Ah, the typhoon day. It is a quintessential part of life for teachers and students in China, especially for those of us living in the south, around Guangdong and Fujian. The whistling of the whipping wind and the rattling of the rain against your window signals a possible day of rest for everyone graced by its harsh presence.
For those of us thinking “YES! No school!”, you may be reacting too soon. If you have never experienced a typhoon before, they can be, in short, devastating. Roads and metro stations can flood. Trees can come crashing down. Your Wi-fi could cut out.
Okay, that last example wasn’t life-threatening, but if it is your first time bracing for a typhoon, there are several precautions you may want to take:
Stock up on food and water the day before
When that typhoon hits, you would be crazy to willingly step outside. To avoid a situation where you starve because of torrential rains, make sure to swing by your nearest convenience store or supermarket to stock up on enough snacks and drinks to last you about a day. This will not only make your life a lot easier, it will also save a delivery guy from having to brave gale force winds to deliver you that bowl of noodles you ordered online.
Wake up early and check your messages from the weather bureau
If you have a mobile phone with a number registered in an area that is about to get slammed by a typhoon, you will likely receive a text message from the local weather bureau at around 7am, letting you know their assessment of the storm. If it is an orange or red warning, schools and some workplaces will cancel for the day, and you won’t need to go in. If it is a yellow warning, you will need to make the trek out to your school along with all your students, who will be equally disappointed.
Dress typhoon casual
“Typhoon casual” is a word I use to describe the kind of clothes one should be wearing when it seems the sky is falling in on the city. This can consist of a durable pair of rain boots, a rain coat or rain poncho, shorts if possible, and a nice big umbrella. It is highly advised to stay indoors, though if you must, the aforementioned articles of clothing will do you wonders in your quest to stay dry as a bone.
Take your clothes down from your outdoor hangers
Many apartments have a balcony with a mechanism you can use to hang your clothes outside to dry. When a typhoon hits, many people have had the unfortunate experience of having their favourite pair of socks stolen away from them by a snarling gust of wind.
Make sure to take all your clothes down the night before the typhoon makes landfall, or risk watching your clothes be at the mercy of the wind. If you forget, do it as soon as possible in the morning. It’s worth getting a little wet to save you from making a trip to H&M to restock your wardrobe.
Put on a good movie, kick back, and relax
Sometimes, long stretches of the school year can take a toll on us teachers, so treat typhoon days like a mini-holiday. Make some food that you hopefully bought the day before, put on a good movie, read an interesting book, or just lie in your bed listening to the melodious sounds of wind and rain in a passionate meteorological symphony. Relax and leave all your stresses behind you.
A typhoon day is your day to do whatever you want. However you choose to spend it, be sure to make your safety a number one priority!
Happy Typhoon Day!