the storm passes!
3. Stock up on Food
Many, if not all shops will be closed during high intensity storms. But you should avoid going outside anyway (see 1).
Buy and store enough food to last you for a few days. For example, we purchased an industrial packet of noodles, sweetcorn, soy sauce and chicken! We then cooked more than we would need before the typhoon reached us.
Remember, it is likely you will lose water (see 2) so it is going to be difficult to wash up. Make sure you have enough clean plates and cutlery.
4. Prepare for a Power Outage
Luckily for us, we did not lose electricity during our super typhoon. However, it was reported that more than half a million homes lost power across Taiwan. Here’s what you can do to prepare for a power outage:
Keep candles and flashlights within easy reach
Buy a powerbank for your smartphone
Prepare an adequate supply of food (see 3) and grab some snacks that you won’t need to cook
Have enough cash available just in case you are forced to buy more supplies, if the power is out, ATMs and card machines won’t work
5. Typhoon Damage Control
If you are reading this while preparing for a super typhoon, I hope you are safe and your home doesn’t get damaged. But, we have to plan for the worst, so here’s a few tips:
Use your curtains, even during the day, to protect against broken glass
Remove or secure plants and other movable objects from your balconies and garden
This one goes without saying, bring your pets inside!
If you have a scooter or bicycle, park it inside or tie it to something secure
6. Keep Yourself Updated with the Latest Weather Report
I use Accuweather because they offer accurate updates per hour. If you do lose electricity (see 4), battery-powered radios will be useful to keep updated with the latest reports.
Good luck! I hope you are not deterred from travelling to Taiwan after reading this blog post! It is an amazing country with extremely friendly people. Just remember if you are here for typhoon season (June to October), be prepared!