Today we had amber rain when we woke up for the first day of school. Not too long after the amber signal was given, it was changed to red rain.
At the amber signal, kindergartens are closed. At the red signal, all nonessential services shut down. This means the schools too.
Then there is the black signal. I haven’t been witness to that one yet, but I’m told it’s a crazy amount of rain. Black rain so named because you are not able to see in front of you. Things tend to flood very quickly in this situation.
So we had a red signal today. The practice is the kids are cancelled, but in the signal is downgraded before noon, you are expected to be into work within 2 hours of the downgrade.
For us, the signal was downgraded before noon, so I had to go into school and work with the other staff on other stuff. Now, if you are in a place where it presents a danger for you to travel in, you are not expected to come in. This can be the case in just about any place in Hong Kong. For us though, it is not. We simply take the lift down, cross a foot bridge to the MTR. We are two stops away from the school which is also attached to an MTR.
As a foreigner, the idea of having school and/or work cancelled is strange. The storm wasn’t much worse than what we would have at home. The way it was explained to me was that there are parts of the country susceptible to flooding and landslides. Mostly on the island and other outlying islands.
Where we are, it is more of a warning about what you hang on your balcony. Standard practice is to hang your laundry to dry on your balcony. We haven’t done that yet, so it’s not really a concern for us.