Peek Concepts’ Guide to Weathering a Typhoon in Hong Kong

Bad pun. I know.

The weather outside is a not so gentle reminder that it is typhoon season again. To take your mind off the current Covid-19 pandemic, we here at Peek Concepts decided to remind you of the types of emergencies we can see, hear and smell. The types of routine upsetting, school closing, bar closing nuisances we have grown accustomed to, living in the SAR.

You can google all kinds of websites to tell you how to prepare for an emergency like a typhoon. Some are more helpful than others. This post is designed to target the urban/suburban Hong Konger and the unique situations we may have to face.

While HK is usually well prepared for emergencies such as these, we still can’t prepare for every mudslide, downed tree or flooded MTR station. It’s up to us to hunker down and ride out the storm as safely and comfortably as possible. Mother nature has a lot of pitches in her arsenal to throw at us.

It’s always good to have about 3 days worth of food on hand for each household member, including pets. Instead of rushing out to the store to stock up on whatever is left, buy an extra bag of pasta or a can of food every time you go out to pick something up at the store. You’d be amazed at how much emergency food you have sitting in your cupboards after just a few weeks.

As a storm approaches there are a few things you can do to prepare. Do NOT tape your windows. It does nothing but provide you with a false sense of security. The problem with blown out windows is not the force of the wind it is the pressure differential between the low pressure outside and the higher pressure inside. Just crack a window in the bathroom. That will equalize the pressure and keep your windows from imploding. Won’t do much about a tree branch though.

Aside from filling up jugs of potable water, which is a good idea, fill your bathtub with water. This can be used for anything, including drinking if you filter it and/or disinfecting it by boiling or UV light.

You can also use our Professional Personal Water Filter Straw to drink directly out of the emergency bath you’ve drawn yourself or fill jugs with the attachment. Just make sure there is no soap in it! The filter will not filter soap or salt. The particulates are too fine. So make sure you rinse your tub thoroughly before filling it.

Put your refrigerator and freezer up to their highest settings in case you lose power. Open them very sparingly. A good idea is to vacuum seal fresh food, as it will last 3-4 times longer than stored in an ordinary ziplock. We have a great HK kitchen size vacuum sealer complete with 15 bags.

If you have outdoor space, make sure you secure everything. Lay tables upside down, fold chairs and secure with bungee cords. Secure the bbq lid with bungees or zipties. Bungees and zipties are your best friend in a typhoon.

Close your blinds or curtains. I know storms are fun to watch, but flying debris can crash through even tempered, double pane glass. Stay away from the windows.

Here is a list of emergency supplies every household should have before you even hear about a typhoon out in the South China Sea.

  • Flashlight and extra batteries. Lots of batteries.
  • Portable, battery-operated weather radio and extra batteries. Did I mention batteries?
  • Wine, beer, rum (rum is a typhoon spirit)
  • First aid kit and manual
  • Emergency food and water. 3 days worth.
  • Nonelectric can opener
  • Essential medicines
  • Butane burner
  • Cash and credit cards
  • Sturdy shoes 
  • Pretty sure I don’t need to mention toilet paper.

A good idea is to pre-cook meals and vacuum seal them, so you just have to reheat them while weathering the storm. You can use our Sous Vide stick to get the job done. That way you don’t have to watch the food as it heats up.

Some tricks if the power goes out. A UV light will disinfect surfaces, drinking water and fruit. If water is precious and you have no power to boil water, you can sterilize it with a  UV Wand. It would be a good idea to either have a butane or battery operated hot plate to heat your food up. They are available at Taobao for around HK$200. Butane burns very cleanly, so it won’t be a problem indoors for short periods of time. Just in case, you should have a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket nearby.

Here is a good tutorial on Taobao for English users:

We Hong Kongers are a tough breed and don’t sweat most emergencies like typhoons. That being said, we love to think we are “prepared” by sending our helpers to the stores a day before a typhoon to rustle up a hunk of cheese, some cups of ramen, or a can of beans or whatever else is left on the shelves of our local supermarket or 711.

These simple tips and items will have you laughing and content that you are prepared for the next emergency.

DON’T FORGET THE RUM!

Please contact us with any questions: hello@peekconcepts. Follow us on instagram.

                                                             Cell/WhatsApp: +852 9302 8179

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