（Contributed by Reuben)
Typhoon Season in Japan
I`ve always been fascinated by the small changes in the living condition due to severe weather conditions such as typhoons. Some houses come equipped with hidden floor compartments for emergency food, water, and other supplies. All houses, and apartment buildings come equipped with metal shutters which I always thought were for the purpose for protecting your windows from flying debris during typhoon season.
Although I also hear that they are for protection from burglars, I find that hard to believe since Japan has one of the most lowest crime rates in the world. I`ve also heard they use them during the winter to keep the heat in, but actually metal is a poor insulator. Protection from typhoons seems to be the best reason for those metal shutters. Also businesses seem willing to cancel events, appointments, and attendance due to a possible typhoon which greatly surprised me since I got the feeling thatthe Japanese tend to hate to cancel anything especially at the last moment.
Also people in Japan tend to buy supplies in preparation for typhoon season, and will stock up on dried noodles and water. People will also tie down anything that could be lifted in the air by a typhoon, and put tape on windows so that if it did break during a typhoon it wouldn`t shatter into a million pieces. I was so shocked how much noise a typhoon makes during my first typhoon season. The rain banging against the metal shutter and the shrieking howling wind were worse than helicopters and sirens that often lulled me to sleep growing up in Los Angeles. My wife however seems to always sleep like a baby. Wish I could as well.