Do’s and Don’ts when you facing typhoon

Are you facing a typhoon for the first time? or you were unlucky enough to travel with a typhoon?

Here is a quick list of do’s and don’ts in preparation of typhoon, assuming you are staying in Japan.

DO…

If you hear a word of ‘super typhoon’ in English news program, or local news program spending the majority of the time on the typhoon information, its time to act!

  • Plan advance
    Cancel your appointment, run below checklist. This is the minimalist checklist so please go more if you have resources to spend.
  • Change your plan
    Whether you like or not, the train will be suspended, flight to be canceled. So change your plan. Or you can choose to spend your time with full of people, without water or a seat.
  • Prepare some food, water, and battery
    Shops may be run out of food and drinks before the typhoon, and supply may short for a while. Buy enough food and water for at least coming 24 hours if you are a traveller. Bear in mind hot water or microwave is not available if the power is out.
  • Check your risk
    Are you near to river or sea? Close to steep slope? In the open field?
    Risk differs depends on your location; check flood, wind and landslide risks. If you are in the nature field, look for serious shelter. Don’t even think about spending a rainy day in your tent. You may be blown away! (Not mentally but physically!)
  • Check your evacuation plan
    If you are in a hotel, they will guide you when needed. But if you are in AirBnb, read below section as well
  • Prepare some cash
    ATM and credit cards may not be used if the power goes down. Prepare some cash in smaller bills. The coin-operated public phones may be used with the coins too.
  • Stay out from window
    If the wind gets stronger, stay out from the windows. Close the curtain just in case if it is damaged from flying objects.
  • Get information
    Be connected to news programs or websites. I listed out some of the useful links below.
  • Prepare for lifeline cutoff
    Anything depends on electricity may be out for days. Water supply depends on the pumps so it may be cut. TV, phone networks, hot water kettle, microwaves, anything can be out. Use your bathtub for water storage, prepare some dry food.

    Also, if you are a resident in Japan, please check below as well.

Don’t …

  • Go outside. Try out typhoon
    The strong wind blows anything, from umbrella to even a truck (I mean the lorries!). Water can carry anything too and hides risks. There may be an open manhole below the water. Its serious stuff. Don’t try it out. You may risk your own life.
  • Go close to the water
    Whether its river banks or beaches, don’t go near. There may be flooding or hightide which may take you away.
  • Get close to slopes or cliffs
    The area has higher risks of a landslide. Especially if there are rolling objects, hearing noise or water comes out from middle of the ground, there are imminent risks.
  • Use umbrella
    Well, you may test it but it is useless. Even may post danger to others.
  • Use of elevators (lifts)
    If you are really in the middle of major typhoons, avoid using the lifts. Once power is cut you may be trapped inside.

Staying with Airbnb?

I must say you are now exposed to higher risk, as nobody going to help you explain what to do.

Please check what area you are staying in, you may be exposed to major risks if you are near rivers, or in the lower ground area. Also, check the nearest evacuation centers which are usually posted in the parks or on the utility poles.

Example from Funabashi city website; showing direction for the evacuation centre
https://www.city.funabashi.lg.jp/bousai/taisaku/p008935.html
Utility pole with expected flood level. In this area there will be 2m of water. From Arakawa-karyu River Office
http://www.ktr.mlit.go.jp/arage/arage00057.html

For example, the eastern Tokyo area may be hit by tidal waves (not only rain and winds are the concerns!)

If you can find which local government districts you are staying, check their website for hazard maps.

For Resident

Check out your house.

  • Check out house
    You may wish to check your loof and walls. Clean ditches so that the rain drains better.
  • Bring things to inside the room
    Do you have the laundry hangers and greens on your balcony? Take them inside. It not only prevents damaging it but more importantly, they may be blown away and hit somebody. This prevents you to become an unwilling killer. Also, washing machines, bikes, propane gas and trash boxes may be blown so fix them to the structures.
  • Keep valuables to the higher area
    Anything you have on the ground floor may be brought up to the higher areas, whether on a shelf or to the upper floors.
  • Close the shutter or storm door
    If your place having such shutters, close them. If not, close your curtain. If you really feel the danger of strong winds, you may be some tapes or cardboards on the glass window.
  • Check your local government website and extract the hazard map
    It shows forecast for flood levels and other relevant danger to you.
  • Talk to your neighbors
    If you have friends, talk to them. Ask what are their plans. You may not be able to reach them once storm is landed, and you cannot take any further actions once the heavy wind starts.
  • Keep shut your doors and window.
    You may want to check outside but don’t open your doors nor windows. A strong wind will blow in and you may not be able to close. Worse, you may blow off your roof because of strong winds and a change of pressure.

Useful Links

Need assistance? JNTO Tourist hotline

JNTO (Japan National Tourism Organization) operates a visitor hotline 24 hours. Call for tourist info or assistance in case of accidents and emergencies. Support is available in EN, CN, KR and JP. From Japan 050-3816-2787 From Overseas or international roaming phone +81-50-3816-2787

Chatbot (in case of emergencies only)
https://webchat.bebot.io/JapanNationalTourismOrganization

Things you should know before Typhoon Hagibis reaches Tokyo

Typhoon Hagibis (or also known as Typhoon 19 in Japan) is heading towards Tokyo and other areas of pacific coastal Japan, including Chiba, Mie, Shizuoka, Nagoya / Aichi Prefecture, Yokohama / Kanagawa Prefecture.

Please note Japanese people calling this typhoon as Typhoon 19, never by the name of Hagibis, and I realized many local English websites referring by this naming.

Change your Plan for Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/special/01/1919/
NHK World website forecast. The number shown is the Time it’s not date.

The forecast shows the typhoon is hitting on the 3-days holiday of Japan and you may have travel plans but I strongly recommend you to change any plans for the Saturday and Sunday.

Minimum Things you should know

  1. Plan ahead. Don’t go out.
    it is simply too dangerous to go out during peak hours. If you are in a house or apartment, it is also dangerous to open windows or doors, as very strong winds blow into the room (this may blow your roof away!)
  2. Check where you are.
    Risks are different from locations to locations. You may be exposed to flooding from the river, might have landslide or more exposed to strong winds. Some may need to worry about tidal waves.
  3. Be Prepared
    Prepare at least food and drinks you need for peak hours (24 hours) if you don’t have any food reserves. There may be no power or water so avoid the food you may need to cook, even ‘cup noodles’ cannot be prepared if the power is down.

This is merely not enough to mention but this is at least the things you should know.

Tourist Hotline by JNTO

JNTO (Japan National Tourism Organization) operates a visitor hotline 24 hours. Call for tourist info or assistance in case of accidents and emergencies. Support is available in EN, CN, KR and JP. From Japan 050-3816-2787 From Overseas or international roaming phone +81-50-3816-2787

Chatbot (in case of emergencies only)
https://webchat.bebot.io/JapanNationalTourismOrganization

If you are staying in Airbnb

I must say you are now exposed to higher risk, as nobody going to help you explain what to do.

Please check what area you are staying in, you may be exposed to major risks if you are near rivers, or in the lower ground area. Also, check the nearest evacuation centers which is usually posted in the parks or on the utility poles.

Example from Funabashi city website; showing direction for the evacuation centre
https://www.city.funabashi.lg.jp/bousai/taisaku/p008935.html
Utility pole with expected flood level. In this area there will be 2m of water. From Arakawa-karyu River Office
http://www.ktr.mlit.go.jp/arage/arage00057.html

For example, the eastern Tokyo area may be hit by tidal waves (not only rain and winds are the concerns!)

If you can find which local government districts you are staying, check their website for hazard maps.

This typhoon hits on the spring tide

The typhoon is hitting on the hours of the high tide and this significantly raise the risk of the storm surge. Areas near the coastal line or riverside are vulnerable to this risk.

In Tokyo, especially areas around Arakawa or Sumida River -this includes Asakusa area- are vulnerable to this risk.

Useful Website

General Info

Trains

Not only Shinkansen, but also local trains or subways may suspend its service. Please anticipate your travel plan never works as you have planned.

Many train services in Tokyo considering to suspend or reduce its service as early as Friday night until Sunday morning.

SHINKANSEN

LOCAL TRAINS in TOKYO

Flights

ANA or All Nippon Airways already announced to cancel all domestic flights to/from Tokyo (Both Haneda and Narita) and some flights in the other airports such as Nagoya Chubu, Osaka Kansai on October 12.
https://www.ana.co.jp/fs/dom/en/

JAL or Japan Airlines not announced the specific cancellation calls but expecting major irregular operations.
https://www.jal.co.jp/cms/other/en/weather_info_dom.html#OUTLOOK

Other Popular Areas

Notes

  • 14:45 Oct 12; changed title from “Typhoon Hagibis heading towards Tokyo” to “Things you should know before Typhoon Hagibis reaches Tokyo”

TOKYO AREA TRAIN OPERATION over Typhoon Hagibis

JR East announced an operation plan for Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 October 2019 considering the approach of the typhoon Hagibis.

Later found JR EAST’s official information in English in PDF. Please found here:
https://www.jreast.co.jp/aas/20191011_o_typoon19eng_mult_03.pdf

In summary:

  • The majority of the Tokyo area trains to be suspended afternoon of Saturday 12th.
  • Even the Yamanote line will be suspended after 1pm on Saturday 12th.
  • Many of the express trains will be suspended, including Narita Express (trains after 11am will be suspended)

For general information and more links, please see below post:

JR EAST’s plan as of 10:50 Oct 12

The original press release is found here (in Japanese)
https://www.jreast.co.jp/aas/20191011_o_tyhoon19_top_01.pdf

To be suspended whole day of Saturday 12th Oct

  • Shonan Shinjuku Line
  • Ueno Tokyo Line (Ueno-Tokyo)
  • Kururi Line

To be suspended from certain hours

From 9am, Saturday 12th

From 9AM, Saturday 12th

  • Ito line

From 10AM , Saturday 12th

  • Tokaido Line
  • Yokosuka Line
  • Keiyo Line
  • Chuo Line (Takao-Kobuchizawa: Outside of central Tokyo)
  • Sagami Line
  • Sobu Line (Sakura – Choshi: Chiba area)
  • Narita Line (Abiko-Narita, Narita-Choshi: Chiba area)
  • Uchibo Line
  • Sotobo Line
  • Togane Line
  • Kashima Line

From 11AM

  • Yokohama Line
  • Ome Line (Ome-Okutama: outside of central Tokyo)
  • Hachiko Line

From 12PM (Noon)

  • Keihin Tohoku & Negishi Line
  • Chuo Line Rapid Service
  • Chuo & Sobu Line (local trains)
  • Sobu Line Rapid Service
  • Saikyo ine
  • Kawagoe Line
  • Utsunomiya Line
  • Takasaki Line
  • Musashino Line
  • Sobu line & Narita Line (Chiba-Narita Airport)
  • Joban Line (rapid)
  • Joban Line (local)
  • Joban Line (Toride-Mito)
  • Ome Line (Tachikawa-Ome)
  • Uchibo Line (Chiba-Kimitsu)
  • Sotobo Line (Chiba-Kazusa Ichinomiya)
  • Karasuyama Line
  • Azuma Line

From 13:00 (1PM)

  • Yamanote Line
  • Nambu Line
  • Tsurumi Line
  • Itsukaichi Line
  • Ryomo Line
  • Joestu Line
  • Shin-etsu Line
  • Joban Line (Mito-Iwaki)
  • Mito Line
  • Suigun Line
  • Nikko Line