Sunday, September 23, 2018

Truth or Myth: Taping Windows during Typhoon

This post is to document my experience in Typhoon Mangkhut.

Unlike Typhoon Hato in 2017, I was out in the shopping district the day before the storm and what I saw inspired this post. One day before the storm where the weather was superb, scorching hot and humid, there was no sign of imminent disaster. In the evening, I started to see staffs taping "*" sign (bigger in size) or 米字on the windows of their shops using normal scotch tape. Shopping malls and shops that sell jewellery, watches etc are usually designed to have a large piece of glass windows to display their products. However, upon more careful observation, there were also shops which did not jump on the bandwagon. I was not sure if they were confident about the glass quality or they didn’t think the tape helped.

Immediately I realised it was to strength their glass windows to combat the imminent disaster. I turned to Google to learn what tape does during a typhoon. 

What I found surprised me. Contrary to popular belief, the tape will actually cause more harm than good. In the event that the taped windows break, they will break into bigger and more deadly shards. Besides, in reality, taping does nothing to strengthen windows. Would you prefer tiny shards of flying glass or giant shards of flying glass held together with tape? However, I think people are buying in on the assumption that giant shards of flying glass are unlikely to happen as they are relatively heavier than tiny shards, therefore taping them together may reduce the impact of the damage.

Luckily there were not any casualty. God bless Hong Kong!

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