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In the Northwest Pacific Ocean west of the dateline, hurricanes are called typhoons. These typhoons typically pack powerful winds and can be very destructive.
Once formed, the storms usually travel in a path beginning near Guam, then moves toward the Philippines and Okinawa and before heading north toward mainland Japan or Korea. Most weaken at sea before they reach inland.
Typhoons are most frequent from June to November with as many as 26 typhoons forming in a season. However, usually only three or four pass close enough to Okinawa to be of any concern to people stationed here.
On Okinawa, the greatest number of typhoons is concentrated in August and September. Sophisticated weather forecasting and tracking equipment and reinforced concrete buildings have taken the surprise and most of the danger out of typhoons.
The Kadena weather flight monitors these tropical storms and typhoons, and serves as a focal point for typhoon information on Okinawa as part of the Pacific Command's Tropical Cyclone Warning System.
Warnings of approaching storms, as well as typhoon tips and precautions, are broadcast over American Forces Network-Okinawa radio and television.
Current local weather information, including tropical cyclone conditions of readiness, is available on the
Kadena weather flight's homepage "Shogun Weather"
Kadena residents can also get up-to-date pathway projections for typhoons via the
Joint Typhoon Warning Center's homepage
Read the Kadena Air Base
Emergency Actions Guide
from the base disaster preparedness office for more details on typhoon preparedness.
Expectant mothers should also consult the U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa typhoon instructions
CONDITIONS OF READINESS
Following are Tropical Cyclone (Typhoon) Conditions of Readiness (TCCOR), their meanings and actions to take for safety:
Destructive winds are possible within 96 hours. (Only used outside of established typhoon season)
Stock up on food, water, and emergency supplies
Destructive sustained winds of 50 knots or greater
within 72 hours. Stock up on food, bottled water, dry milk, batteries, flashlights, candles and other emergency supplies. TC-4 stays in affect from June 1 to November 30 every year.
: Destructive sustained winds of 50 knots or greater possible within 48 hours. Initiate a general clean-up around your home, apartment and office. Pick up loose items, such as toys, garden tools and lawn furniture.
: Destructive sustained winds of 50 knots or greater anticipated within 24 hours. Secure all outdoor property such as picnic tables, barbecue grills, etc.
: Destructive sustained winds of 50 knots or greater are expected within 12 hours. DODDs schools will not be closed until TCCOR 1C. Fill any available containers with water. Make a final check of food, water and other supplies.
TCCOR 1 Caution
: Winds of 35-49 knots sustained are occurring (at a particular installation).
TCCOR 1 Emergency
: Winds of 50 knots sustained or gust factors of 60 knots or greater are occurring at a particular installation. All outside activities are prohibited.
TCCOR 1 Recovery
: After the passage of a tropical cyclone (TC), when destructive winds have subsided and are no longer forecasted to occur, survey and work crews are sent out to determine the extent of damage and to establish safe zones around hazards (e.g. downed power lines, unstable structures). Until the recovery process is declared complete (TCCOR All Clear), or the risk of injury and/or damage to personnel and property has been mitigated to a safe level, the general base population would normally be asked to remain indoors.
TCCOR Storm Watch
: Strong winds of 35 knots sustained or greater are possible due to the proximity of a tropical cyclone; however, winds are not forecasted to meet the destructive wind criteria (50 knots sustained or gust factors of 60 knots or greater). Personnel should follow Standard Operating Procedures for TCCOR Storm Watch and stay alert for any changes to TCCOR status. Strong winds will meet TCCOR 1 Caution criteria. The storm is also close enough to the area that a heightened alert status is necessary in order to rapidly establish elevated TCCOR conditions should the storm deviate from the forecasted track or intensity.
*It is possible to return to TCCOR Storm Watch from another TCCOR level if the storm is no longer forecasted to reach destructive wind criteria.
TCCOR All Clear:
The storm is over and not forecast to return. Storm damage could still present a danger. This TCCOR level is used to inform U.S. Military and civilians that the threat of the storm is over. However, until the recovery process is declared complete (TCCOR All Clear), or the risk of injury and/or damage to personnel and property has been mitigated to a safe level, the general base population would normally be asked to continue to remain indoors.
There are some simple but important steps that Airmen and their families should take in preparation for typhoon season. Most importantly, families should have an emergency kit that contains the following items at a minimum:
Flashlight with extra batteries
Bottled Water (3 days worth - 1 gallon per person per day)
Non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices
Foods for infants or the elderly
Non-electric can opener
Paper plates/plastic utensils
First-Aid supplies, Prescriptions
Battery powered radio (AFN)
Pet care items
Towels, rags, mops
When a typhoon is imminent, all personnel should:
Fill bathtubs with water
Turn refrigerators/freezers to highest setting
Secure loose outdoor objects or store them indoors, play sets, bicycles, and other toys, grills, trampolines, storage sheds, tables & chair, trash & recycling containers
Store bulk trash items indoors if contractor has not picked up by TCCOR 2
Secure & lock all exterior doors and windows
Sandbags can be filled at multiple fill stations around the installation.
Turn off all non-critical electrical items: lights, computers, printers, fans, TVs, etc.
Fuel your vehicles
Park vehicles in an area least prone to falling tree limbs and flooding
(Current as of May 2017)
How many military 911 Emergency Dispatch Centers are located on Okinawa?
There are two 911 Emergency Dispatch Centers on Okinawa for all military installations. One is located on Kadena AB and the other on Camp Foster.
How do I dial 911 if I live on base?
If you reside on base, dial 911 for emergencies as if you are in the United States. The phone service provider will automatically connect you to the appropriate 911 dispatch center.
How do I dial 911 from my cellular phone?
There are two numbers being advertised for all military installations. Please store these numbers in your cellular phone and in your home. If you commute to multiple installations including Kadena, save both and use which one is more appropriate to your current location.
Kadena Dispatch: 098-934-5911 (Kadena, Okuma, Camp Shields, Torii Station)
Foster Dispatch: 098-911-1911 (Camp Foster, Camp Courtney, Camp Hansen, Camp Schwab, Camp Futenma, and Camp Kinser.
What if I live off base and require emergency services?
If you live off base, we recommend that you contact the local Japanese dispatch center by pressing 119 on your cellular phone. The local Japanese dispatch center will also contact the military dispatch center for assistance.
How do I give the Japanese 911 dispatcher my location?
If you live off base, the local Japanese dispatch center recommends that you write your house number down. This number allows them to find your location much like a street address in the United States. Another important piece of information for dispatchers is landmarks and well known businesses to aide in giving directions.
What if I have magic jack or Vonage? Can I still call 911?
Yes, if you are able to dial the country of Japan commercially you can make a 911 call. The number is 011-81-611-734-9445.