Local information 3: Health and safety
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Being in the world's most active cyclone basin, typhoons (颱風) or tropical storms visit Taiwan between June to October. While typhoons should never be taken lightly, Taiwan's Central Mountain Range does shield Taipei from much of the dangerous winds if the typhoon enters Taiwan from the southeast and moves through Taiwan in a northwest direction. Consult Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau for typhoon trackings. Taiwan's only English-language station, ICRT FM100, also provides emergency typhoon announcements.
Taiwan is located on part of the seismically active Ring of Fire, meaning that it is prone to earthquakes. The last major earthquake to strike Taiwan was September 21, 1999, in which more than 2,000 people died.
When an earthquake occurs, hide under a strong table or brace yourself against a door frame. If you are outside, go to an open field without trees or electric power lines.
The southern part of Taiwan has recently been hit by a new Dengue fever epidemic. The symptoms are the same as influenza's. No known treatment exists.
The Taiwan Center for Disease Control requires people from outbreak areas abroad to fill a questionnaire form. Taiwan is a rabies free country.
Tap water in Taipei and Taiwan is treated, but it should be boiled before drinking.
Taipei is famous for its pedestrian signal, which consists of a timer and a green walking man. As the timer approaches zero, the walking man walks frantically faster.
Certain intersections permit diagonal pedestrian crossings; this is usually indicated by a gigantic X pathway on the intersection and by the fact that the pedestrian signals in both directions simultaneously turn green.
Be aware that cars and motorcycles often do not respect a pedestrian's right of way.
Accessibility for people with disabilities
Taipei does not provide excellent facilities for those with physical disabilities. People on wheelchairs or crutches may feel frustrated when crossing the streets on navigating through obstacle-filled sidewalks. However, Taipei's MRT metro system does provide elevators, fare gates, ramps, restrooms, and special riding space for those with physical disabilities.
- Fire: dial 119.
- Police: dial 110.
- Ambulance: dial 119.
- English operator: 106
- English-speaking Police: 2556-6007 (add 02 in front of the number if dialing outside of Taipei City, Keelung, or Taipei County)
- Taiwan Adventist Hospital (considered foreign-friendly): 2771-8151 (add 02 in front of the number if dialing outside of Taipei City, Keelung, or Taipei County)
- International Community Service Hotline, National police Agency, Ministry of Interior: 0800-024-111 (toll free)
Health Care and Medical Emergencies
Most doctors speak some level of English. Larger hospitals usually have English clinics.
The following is a partial list of hospitals in Taipei. More information about health care in Taiwan can be found at the American Institute in Taiwan's health care web page.
- Branch hospitals all over the city.
- 7 Zhong Shan S. Rd., Taipei (中山南路7號)
- Located near the MRT National Taiwan University Hospital Station
- Telephone: 2312-3456
- 280 Ren Ai Rd, Sec. 4., Taipei (仁愛路4段280號)
- Telephone: 2708-2121
- 325 Cheng Gong Road, Section 2, Nei Hu District, Taipei (成功路2段325號)
- Telephone: 8792-3311
- Outpatient care only: 40 Ding Zhou Rd., Sec. 3, Taipei (汀州路3段40號)
- Telephone: 2365-9055
- 45 Zheng Xin St., Shih Pai, Taipei (振興街45號)
- Telephone: 2826-4400
- 111 Xing Long Rd, Section 3, Taipei (興隆路3段111號)
- Located next to the MRT Wanfang Hospital Station
- Telephone: 2930-7930
- 289 Jianguo Rd., Xindian City, Taipei County (台北縣新店市建國路289號)
- Telephone: 6628-9779
Foreign Affairs Police Units
Contact information for various foreign affairs police units may be found at this site.