The isolated islands would rapidly burn through food and supplies should the port close. Plan B is to bring limited goods through Pearl Harbor.
Maintaining electricity in the wake of a major storm is also key to keeping the water supply flowing.
Congress has authorized $345 million to strengthen the aging canal to protect against flooding in Waikiki and nearby neighborhoods.
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.
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.