The two-year effort to create the Hawaii Catastrophic Hurricane Plan came to fruition on August 7, 2015—exactly one year after Iselle made landfall as a tropical storm. Three key officials signed the plan:
- Hawaii Governor David Ige
- Director of Emergency Management Major General Arthur J. Logan
- Acting Regional Administrator for FEMA Region IX Karen Armes
Doug Mayne, the Administrator of Emergency Management explained the significance of the plan in a press release. The Catastrophic Hurricane Plan provides strategies to facilitate joint federal and state actions before, during, and after a catastrophic event.
This plan was signed just in time for the arrival of Hurricane Hilda. According to the National Weather Service, Hilda is a Category 1 hurricane about 1000 miles east-southeast of Hilo.
The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency is coordinating efforts with federal and state partners, local emergency management, and civil defense agencies to track Hurricane Hilda.
Fortunately, Hilda weakened and slowed down after encountering an upper level jet, but as of August 10, 2015, there is still a 10-15% chance that tropical storm force winds will make landfall on Hawaii Island.
Emergency management officials cautioned that Hilda could bring heavy rains, thunderstorms, and gusty winds. Even if the storm does not strike land, swells associated with the storm are expected to produce potentially life-threatening surf along the southeast and east facing shores of the main Hawaiian Islands during the next few days.
The agency strongly advises the public to closely monitor the progress of Hilda, especially since the hazards of a tropical cyclone can extend far away from the center of the storm.