Typhoon Readiness: Team Kadena assesses lessons from Typhoon Prapiroon

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Typhoon readiness graphic
Typhoon readiness graphic

Typhoon Readiness: Team Kadena assesses lessons from Typhoon Prapiroon

by: 18th Wing Public Affairs | .
Stripes Okinawa | .
published: July 06, 2018

KADENA AIR BASE, Japan -- Typhoon Prapiroon kicked-off the 2018 typhoon season, mildly impacting the area July 1-2, and Team Kadena leadership gathered to discuss its impacts.

In a post-typhoon discussion, key leaders from across Kadena discussed how to more effectively communicate Tropical Cyclone Conditions of Readiness (TCCOR) Conditions as well as lessons learned from the first typhoon of the season.

“The overall intent of the TCCOR system is to allow for timely preparation leading up to a storm and a safe and expeditious recovery to full mission capability following a storm,” said Brig. Gen. Case A. Cunningham, 18th Wing commander.

TCCOR announcements and specific Okinawa storm forecasts can be found on Shogun Weather at www.kadena.af.mil/Agencies/Local-Weather/. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center at www.metoc.navy.mil/jtwc/jtwc.html carries the latest forecast updates for the storm and its predicted path.

In addition to the weather information posted on the above sites, 18 WG Public Affairs will now change the cover photo of the Kadena AB Facebook page for each TCCOR Condition change to reflect the latest Shogun Weather forecast and current condition update graphic. A separate Facebook status update will include TCCOR condition changes with the time it changed and a brief description of the condition. These changes will ensure that important official weather updates from Shogun Weather and TCCOR Condition changes are more likely to show up in Facebook user news feeds.

The Kadena Connect app is also an excellent resource for TCCOR notifications. Members can download the app on their smart phones.

A desire for more clarity on the use of the TCCOR Storm Watch condition also provided another lesson learned. In general, TCCOR Storm Watch after either TCCOR 3, 2, 1, or even 1C indicates strong winds of 35 knots sustained or greater are possible due to the proximity of a tropical cyclone; however due to the predicted path or strength of the storm, the winds on Okinawa are no longer forecasted to meet the destructive wind criteria (50 knots sustained or gust factors of 60 knots or greater). The use of TCCOR Storm Watch after TCCOR 1R indicates recovery efforts are complete but strong winds are still possible due to the proximity of the tropical cyclone and personnel should exercise caution while outdoors.

After a typhoon passes, the TCCOR All Clear status indicates the storm is over. After a short period of time, the change from TCCOR All Clear to seasonal TCCOR 4 will indicate a reset for overall typhoon season readiness.

While Prapiroon only increased in strength from a tropical storm to a Category 1 typhoon as it passed Okinawa, military family housing residents got a chance to see how important it is to take the appropriate measures to secure their homes and outdoor equipment properly for a storm.

The Typhoon Guide prepared by the Kadena Office of Emergency Management is an excellent guide for typhoon season preparations as well as TCCOR Condition explanations and can be found at www.kadena.af.mil/Portals/40/documents/Typhoon%20Guide%202018.pdf?ver=20....

“I’m proud of the teamwork involved in our preparation for and recovery from Typhoon Prapiroon,” said Cunningham. “Assessing our lessons from this storm gives us a great opportunity to be even better prepared for future storms.”