Kauai News

Are you prepared for hurricane season? What you need to know on Kauaʻi

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Five years ago, Hurricane Lane, a category 5 hurricane passed within 150 miles of the Main Hawaiian Islands. It set the state record for tropical cyclone rainfall (58 inches) and caused more than $7 million in damage. August 22, 2018. (NOAAʻs GOES-West satellite)

The 2023 hurricane season in the Central Pacific, which includes Hawai‘i, started on June 1 and runs through Nov. 30.

According to the National Weather Service, the 2023 outlook calls for four to seven tropical cyclones for a near- or above-normal season. The outlook is a general guide to the overall seasonal hurricane activity in the Central Pacific basin and does not predict whether or how many of these systems will affect Hawai‘i.

An average season has four or five storms, which includes tropical depressions, tropical storms as well as hurricanes.


“In the event of a tropical cyclone, preparedness is crucial for you and your family,” said Elton Ushio, administrator of Kauaʻi Emergency Management Agency. “If your home is safe to do so, sheltering in place is usually the best option.

“This year’s outlook seems more active than last year, so it is especially important to get your emergency preparedness kits ready sooner rather than later. Here on Kaua‘i, we know too well that it only takes one storm to have adverse effects on our community.”

Disaster kits should include:

  • At least a 14-day supply of non-perishable food
  • One gallon of water per person per day
  • A battery-powered radio
  • Flashlight
  • An extra supply of prescription medicines
  • Other items specific to individual and family needs, including pets

The Central Pacific Hurricane Center continuously monitors weather conditions, employing a network of satellites, land- and ocean-based sensors, and aircraft reconnaissance missions operated by NOAA and its partners. Complex computer modeling and human expertise serve as the basis for the hurricane center’s track and intensity forecasts that extend out five days.

The hurricane center issues a hurricane or tropical storm watch when hurricane or tropical-storm-force winds are possible within 48 hours.

A hurricane or tropical storm warning is issued when hurricane or tropical-storm-force winds are expected within 36 hours.


When either a watch or a warning is issued, residents and visitors should listen to their local radio or TV stations and monitor local web/internet media and websites for official weather information and instructions from emergency management entities.

Information on planning and preparation regarding hurricane season is available on the county website, www.kauai.gov/kema, or the Central Pacific Hurricane Center website, http://www.hurricanes.gov/cphc.

To sign up for the county’s free emergency notification service, Wireless Emergency Notification System (WENS), go to the county website and click on “Notifications.”

WENS, a mass notification service from Inspiron Logistics, is designed to quickly inform residents and businesses about Emergency Management emergencies including tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, flash floods and any other situation that could impact the safety, property or welfare of residents and visitors.

Those without Internet access can have their phone number and other pertinent information added to the county database by calling the Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency at 808-241-1800.

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