Typhoon Facts and How to Survive One
Typhoons have always created a sense of dread and terror in the minds of people of the western pacific and it has been a great cause of sadness to the world. This is because of the mass destruction typhoons are known for. Roofs carried away, houses smashed in, mud slurs, chilling screams, and waves of water pouring in sheets, these are just a few of the typical sights seen during a typhoon.
What is a Typhoon?
A typhoon is a weather phenomenon in which the wind blows around a low pressure area. This results in heavy rainfall over land. It is called a typhoon when it happens in the Indian or western pacific and called a hurricane when the same phenomenon happens in the Caribbean and Atlantic. Other weather phenomena like the typhoon are whirlwinds, tornadoes and waterspouts. Of all of these, typhoons are by far the deadliest being far larger in breadth, height and wind velocity. It carries tremendous energy which results in the destruction of everything in its path.
In layman’s terms, a typhoon is formed from water vapour. The energy packed in an average typhoon is the equivalent of 40,000 hydrogen bombs. Like the normal water vapour you know from boiling water in your kitchen, a typhoon needs a constant supply of water in order for it to maintain its intensity. This explains why a typhoon tends to speed up and lose its intensity when passing over land but slows down and increases in intensity when over water.
A typhoon forms under humid temperature conditions.
General Ways That could Lessen Damage
Till date, meteorologists continue to partner with scientists in their quest to learn how to effectively subdue a typhoon. One way to achieve this will be to seed the clouds with chemicals that could force them to release the condensed water back into the open ocean before it reaches land.
The destructive force of the typhoon comes from the flooding that results from its subsequent heavy rainfall on land. Reservoirs like dams can be built in areas susceptible to the heaviest damage to collect the excess water. These are areas closest to the Indian or west Pacific Ocean.
Naturally, a healthy farm practice goes a long way to reduce flooding. Ridges, lots of trees and drainages can curb some of the excess water. On the other hand, indiscriminate logging and excessive cultivation leaves the soil bare and allows much of the water from the heavy rains to just run off.
How to Prepare for a Typhoon
Meteorologists often work with the news media to warn residents well in advance of a typhoon. So why does it still claim so many lives? Sometimes it’s because of a callous attitude to these warnings. Procrastination is one reason people lose their lives or valuables to a typhoon. Even when they realize they have to move, they keep putting it off until it’s too late. Another reason is overconfidence. Perhaps they have survived previous storms, tornadoes or even a typhoon, so they feel kind of invincible or they develop a superstitious belief that a particular thing is protecting them from death and so they relax.
This is a very unwise thing to do. The best thing is to heed these warnings and familiarize yourself with the warning signs of the typhoons approach. Take steps to protect yourself and your family. If you live in an area that is prone to storms, it is best to always have a get-away bag always ready. The bag should contain the following items:
Torchlight with spare batteries
Change of clothes
Reasonable amount of money
Most valuable documents.
Bear in mind that this is not a bag for unnecessary items. The key is to keep the bag as light as possible while having all essential items. Once a warning is given, make sure the car always has gas in it in case of an emergency exit.
Pay attention to news bulletins and always have a battery powered radio handy in case of power outage.
Do not hesitate to evacuate a danger prone area if warned.
Have sufficient supply of clean water to sustain your entire family.
Keep emergency equipment handy and in good condition
Even if your home is well built, it is unwise to be too confident. Typhoons can hit at a speed of two hundred mile per hour rendering even solid houses unsafe especially if they are located along the coast or in an open place. Apart from the threat of having the house cave in from the force of the wind, other factors need to be considered when deciding if a house is safe, for example, are there heavy trees or branches that could fall on the house? Are there holes in the roof? Is the house under an electric tension wire?
When a typhoon warning is posted, it might help to take extra measures to make your house safer. This includes staking poles and wires around the house to act as a wind breaker. This way, no matter which way the typhoon wind strikes, there is something to break it.
When a typhoon strikes, it is difficult to see beyond the destruction and loss of lives and property. But a known benefit of a typhoon is the desalination of gallons of salt water. Otherwise, this would have cost a lot of money and time but the typhoon does this as well as distributing gallons of water over the land.
It is possible that there are other benefits of the typhoon that are not mentioned in this article.
On a religious note, the bible provides hope for the victims of past typhoons. To those who have lost loved ones in death, the bible says that they will see their dead loved ones again. (John5:3, 4) also the bible talks about a time when humans will live in security from natural disasters like typhoons. (Ezekiel 34:27)
Always have an emergency bag packed
References from Awake! Published by Jehovah's Witnesses.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.