Typhoon 17W (Sanba), more questions and answers
Published: September 12, 2012
Shirt tailing onto previous question-and-answer blog posts, here are a few questions that crossed my desk in the last day or so, and what to do to ensure these matters are taken care of:
Q) Dave, we have such a bunch of worry warts on this island. Everybody made such a big deal out of Typhoon Bolaven last month, and it turned out to be next to nothing. Now, all I’m hearing is about how Typhoon Sanba will be “the big one.” I tire of the exaggerating because none of these storms ever turn out to be as bad as everybody says. What’s up with that?
A) Sort of like the lesson we learned from the “Boy Who Cried Wolf” children’s tale. Never, ever, ever take that attitude. All it takes is one typhoon to be “the one,” just as when the boy cried, "Wolf! A wolf, indeed!" All it takes if for you to let your guard down when “the one” hits. And you end up being sorry because you took the storm too lightly; thus, you didn’t prepare properly. You didn’t stock up on water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, a portable radio and batteries, diapers and sanitizer for the little one and pet food for your furry friends, didn’t go to the ATM, didn’t gas up; all the little things that ensure you’re prepared, even if all you get is banana winds. Murphy’s Law loves to pitch tent right in the middle of the home that didn’t prepare for the storm. Don’t let that home be yours. You never know when the next one will resemble Typhoon Bart, which tore apart the island over a two-day span in September 1999.
Q) Dave, we at the 18th Wing Weather Flight have fielded tons of phone calls about the Air Force Ball on Saturday. One of our techs received no fewer than 30 calls, mostly about the reschedule date, even little things like fingernails, lipstick and hair. Please get the word out to people to not phone the weather flight for non-operational questions.
A) You heard them. The folks at the Weather Flight are busy doing everything from updating their web products, storm bulletins, wind timelines and the five-day forecast to briefing the 18th Wing commanding officer on tropical cyclone condition of readiness upgrade recommendations, when the wing should start tying down or evacuating aircraft to safe-haven destinations. As for the Air Force Ball, somehow, I doubt the Weather Flight would have much information about it. No makeup date has been announced, as far as I know; heck, it hasn’t been canceled yet, as far as I know.
Q) Dave, during the last typhoon, I gazed out the window after TCCOR 1-E had been declared and I saw that the neighbor next door had not put away his children’s toys and bicycles. He even left the trampoline outside. I heard word that another trampoline was sent airborne on one base, and it lodged into power pole and caused the electricity to go out. What’s up with that?
A) You might risk being viewed as a busybody (or as my Yiddish-fluent grandmother used to say, “Yente”) by the neighbor, but it’s always prudent to remind them – and make sure you do this in advance of the storm – that even the most innocuous, small objects can become dangerous projectiles in winds of 58 mph or greater. Because of a trampoline’s construction, in the right set of wind circumstances, yes, it can be propelled through the air, parachute-like, and break house or car windows and yes, even fly high enough to sever power lines or damage transformers. At Category 4-equivalent wind speeds, even pieces of paper or cardboard can be dangerous.
Q) Dave, I’m an expectant mother in her 37th week. When should pregnant women head to the hospital and how long should they be prepared to stay?
A) According to U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa officials, women in their 37th week may report to the hospital at or prior to declaration of TCCOR 1-C (caution); at that point, most outdoor activity begins to shut down and everybody heads inside to hunker down. Bring a change of clothing and a toothbrush, and be prepared to stay until TCCOR SW (Storm Watch) is declared.
Q) Dave, what happens if the Yokota at Kubasaki football game Saturday can't be played? That one counts toward Division I title-game berths. Not to mention, it's between the teams that played for the title last year. Both teams don't have a corresponding bye week the rest of the season.
A) According to DODDS Pacific Far East athletics coordinator Don Hobbs, a decision on the fate of that game, plus the Kadena at Daegu High game, will be made sometime Thursday afternoon. As the weather stands now, it looks as if the games themselves could be played, but neither Kadena nor Yokota could fly back home on Sunday. It's DODDS Pacific's policy to ensure that students who travel to a DODDS-sponsored athletic event miss as little school as possible in the process.
Got any typhoon-related questions? Feel free to post them in the comments section, or write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.