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Time to prepare for typhoons is now

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Emily Bradley
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
Typhoon season is approaching in June for the Pacific region and members of the 36th Civil Engineer Squadron Emergency Management Flight are working to equip Airmen and their families by educating and preparing them for the dangers of tropical storms, depressions and typhoons.

For the last 12 years, Guam has been surrounded by cooler water during the La Niña weather cycle; however, this year marks the beginning of the El Nino cycle, meaning the warmer water increases the likelihood of a typhoon.

"No one can prevent these disasters, but each person can prepare themselves," said Tech. Sgt. Bruce Byrne, 36th CES EM Flight acting section chief. "The more Airmen prepare themselves and their families, the safer they will be."

A typhoon is a large-scale tropical storm that happens west of the international dateline with wind speeds of at least 74 mph. Most typhoons occur between June and December, but they can arise at any time.

Typhoons need a warm sea temperature, which the El Niño cycle provides, and a stable atmosphere in order to begin developing into a tropical storm. The water from the pressure system evaporates into a tropical thunderstorm. From there, the strong winds pull in moisture from the ocean and converts into heat, which causes more air flow toward the center of the storm. All the heat and air flow moves toward the center and up creating the eye of a typhoon.

"Chances of a storm this year are higher because the Pacific region is shifting toward the El Niño pattern which is more conducive for storm formation," said Tech. Sgt. Paul Alfred, 36th Operations Support Squadron Weather Flight training manager.

Since the probability is greater for a storm, preparation is important for people residing on base and in the local area.

Housing residents are responsible for a monthly inspection of their storm shutters. If a typhoon approaches Guam, residents should secure their residence by obtaining sandbags from 36th CES and placing them along doorframes, closing their shutters, moving furniture away from doors and windows, securing loose personal items and bagging belongings that may get wet due to flooding.

In order to prepare for these events there are some things that each typhoon kit should include:

1-2 Week Supply Minimum
Canned & Ready to Eat Food
Can Opener
1-2 gallons per person per day to drink
Propane Stove
First Aid Kit
Plastic Dining Ware
Duct Tape
Tool Kit
Hygiene items
Battery Operated Radio
550 Cord/Rope
Baby Supplies
Formula, diapers, etc.
For more information on typhoon season and preparation tips, contact the EM flight at 366-3113.

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