Published on: 30 August 2017 by Michael Lamb
With news breaking this morning that yet another tropical storm may be forming in the Philippines and is forecast to move in a northerly direction towards the northern parts of the South China Sea, Hong Kongers must telling themselves “not again!”
Following the destruction of two typhoons in less than 7 days (Hato and Pakhar), the almost HK$ 8 billion in damages and economic losses caused by those two storms in Hong Kong and Macau, the news that yet another storm may be heading in our direction will not be welcomed by Hong Kong residents.
From severe flooding, broken windows, and downed trees, through to falling concrete and windows, business interruption, and destroyed facilities, the consequences of the 2017 storm season have been unusually high for Hong Kong so far. The prospect of adding a third Typhoon to the growing calculus of destruction will be causing major concern across the city.
Having come through two Typhoons in quick succession, the plan of action in terms of implementing preventative and protection measures should be fairly fluid for any additional Typhoons this season. This can be seen in the lowered destruction caused by Pakhar vs Hato (even though Pakhar was a weaker storm).
However, the impact of two successive storms will be taking its toll on the city’s infrastructure. This can be seen in the ever increasing number of potholes on the road as the rain and debris have started to wear down the tarmac. Additionally, as with the case of falling concrete and windows, buildings around the city are starting to show weaknesses that will require close attention should another storm hit us within the next week.
Here’s what you can do now to ensure that you are properly prepared for another major weather incident this summer:
Building management and property owners should take care to inspect their external pipes and drainage this week – making sure to clear any blockages where necessary. With the amount of debris, leaves, and other items that have been blown around with our last two storms, making sure that you’re keeping your drains clear and free to do their job will be an extremely important measure in preventing flooding and water damage should a large amount of rain come down.
With over 700 trees blown down by Typhoon Hato and added to by Typhoon Pakhar, one of the most important preventative measures that can be taken is to properly manage any trees or branches that may pose a danger with a future storm.
Broken or bent boughs, trees which are leaning excessively, and even damage to buildings should all be inspected, pruned, cut, or repaired where necessary. This preventative measure will avoid adding to the already extensive damage should another storm hit, or mitigate the damage that will likely occur in another storm.
Remember, soil is unsettled, water damage will have already occurred in some locations, and fixtures and fittings are liable to be less secure than they were this time last week. Check everything and implement fixes where you can – time is of the essence here as you will be unable to fix issues if another Typhoon lands.
Even though you might have avoided any major damage from Pakhar and Hato, that may not hold true for a future Typhoon. One of the most important things that anyone can do in preparation for an upcoming storm is to ensure that they are comprehensively protected through their various insurance products.
For example, Hong Kong Insurance plans covering Typhoons could include:
Understanding your coverage limits, the protections afforded to you under your insurance policies, and how to make claims in a worst case situation can be vital following a major Typhoon.
With the amount of damage Hong Kong has seen in the last two weeks it is extremely important to be prepared!
It is important to note that no Typhoon has actually formed yet, a weather system is developing around the Philippines which could potentially become a Typhoon impacting Hong Kong.
CCW Global is an expert insurance broker and would be happy to help you with your risk management in the event that a third Typhoon impacts Hong Kong in the near future. We have included a checklist to help you understand some preventative measures to take here:
For more information, or to learn more about which Hong Kong insurance plans will cover you against the various risks associated with Tropical Storms, Hurricanes, Cyclones, and Typhoons, please contact us today.