A story for all you Jurassic Park loving peeps out there. I learned about
this in my Disaster Response and Emergency Preparedness course that I
In 1992, Jurassic Park was finishing filming on the island of Kaua'i in Hawai'i. The final day was scheduled for September 11. However, brewing out in the Pacific and headed straight for Hawai'i was Category 4 Hurricane Iniki. The crew had been keeping an eye on it, but it was expected that Iniki would turn its course slightly. The afternoon of September 10, however they were informed that it was going to make landfall in a few hours, impacting Kaua'i with the main brunt of it. The crew of hundreds was ordered into the basement of the hotel they were staying in, and they waited it out that night. (Rather hilariously, Richard Attenborough slept through the whole ordeal where others were awake, huddled together and fearing for their lives. When Spielberg asked him about it, he answered, “My dear boy, I survived the blitz!” I guess after that, a little hurricane is just pleasant white noise.)
The next day, after the storm had passed, the whole island was in shambles. Infrastructure was totally destroyed, electricity was entirely knocked out, and radio service was down. The crew had escaped harm, luckily, though the sets were totally destroyed. That’s actually why we don’t see any of Ray Arnold’s journey to the power shed, because that set was ruined during the storm. Anyway, I digress.
The crew comes out of their basement shelter to find total devastation and a city in disarray. Even though help would be arriving soon, since the National Weather Service had been monitoring the storm and knew the island was hit, there would be no way for the relief efforts to begin with the infrastructure so heavily damaged. Airstrips and landing pads had also been demolished in the storm, and hospitals were without power. There was also no (rather, just severely limited) way to move the debris that was keeping citizens from aid.
EXCEPT a gigantic, highly skilled and intelligent film crew with lots of industrial equipment and literally nothing better to do.
Within hours of the storm’s passing, the film crew personnel had dug out their bulldozers and cranes, jury rigged up whatever else they needed from the animatronics, and began blazing a path through the wreckage to the air strip where they cleared the whole landing site, then began working on major city streets. They also used their set generators to help restore power to critical city functions, and their satellite phones to call for extra assistance from the mainland (after they had evacuated their cast, of course).
Even though the ships and helicopters arrived to take the crew home that day, as planned, many (if not most) of the crew stayed on Kaua'i to assist in cleanup and relief efforts.
It’s estimated by Emergency Management officials and experts that if the crew had not been there, the recovery efforts would have been delayed by as much as 3 weeks, as little as 3 days, and several hundred people would have died in the aftermath of Hurricane Iniki.
Hollywood gets a bad rep for being selfish, but they can save lives and I think that’s really cool.