6 Easy Safety Tips for Typhoons

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As Typhoon Soulik is scheduled to land in Seoul in just a few hours, 10 Magazine put together some tips for how to deal with a typhoon in Korea. Most of these tips are not specific to Korea, but for expats not used to weathering this natural phenomenon, here’s how to successfully survive:

Make a buddy

If you plan to stay alone, contact a buddy before and after to make sure you are both okay. It doesn’t have to be some dramatic affair, but at least someone will come looking for you if you aren’t responsive after the storm is over. If the power goes out, having a friend to relieve boredom is also quite nice. 

If you live in the basement, consider staying with a friend who lives on a higher floor in their building. Flooding can be very serious and you don’t want to have to swim out of your apartment to safety. Conversely, if you live on a really high floor, consider hunkering down with a friend on a lower floor. Winds become stronger the higher up you are, and the chances of something crashing into your window becomes much higher. So grab a board game (and some soju) and plan a sleepover with a pal.

Stock up on some emergency supplies

A few big water bottles, a roll of duct tape, candles, some kimbap rolls, and a phone power bank will do the trick. No need for doomsday preparation, just enough in case the power or water lines go out for a while, or you’re trapped inside until flooding clears.

Fill the sink with water

In the case that the water turns off, a full sink (or bathtub) of water will allow you to flush the toilet. I don’t think we need to explain the importance of being able to flush the toilet… do we? Use a bucket to transfer the water from sink to toilet. But do not drink this water! Although it looks clean, the coating on the porcelain of your sink could contaminate the water. Drink the water bottles (or the soju) instead. 

Close and lock all windows

Wind will pick up and can rattle your windows hard. Make sure all your windows are closed and locked, including your terrace. If the winds are really strong, use that duct tape you prepared to anchor those bad boys down. 

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Check your drainage

For those living in the countryside (jealous!), check the drains inside and outside of your house before the storm starts. If the drains inside your house are clogged, water can come in through the drains and fill your house. If the drains outside your house (like storm drains on the street) are clogged, water will collect outside your residence easily, in which case you should prepare to be inside for longer (more water, more kimbap, more soju). 

If the drains inside your house are clogged, and you have no drain cleaner, pour boiling water and soap together and check again after a few minutes.

Turn your gas lines off

Having your gas lines off reduces the risk of the pipe breaking and filling your house with gas. As a precaution, turn off your gas before the storm starts. 

Follow these tips and use common sense when weathering the storm. Always trust the news and not what it looks like outside before going out again (often the typhoon seems to have passed when you’re really in the eye of the storm).  As always, in case of an emergency dial 119 (English services available). Stay safe and good luck!