Saturday, June 15, 2024

Typhoon Survival Guide: 37 Activities to do During a Storm

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Typhoon season in Hong Kong brings a mixture of excitement and trepidation. From June through September, the region sees an increase in the frequency of tropical cyclones, which bring strong winds and heavy rain.

Residents and visitors must remain cautious and prepared for potential disturbances in daily life during this time. The government actively monitors typhoon activity to safeguard public safety, offering regular updates and issuing warnings.

Overview of Hong Kong typhoons

Geographically, Hong Kong’s location on China’s southern coast puts it in the path of typhoons that originate in the western North Pacific Ocean. The city is located in the South China Sea, a warm body of water prone to tropical storms.

Typhoons gain strength from the warm ocean waters as they sweep over the sea, building into severe storms. Because of its proximity to the shore, Hong Kong is vulnerable to the direct impact of severe cyclones, with strong winds and heavy rains posing considerable threats. The city’s steep geography adds to the characteristics of Hong Kong typhoons.

Understanding typhoon categories

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Typhoons are classified into levels in Hong Kong based on their severity and probable damage. The Hong Kong Observatory provides typhoon warnings to keep the public informed of the current weather conditions.

Typhoon Signal No. 1: This signal indicates the lowest alert level and is issued when a tropical cyclone is within approximately 800 kilometers of Hong Kong. It serves as an early warning to the public to stay alert and keep informed about the weather conditions.

Typhoon Signal No. 3: When the tropical cyclone comes closer to Hong Kong, Typhoon Signal No. 3 is issued. This signal indicates that winds with sustained speeds of 41 to 62 kilometers per hour are expected to affect the territory. It advises people to take precautions, secure loose objects, and avoid shorelines.

Typhoon Signal No. 8: Typhoon Signal No. 8 is a significant alert level that denotes more severe conditions. It is raised when the tropical cyclone is expected to bring stronger winds with sustained speeds of 63 to 117 kilometers per hour, posing risks to personal safety and causing potential damage. This signal prompts the closure of schools, businesses, and government offices, and public transportation services are generally suspended.

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Typhoon Signal No. 9 and No. 10: These are the highest levels of typhoon signals in Hong Kong. Typhoon Signal No. 9 signifies that winds with sustained speeds of 118 to 180 kilometers per hour are expected. At the same time, Typhoon Signal No. 10 indicates that winds of 118 kilometers per hour or more are occurring or expected. During these signals, people are advised to stay indoors, away from windows, and follow the authorities’ instructions. These levels indicate a significant risk to life and property, and the city’s emergency response mechanisms are activated.

What to expect during a Hong Kong typhoons

Residents and visitors in Hong Kong can expect a variety of effects and changes during a typhoon.

Typhoons generate intense winds that can reach high speeds, endangering people’s lives and damaging buildings, trees, and infrastructure. During the height of the storm, it is critical to remain indoors and away from windows.

  • Heavy rainfall: Typhoons are frequently accompanied by severe rainfall, resulting in large amounts of precipitation in a short period. This can cause localized floods, especially in low-lying locations. It is best to avoid flooded areas and to prevent unnecessary travel.
  • Service Suspension: During a typhoon, schools, businesses, and government offices may be shuttered for safety reasons. Public transit, such as buses, trains, and ferries, may also be temporarily suspended, causing travel plans to be disrupted.
  • Typhoon warnings and signals: The Hong Kong Observatory provides a series of typhoon warnings and signals to keep the public informed about the typhoon’s intensity and expected impact. These signals are numbered from 1 to 10, with higher numbers signifying more serious situations. It is critical to stay up to date on the most recent weather information via official outlets.

Due to severe winds, typhoons can cause structural damage to buildings, such as shattered windows, roof damage, and fallen debris. Power lines may also be damaged, resulting in brief power outages. It is best to have the required materials, such as flashlights and batteries, on hand.

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After the typhoon, the city undertakes post-typhoon cleanup activities to restore normalcy. Clearing debris, analyzing and restoring infrastructure damage, and maintaining the safety of roadways and public areas are all part of the job.

Landslides and landslips are possible due to Hong Kong’s steep terrain, making it vulnerable to landslides during heavy rainfall. Residents in landslide-prone areas should be cautious and heed any evacuation orders issued by authorities.


Best things to do during a typhoon

When a Typhoon Signal of 8 or higher is issued, work is usually suspended. Closing businesses, schools, and government offices is a precautionary measure at this level. Public transportation is likewise expected to be halted or drastically reduced. Employees are instructed to remain indoors and not go outside until the alert is turned off.

While you are advised to stay home, safe from the rampage of typhoons outdoors, you can do things to make the most of an off-day without counting the endless scroll on social media.

  1. Write or journal: Take advantage of the downtime to express your thoughts and emotions through writing. Start a journal, write a short story, or even begin a novel. It’s a great way to unleash your creativity and reflect on your experiences.
  2. Create art: Set up a small art corner at home and let your creativity flow. Paint, draw, sketch, or try other art forms such as origami, calligraphy, or crafting. You can also experiment with different art mediums and techniques.
  3. Learn something new: Utilize the time indoors to learn a new skill or pursue a hobby. Many online platforms offer courses and tutorials on various subjects like cooking, photography, music, coding, or even learning a new language. Challenge yourself and acquire new knowledge.
  4. Indoor exercise or yoga: Stay active and care for your physical well-being by practicing indoor exercises or yoga. There are numerous workout routines and yoga sessions available online that you can follow. Clear out some space at home and get your body moving.
  5. Solve puzzles and brain teasers: Engage your mind by solving puzzles, crosswords, Sudoku, or other brain teasers. Challenge yourself with riddles or try your hand at jigsaw puzzles. These activities can be both entertaining and mentally stimulating.
  6. Start a DIY project: Get creative with do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. You can build a model, create crafts, make jewelry, or even try upcycling or repurposing old items. Let your imagination guide you and see what you can create.
  7. Explore virtual museums and exhibitions: Take a virtual tour of museums, galleries, and exhibitions worldwide. Many cultural institutions offer online access to their collections, allowing you to explore art, history, and culture from the comfort of your home.
  8. Play board games or card games: Gather your family or housemates and have a board game or card game marathon. Dust off those classic games like Monopoly, Scrabble, Chess, or Uno, and enjoy friendly competition.
  9. Book your upcoming holidays: Booking your upcoming holiday can be a productive use of time during a typhoon, allowing you to research and plan your trip, explore potential destinations, compare prices, and make reservations, all from the comfort of your home.
  10. Online socialize or join virtual events: Connect with friends or join virtual events during the typhoon. Organize a virtual hangout, participate in online workshops or webinars, or engage in multiplayer online games to stay socially active.
  11. Plan for the future: Use the downtime to plan and set goals for the future. Research and list places you want to visit, create a vision board, or brainstorm ideas for your next big project. Use this time to dream, strategize, and plan for the days ahead.
  12. Start a blog or vlog: Use the time indoors to share your thoughts, experiences, or expertise with others by starting a blog or vlog. Choose a topic you’re passionate about and create engaging content through writing, photography, or video.
  13. Meditate and practice mindfulness: Take advantage of the calm atmosphere during a typhoon to practice meditation and mindfulness. Find a quiet space, close your eyes, and focus on your breath. It can help you relax, reduce stress, and improve your well-being.
  14. Listen to podcasts or audiobooks: Immerse yourself in the world of podcasts or audiobooks. Choose from various genres and topics, including fiction, non-fiction, self-improvement, true crime, or comedy. It’s a great way to expand your knowledge or enjoy a captivating story.
  15. Do a digital detox: Disconnect from screens and technology for a few hours or even a day. Use the time to engage in activities that don’t involve electronic devices, such as writing letters, practicing a musical instrument, doing puzzles, or enjoying quiet time with a book.
  16. Rearrange and redecorate your space: Give your living space a fresh look by rearranging furniture, reorganizing shelves, or adding new decorative elements. Get creative with DIY home decor projects, repurpose items, or declutter and create a more serene environment.
  17. Cook or bake something new: Try new recipes or experiment with ingredients you have. Use the extra time to prepare a special meal or bake treats for yourself or your loved ones. Get creative in the kitchen and let your taste buds explore new flavors.
  18. Start a home-based project: Use the typhoon downtime to start a project you’ve meant to do at home. It could be anything from building a model ship, assembling a puzzle, knitting, or even creating a scrapbook of your favorite memories.
  19. Indoor gardening: If you have plants or an interest in gardening, spend time nurturing your indoor garden. Repot plants, propagate new ones, or research and plan for future additions to your collection. Gardening can be therapeutic and satisfying.
  20. Watch documentaries or educational videos: Expand your knowledge and learn something new by watching documentaries or educational videos. Dive into subjects like science, history, nature, or technology. Many streaming platforms offer a wide variety of documentaries to choose from.
  21. Practice creative writing: Let your imagination run wild and indulge in creative writing. Write short stories or poems, or even start working on a novel. Use the typhoon as a backdrop for your storytelling and let your creativity flow.
  22. Learn to play a musical instrument: If you have one at home or want to learn one, a typhoon is a great time to start. Use online tutorials, instructional videos, or apps to begin your musical journey.
  23. Create a vision board: Visualize your goals, dreams, and aspirations by creating a vision board. Gather magazines, newspapers, or printouts of images and quotes that inspire you. Arrange them on a board or poster and create a visual representation of what you want to achieve.
  24. Dive into a DIY science experiment: Conduct simple science experiments using household items. Look up DIY science projects that can be done safely indoors. It’s a fun and educational way to explore scientific concepts and principles.
  25. Practice calligraphy or hand lettering: Discover the art of calligraphy or hand lettering. Invest in some calligraphy pens or markers and practice creating beautiful letterforms. Online tutorials and resources are available to help you learn various calligraphy styles.
  26. Engage in digital art: Explore the world of digital art using graphic design software, drawing tablets, or even smartphone apps. Experiment with digital painting, illustration, or photo editing to create unique and visually appealing artwork.
  27. Organize a virtual book club: Gather a group of friends or join an existing online book club. Choose a book to read together and schedule virtual meetings to discuss the chapters, share insights, and engage in literary discussions.
  28. Review your investments: This may be your MPF contributions, stock positions at Hang Seng Index or other indices, and update your investment plan based on any changes in your financial situation, risk tolerance, or long-term goals. Use the typhoon downtime to reflect on your investment objectives and ensure your portfolio aligns with your evolving needs.
  29. Create a scrapbook or photo album: Sort through old photographs, prints, or digital images and create a scrapbook or photo album. Arrange them creatively and meaningfully, adding captions, notes, or decorative elements to preserve memories.
  30. Learn origami: Origami, the art of paper folding, is a great way to engage in a calming and creative activity. Start with simple designs and gradually progress to more complex ones. You can find step-by-step instructions and tutorials online.
  31. Practice mindfulness coloring: Get yourself a coloring book designed for adults and enjoy the therapeutic benefits of coloring. Focus on the intricate designs and let your mind relax as you fill the pages with colors of your choice.
  32. Design and create your own board game: Put your creativity to the test by designing your own board game. Create unique rules, design the board, and create game pieces. It can be a fun and collaborative project to enjoy with family or friends.
  33. Write letters or postcards: Take the time to write heartfelt letters or postcards to family members, friends, or even pen pals. Express your thoughts, share updates, or simply brighten someone’s day with a handwritten message.
  34. Practice photography indoors: Explore the world of indoor photography by capturing creative shots within your home. Experiment with lighting, angles, and composition. You can focus on still life, macro photography, or even self-portraits.
  35. Create a self-care routine: Design one that suits your needs and preferences. Include activities such as meditation, relaxing baths, doing face masks, practicing yoga, or simply dedicating time to unwind and rejuvenate.
  36. Learn to knit or crochet: Pick up knitting needles or a crochet hook and learn the basics of these crafts. Start with simple projects like scarves, hats, or coasters. Plenty of online tutorials and patterns guide you along the way.
  37. Explore virtual tours: Take tours of famous landmarks, museums, or national parks worldwide. Many places offer online virtual tours that allow you to explore and learn about different cultures and locations.

In conclusion, during a Hong Kong typhoon, find constructive and meaningful activities while emphasizing safety. Indoor activities can be pursued when outdoor activities and work are hindered. Review your stock investments, adjust your portfolio, and learn investment ideas during this time.

Research opportunities, get the guidance, and revise your investing plan. Use downtime to read, learn, spend time with family, or pursue hobbies. Stay informed about the weather, follow local authorities, and prioritize safety. Use a typhoon break wisely to prepare for future investing decisions.

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