Chiba Prefecture is still recovering from the massive power outages and damages caused by Typhoon Faxai last month, but now Japan is bracing itself for yet another potentially destructive typhoon. Called Hagibis—a Tagalog word for “velocity”—the typhoon is set to be one of the most powerful on record.
Typhoon Hagibis is no joke
The forecast for wind and torrential rain is getting grimmer by the hour. Categorized as a violent typhoon, the highest category on the Japanese scale, Hagibis is making landfall today. Matches for the Rugby World Cup, the F1 race and the long-awaited return of the Backstreet Boys in a special concert have either been canceled or postponed. Airlines and train companies have also announced the suspension of some services until Sunday.
As the second most powerful storm to hit planet earth in 2019, the Japan Meteorological Agency is urging the public to take precautions. The size, speed, and timing of the storm makes it a serious danger for coastal areas, as well as the Tokyo region.
What to do
Well, for starters, avoid going out when the typhoon lands in your area. If there’s a lesson we learned with Typhoon Faxai last month, it’s that the danger comes from sudden flooding and/or flying or falling objects. Trees, branches, roofs and even garden walls can give in to the strong winds.
If you haven’t gotten yourself a nicely packed emergency kit, it’s probably a good time to put together a simple pack that can keep you going in the event of a natural disaster. Store some snacks, emergency food, and water, as well as batteries for flashlights and fully charged portable batteries for your phone. Nothing worse than a dying phone during a power outage!
Now, let’s talk windows
Fear of broken windows and flying pieces of glass has prompted quite a lot of Japanese Twitter users to promote using tape on their windows.
Taping Xs on them is said to make the glass stronger and, were it to break, prevent pieces from scattering all over the place.
— 錆田鉄男 (@sabitatetsuo) October 10, 2019
= In a densely populated area the risk associated with the wind might be small, but flying tiles can hit the glass, so I’ll reinforce (the windows) with curing tape. A 100 yen store roll is about 10 meters long and just enough for one window with a height from about the knee to the head, so it’s better to go and buy a proper one at a home center.
Since Thursday, Japanese people have been panic buying reinforced tape, and home centers are now out of stock. The news made the headlines as manufacturers struggled to keep up with the sudden increase in demand.
— BIGLOBEニュース (@shunkannews) October 10, 2019
= Because of the Typhoon Hagibis (typhoon no.19) curing tape stockists are running out out one after another. “Orders are rapidly increasing.”
Dreading the hassle of finding curing tape (what even is curing tape?!) and X-ing all your windows one by one?
Well, the measure seems to actually be a myth.
I'm not sure why they continue to give out this widely debunked advice in Japan.
— wesinjapan (@wesinjapan) October 10, 2019
— Sakai 🌐📲 Wechat開発勉強中 (@sakai_web) October 10, 2019
= Here’s more evidence. The disaster prevention guidelines issued by the US Department of Homeland Security has this statement: https://fema.gov/media-library-data/20130726-1622-20490-3346/hurricanefactsheet_final.pdf
So there’s absolutely no point in reinforcing the window glass with tape.
Whether you decide to tape or not your windows, one thing’s for sure, you should definitely take precautions today and keep an eye on the local news for updates.
How to give advice in Japanese
To make a suggestion or give advice such as “it’s better to…” or “you should…”, you can use the phrase: verb ta form +方がいい.
- 今日準備した方がいいです。= Better make the preparation today.
- 台風が通過しているときは、外へ出ない方がいいです= When a typhoon is passing, you shouldn’t go outside.
The phrase verb ta form + 方が can actually be used in a wide range of situations with other adjectives:
- 歩いた方が早いです。= It’ll be faster to walk.
- 友達と行った方が楽しいです。= It’s more fun to go with friends.
|台風19号||taifuu juukyuu gou||Typhoon n°19|
|住宅密集地||jyuutakumisshyuuchi||dense residential areas|
|かもしれない||kamoshirenai||may, it may be that…|
|気休め||kiyasume||restless, without rest|
|養生テープ||youjyou teepu||curing/wrapping tape|
|100円均一||hyaku en kinitsu||100 yen store|
|1巻||ichi maki||one roll|
|10メートル||jyuu meetoru||10 meter|
|膝から頭||hiza kara atama||from the knee to the head|
|1枚分||ichi mai bun||one (window)|
|ホームセンター||hoomu sentaa||Home Center|
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