Typhoon survival guide

typhoonsurvivalThis summer has been hotter than Satan’s barse, but now we are sliding thankfully into autumn. However, for the humidity to loosen its grip, we still have one set of meteorological phenomena to endure: the September typhoons, when the nation will be bombarded by storms that can be as volatile as the Chinese stock market.

Most Japanese will equip their homes with a hijoubukuro, an emergency bag filled with items for survival should they be forced to evacuate. Contents may include water, a radio and a first-aid kit. However, as gaijin, you have different requirements, so we have compiled a list of essential items for your hijoubukuro.

Fashionable rucksack

Most hijoubukuro bags are extremely practical: waterproof, lightweight and high-vis. However, they are bloody ugly things to look at, and most of you would rather be seen dead, literally, than carrying one. So instead, NagMag recommend that you release your inner hipster and shell out for a Swedish Fjäll Räven backpack to carry your life-saving items. You won’t get lucky when you meet a half-drowned hotty whilst carrying some ugly fucking rucksack that looks like it’s used to cover a turkey at Christmas. Speaking of which…


Now, we don’t want to be crass, but when emotions and fear are high, libidos run wild. Just ask the British women of the 1940s and the American GIs who left them with little more than empty promises and syphilis. When you are cooped up in some evacuation center twiddling your thumbs, there may be people grieving for loved ones, who need comforting. This is where you and those idle thumbs – and other body parts perhaps – can help momentarily relieve the pain. Just until the devastating reality of their situation dawns on them once again. But by that time you will be ‘counselling’ some other poor soul, so it’s not your problem.

Extra chargers for phone

There will be power outages, which will lead to most amenities being out of order, but more importantly you won’t be able to charge your smartphone. Things can get that bad. And as you look around there will be so many photo ops: a wailing, parentless infant; a frail old lady holding the hand of her septuagenarian husband breathing his last on a cot bed; a family huddled in contorted despair as they recall seeing a beloved pet being washed away by the waves. But if you have a bunch of charged batteries, you can capture every image, slap on the X-PRO II filter, Instagram them and see your ‘like’ count skyrocket. Taking selfies replete with ‘V’ signs may not go down to well, but let’s face it, that’s not going to stop you.


Most sensible people will fill their hijoubukuro with water. It may be the elixir of life, but it’s pretty dull. And when you consider your workplace could be closed the following day, it’s the perfect opportunity to get ripped to the tits. Bear in mind though that most conbinis, due to flooding and death, will be temporarily closed. A forward-planning gaijin will fill their bag with enough booze to get them through the night. Unfortunately for those who work for Aeon, the bastards will probably expect you to turn up the next day, regardless. In fact you will likely be docked pay for not having drowned on the job.


There is a good chance that your alcohol stash will run out (which, let’s be honest will be after the first night, you borderline alcoholic, you). So why not take the opportunity to work on your piss-poor Japanese? The best way of improving your language skills in this situation is to talk to your fellow evacuees. However, it is unlikely that vocabulary such as “do you have any spare food?”, “please help, I am in so much pain” or “my whole family were drowned, I don’t know how I will carry on with my life” will be on the N5 JLPT exam in December. No, you’re better off getting your head in the books and studying something more useful.

Flash Cards

You have a captive audience with spare time and no doubt everyone will be asking “where you from?” Now is the best time to spread the English tongue. And in a barter society, who knows what helpful survival tools you can acquire in exchange for English lessons. Do keep in mind that profiteering in times of emergency is usually looked down upon, but only by those who aren’t profiting.

Electric Guitar

No matter how slim, there is a possibility that this typhoon is the beginning of the apocalypse, a time of warlords ruling a barren earth, holding sway over impoverished populace with an iron fist. And so, which of those do you want to be? A warlord with the world at its feet, or a serf indentured to their master? The answer is obvious. Those of you who have seen the recent Mad Max movie will know that no warlord is complete without a blind goon strapped to a vehicle made of amps playing breakneck guitar. Should the time come, if you can find your blind man and give him a guitar, you’re halfway there to warlordship. For those of you who haven’t seen it, well you should. It’s a bloody good movie and will prepare you pretty well for your post-civilisation life.

Good luck out there, and be safe!


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