Most food is imported: Hurricane Lane has the potential to have a devastating effect on Hawaii’s infrastructure, including agriculture. If damage is as widespread and severe as expected, this storm will have an impact on the U.S. economy. Much of the food consumed by Hawaiians is imported via marine shipping and air cargo, causing it to be, in many cases, substantially more expensive than on the mainland.

If ports and airports are substantially damaged, relief efforts will be made more complex. The U.S. Naval fleet is long gone from port and well out to sea, where the ships will ride out the storm. Once winds have subsided, those ships will likely quickly return to port, where crews will assist in relief efforts and start supplying fresh water almost immediately.

FEMA will be particularly stretched in the coming days. Hurricanes in Hawaii are rare, and therefore many structures are not likely to be up to the same standards that are expected along the southeast and Gulf Coast. Damage to structures could be severe and loss of life could occur. In addition to wind damage and flooding, mudslides pose a threat.

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