Special Report

Are We Ready?

About the Series

Experts agree it’s only a matter of time until Oahu gets hit by a hurricane or tsunami. We examine the island’s vulnerabilities and what steps are being taken to make it more resilient.
Are We Ready? Or Not?

Chapter 1: Are We Ready? Or Not?

Civil Beat explores how vulnerable Hawaii’s most populous island is if a hurricane hits — and what’s being done to make us more prepared.

If The Big One Hits, Honolulu Harbor Is A Fragile Lifeline Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Chapter 2: If The Big One Hits, Honolulu Harbor Is A Fragile Lifeline

The isolated islands would rapidly burn through food and supplies should the port close. Plan B is to bring limited goods through Pearl Harbor.

Turning The Lights Back On Is Tough In Oahu’s Rugged Terrain Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Chapter 3: Turning The Lights Back On Is Tough In Oahu’s Rugged Terrain

Maintaining electricity in the wake of a major storm is also key to keeping the water supply flowing.

Most Of Oahu’s Shelters Are A Long Way From Hurricane Ready Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Chapter 4: Most Of Oahu’s Shelters Are A Long Way From Hurricane Ready

The state is assessing the conditions of shelters and retrofitting some, but the work is expensive and slow.

How The Ala Wai Canal Puts Honolulu’s Most Valuable Real Estate At Risk Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Chapter 5: How The Ala Wai Canal Puts Honolulu’s Most Valuable Real Estate At Risk

Congress has authorized $345 million to strengthen the aging canal to protect against flooding in Waikiki and nearby neighborhoods.

More Frequent And More Frightening Storms On The Horizon

Chapter 6: More Frequent And More Frightening Storms On The Horizon

Hawaii has been hit directly by a hurricane or tropical storm five times since 1950. Three of those direct hits came in the last four years.

What Hawaii Can Learn From Puerto Rico’s Devastation Eduardo Meléndez/Civil Beat

Chapter 7: What Hawaii Can Learn From Puerto Rico’s Devastation

The U.S. territory still hasn’t recovered from Maria. Hawaii officials hope better coordination and a more resilient electric grid will help avoid a similar fate.