Maui News

State Democratic Party Says Jobs Plan Will Improve Hawai‘i Hurricane Readiness

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PC: Hawaiian Electric storm/hurricane response. File photo.

With the start of hurricane season on June 1 in the Central Pacific, the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi is calling attention to the need for most federal investments in hurricane preparedness and resiliency. These investments are critically important considering the National Weather Service’s recent announcement that they expect two to five storms in the Central Pacific during the 2021 hurricane season.

From 2010 to 2020, the United States has experienced 145 extreme weather events, costing the nation an estimated $921 billion in damages.

In Hawaiʻi, storms like Hurricane Iselle in 2014 caused between $148 million and $325 million in damages and Hurricane Lane in 2018 caused $12 million in damage to critical infrastructure on Hawaiʻi Island and Maui.


“We need to invest in critical infrastructure now so we are ready for the next hurricane. With climate change and rising sea levels, the time for action is now. President Biden’s American Jobs Plan will help Hawaiʻi to be ready and resilient,” said Congressman Ed Case (HI-01).

“These investments can’t wait. President Biden is following the science, which suggests that hurricanes will get more damaging and more frequent in the Pacific. Hawaiʻi needs to be ready,” said Tyler Dos Santos-Tam, Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaiʻi.

As part of the American Jobs Plan, President Biden is calling for $50 billion to improve the resiliency of infrastructure and support communities’ recovery from disaster. Specifically, the plan will focus on the most essential services, including the electric grid; food systems; urban infrastructure; community health and hospitals; and our roads, railroads, and other transportation assets.


The plan also targets investments to support infrastructure in those communities most vulnerable physically and financially to climate-driven disasters – such as Hawaiʻi – and to build back above existing codes and standards.

These investments will come through a range of programs, including FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities program, HUD’s Community Development Block Grant program, new initiatives at the Department of Transportation, a bipartisan tax credit to provide incentives to low- and middle-income families and to small businesses to invest in disaster resilience, and transition and relocation assistance to support community-led transitions for the most vulnerable tribal communities.


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