Stay alert this typhoon season


Stay alert this typhoon season

by: Shoji Kudaka | .
Stripes Okinawa | .
published: July 26, 2016

When I was a kid, I was always excited to hear of a typhoon coming Okinawa’s way. Even when the Tropical Cyclone Conditions of Readiness (TCCOR) was still in the early stages, I was already making a plan for what I would do during the typhoon holiday.  No rush hour, no school and no exams meant a lot of card games, snacks, Cup Noodles and Campbell’s soup. So many things for kids to be excited about.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t still enjoy playing games and eating junk food during a storm. But before we start making a plan for a “typhoon party,” we should first prepare for potential typhoon damage, because typhoon threats should not be underestimated.

Let me remind you that, in 2014, three U.S. service members, reportedly taking photos of the storm, were swept away by a high wave from Typhoon Phanfone. Earlier that year, Super Typhoon Neoguri caused a flash flood on Kadena Air Base, where several people were trapped and rescued by first responders.

TCCOR may seem too much precautious at times, especially when the locals are on the streets before TCCOR goes back to “storm watch” or “all clear,” but the recent incidents caused by typhoons have shown why TCCOR should not be taken lightly.

Luckily, we have not yet been directly hit by a typhoon this year. But Dave Ornauer, author of Pacific Storm Tracker on, advises us to be prepared for typhoons.

“So far this year, we have seen only a few tropical storms in the west pacific,” Ornauer said. “But tropical storms can develop at any time anywhere. So stay alert.”

Although we don’t know what will happen this typhoon season, let’s not forget that Okinawa is in the heart of “Typhoon Ginza” or “Typhoon Alley.”

Before we start making plans for a “typhoon party” stocked with chips and soda, let’s make sure we have three to four days of water and unperishable food for our families and pets. Check the flashlights and make sure they’ve got fresh batteries, and be sure to check out the Pacific Storm Tracker for more information on typhoon preparedness and updates.

Stars and Stripes Pacific Storm Tracker is available at

You can check out the current TCCOR at

Read more Typhoon Season Story