KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing Weather Flight commander has placed Okinawa in seasonal Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness 4, according to a news release.

The order, which came Monday, typically doesn’t go into effect until June 1, but it was prompted by increased tropical storm activity, said commander Capt. J. Brandon Alexander.

The order will stay in effect until Nov. 30, the end of typhoon season.

"We’ve had five storms already this season, three of which have passed within 345 miles of Okinawa," Alexander said in an e-mail to Stripes. "18th Wing leadership decided it wouldn’t hurt to go ahead and start the seasonal TCCOR 4."

The last storm, Tropical Storm Halong, rolled past Okinawa earlier this week, sending rain and wind gusts reaching 34 mph.

TCCOR 4 is the minimum level of readiness, meaning that a tropical storm or typhoon could develop close enough to Okinawa to create destructive winds of 58 mph or more within 72 hours.

Alexander encouraged residents to keep updated on weather reports and make sure outdoor household equipment and toys are secured or brought inside, especially if the residents will be away from the island.

Residents also should make sure they have an emergency kit filled with nonperishable food, bottled water, flashlights, first-aid equipment and a battery-powered radio.

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