Houston just got hammered by Hurricane Harvey and now Hurricane Irma is on its way to Florida. And now, my phone is blowing up regarding everything hurricane related questions to Hawaii weddings. So here are my quick answers to the most common questions that I’ve been answering this week.
How common are hurricanes in Hawaii?
Not very. I was born and raised on Oahu and since then, zero hurricanes have hit our island. For some strange reason, Kauai tends to get hit if there is a hurricane. That’s just bad luck. If those two hurricanes would have strayed just a bit, Oahu would have been right in the crosshairs. With that being said, a direct strike to Oahu, or any our islands, is very rare. There have only been two direct strikes to the State of Hawaii since I was born, which was 1977. And since then, we’ve pretty much been free and clear.
By the way, we’re in the middle of hurricane season and it’s been pretty quiet. But all it takes is one, right?
Why are hurricanes not common in Hawaii?
Just to let you know, I’m not a meteorologist, but a wedding planner. But I did stay at a Holiday Inn!
The Holiday Inn told me the reason why we don’t have a lot of hurricanes that hit the State, is because of our location. We have a pretty gnarly wind shear that breaks apart a lot of hurricanes. Not to mention, the cooler waters that surround us are like kryptonite to these natural wonders.
Do you have a backup plan if a hurricane hits Hawaii on our wedding day?
It really depends on the approach of the hurricane and where it hits. Our State is quite big. In fact, it’s one of the biggest states out there, seriously. Our U.S. jurisdiction extends way past our shoreline. We just have more ocean than land.
If a hurricane comes from the North and hits the Big Island first, we still have a few days till it comes to Oahu. The weaker, less stormy side of the hurricane is the south-west wall of the eye. So, if the hurricane passes to the North of Oahu, we’re pretty much free sailing up until the day of the hurricane. Wedding is GAME ON!
If the hurricane comes to us from the south, that means the Hawaiian Islands will be on the North-East wall, the stormiest side of the hurricane. In that case, we’re going to run into some pretty crappy weather leading up to the day of your wedding and will most likely have to wait till the hurricane passes to do your wedding.
Basically, I’ll let you know the game plan for the day of your wedding. We may have to move dates, even do the ceremony one day and the pictures the next. Just be flexible and everything will be ok.
How do we prepare for a hurricane hit?
If you are staying in a hotel and are not on the ground floor, just stay put and stay away from the windows at all cost. If you are staying at a vacation rental that’s on the beach, you’ll have to evacuate. You will be told where to evacuate, which will most likely be a school that’s not on the shoreline. The biggest danger to any hurricane is flooding. And on the islands, flash flooding is nothing to joke about. We have steep mountain cliffs that get filled up with water pretty quickly. And sometimes when it just storms, roads can get flooded real quick. Do not drive through any stream or you will be in danger of getting swept away.
I’m panicking, should I?
Absolutely not. Think about it this way. Since 1977, we have had two hurricane strikes here in Hawaii. Since 1977, there has been over 40 hurricane strikes in the Continental United States. Every decade, there about 17 hurricane strikes on the continental United States. Hurricanes in Hawaii are not very common at all. I would say you can keep this thought in your back pocket, but honestly, it shouldn’t be at the forfront of your wedding planning. There are other things you need to worry about when it comes to wedding planning.
Alright peeps. I’m outta here. If you live in the hurricane zones, please, stay safe. You are definitely in my prayers!