AIHA 2013 Fall ConferenceThe man hailed by the media as the “Category 5 General” says despite recent natural disasters, Americans still haven’t recognized the need to be prepared at home.

Lt. General Russel L. Honoré (Ret.), who’ll serve as the keynote speaker at the American Industrial Hygiene Association® (AIHA) Fall Conference, led Task Force Katrina in the aftermath of the devastating hurricanes that struck the Gulf Coast in the summer of 2005.

The title of Honoré’s presentation at the fall conference, “The New Normal: Leadership and Preparedness in the 21st Century,” reflects the focus of his post-military career.

“After more than 37 years of uniformed service to the U.S. Army and our nation, I will spend the second half of my life committed to a new mission: Creating a ‘Culture of Preparedness’ in America.”

Cold war had us prepared

Honoré says the U.S. had a Culture of Preparedness during the 1960s, when homes, government agencies and institutions were prepared a nuclear attack from the former Soviet bloc.

“Once that threat was all but gone, we abandoned our readiness."

You are your own first responder

Honoré said since 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, there has been more emphasis placed on government/FEMA preparedness, but Americans haven’t accepted the need as individuals to be ready for the unexpected.

"One of the harshest lessons learned from recent disasters, especially Katrina, is that you are your own first responder."

The AIHA Fall Conference will be held September 28 – October 2, 2013, at the Intercontinental Miami Hotel in Miami, Florida. More details will be available soon on the AIHA website.