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November 17th, 2014
11:13 PM ET

State of emergency declared ahead of Ferguson grand jury decision

The FBI issued a nationwide bulletin to law enforcement warning of possible violence when the Ferguson grand jury's decision comes down on whether to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown. This came after Missouri Governor Jay Nixon activated the National Guard. Sara Sidner reports on signs that people in Ferguson are bracing for trouble.

Anderson discussed the National Guard deployment and other security measures with retired Lieutenant General Russell Honoré.

June 14th, 2010
09:15 PM ET

Honoré on oil: Declare World War III

Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré looks over a map of hurricane damage in Louisiana, 2005.

Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré looks over a map of hurricane damage in Louisiana, 2005.

Gary Tuchman
AC360° Correspondent

The Louisiana native who was the commander of task force Katrina has some very definitive ideas about what should be done with this oil disaster. Lieutenant General Russel Honoré says World War III needs to be declared in an effort to win this battle of the oil. He also likens BP to a "mugger" and then "having the burglar determine what the compensation is."

The Gulf of Mexico needs to be saturated with military power says the retired General. And it needs to start now. We'll have our candid conversation with Russel Honoré tonight on AC 360.

August 29th, 2008
02:45 PM ET

'Hanna', not 'Gustav' could make one city 'the next New Orleans'

Editor's Note: Anderson Cooper 360° is in New Orleans tonight, as Tropical Storm Gustav barrels toward the Gulf of Mexico, expected to reach Category 3. We'll look at whether New Orleans is ready, after being devastated by Hurricane Katrina exactly three years ago today. Watch our special report tonight at 10p ET.

David M. Reisner
AC360° Digital Producer

Today, on the 3rd anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans braces for the possibility of yet another hurricane, this time named Gustav, and the possibility of a direct hit.

General Honoré was known best for serving as commander of ‘Joint Task Force Katrina.’ He was responsible for coordinating military relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina-affected areas across the Gulf Coast. Now retired, he spends much of his time in the region, and works to prepare families for future natural disasters.

I caught up with the general as he was traveling from his Georgia home to New Orleans last week. Our conversation covered as much ground as the general did, and we will share with you parts of that conversation over the course of the day.

We talked about other cities that if faced by a hurricane, could be decimated. Before I could finish the question, he had his answer....

As if the coincidence of having Hurricane Gustav threaten the Gulf Coast wasn't enough,
"Tropical Depression 8" has formed and is set to become Tropical Storm Hanna... and it's quite possible by the end of next week, 'Hanna' could head towards the city General Honoré warned us about.

________

What about other cities, what other cities need more planning, what do you fear could be the next ‘New Orleans?’

Miami.

You have a large population, its right on the water, there’s no buffer between Miami and the gulf. New Orleans has about 60 miles of land between it and the gulf, so it was somewhat protected by the marshland, and the terrain leading up to the city. But if you take a city like Miami. It can get hit like Biloxi.

Biloxi got hit with a 30 ft wall of water because there was nothing between Biloxi and the gulf. The storm just came right out of the gulf and came right into the metropolitan area.

Houston also scares me. Houston is the 4th largest city. Both cities have close concentration of people, many people live in high rise. Houston has a lot of chemical plants and a lot of stored poisonous gases, things that are ‘industrial grade’ stored in their port.

What scares me the most about Miami is the number of people in structures that are sitting right on the water… without any protection? Like Biloxi, if you get a tidal surge with 30 feet of water, it would just about destroy most of that south eastern coast of Miami.

The other thing that scares me about Miami is the people in Florida are very hard headed. They don’t like to evacuate. The reason they don’t, is due to the fact that they see a lot of storms come through their state. They’ve become conditioned to the fact. 'Hey it's just another storm.' If you do a mandatory evacuation of Florida, the best you’re going to get is 50 percent of the people evacuating. Some won't move. Even with a mandatory evacuation.

August 29th, 2008
10:02 AM ET

3 rules to get your family ready for a Hurricane... and 2 are free

Editor's Note: Anderson Cooper 360° is in New Orleans tonight, as Tropical Storm Gustav barrels toward the Gulf of Mexico, expected to reach Category 3. We'll look at whether New Orleans is ready, after being devastated by Hurricane Katrina exactly three years ago today. Watch our special report tonight at 10p ET.

David M. Reisner
AC360° Digital Producer

The Hurricane season has picked up this past week, with one storm headed for the Gulf Coast, and another on course to become the 8th named storm of the year.

General Honoré was known best for serving as commander of ‘Joint Task Force Katrina.’ He was responsible for coordinating military relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina-affected areas across the Gulf Coast. Now retired, he spends much of his time in the region, and works to prepare families for future natural disasters.

I caught up with the general as he was traveling from his Georgia home to New Orleans last week. Our conversation covered as much ground as the general did, and we will share with you parts of that conversation over the course of the day.

We talked about how families readiness. How people can't simply rely on the government to bail them out, as we saw in Katrina. He provides us with 3 rules that every family in a danger zone should follow, and plan for.

________

You’ve taken hurricane preparedness to the next level – how can people prepare themselves?

I’m a Red Cross volunteer, so i follow that doctrine. It’s time proven, and the Red Cross is the gold standard for family readiness.

  • Rule # 1: Have a plan. If you live in a hurricane prone area, you must have a plan as to where you are going to evacuate to… and what time you should leave. If you live in Tampa and say the storm gets to Key West, say ‘we have to leave.’ Now you don’t have to leave at that point , but if you don’t, guess what, you can spend 12-15 hours sitting on the road trying to get out of the hurricane danger zone. You saw on this week with “Fay”, people leaving Key West – a lot of people were stuck in traffic 4-5-6 hours. Everybody tried to leave at the same time. If you look at most of the deaths from hurricane Rita, it came from people who were trying to evacuate Houston... not from the storm itself. So having a plan and determining when you are going to leave and where you are going.
  • Rule #2: Stay informed. We stay informed by watching TV, and watching local news, but they key to staying informed is to have a weatherproof radio. One of those radios that will wake you up in the middle of the night, if there is a tornado warning, or it alerts you that the eye of the hurricane is coming and will be of danger…
  • Rule #3: Have an emergency kit. Have a 3 day supply of food and water and have an emergency preparedness kit. If you have to leave in a hurry you grab that kit and leave. The key parts of that that kit are food water and emergency rations, important papers and documents, and maybe a fresh set of clothes for you to wear.

The first two rules don’t really cost you money; having a plan and staying informed.

What is the biggest threat we pose to ourselves?
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August 29th, 2008
08:42 AM ET

Honoré on NOLA: If they get hit again, they'll find a way out this time

Editor's Note: Anderson Cooper 360° is in New Orleans tonight, as Tropical Storm Gustav barrels toward the Gulf of Mexico, expected to reach Category 3. We'll look at whether New Orleans is ready, after being devastated by Hurricane Katrina exactly three years ago today. Watch our special report tonight at 10p ET.

David M. Reisner
AC360° Digital Producer

Today, on the 3rd anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans braces for the possibility of yet another hurricane, this time named Gustav, and the possibility of a direct hit.

General Honoré was known best for serving as commander of ‘Joint Task Force Katrina.’ He was responsible for coordinating military relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina-affected areas across the Gulf Coast. Now retired, he spends much of his time in the region, and works to prepare families for future natural disasters.

I caught up with the general as he was traveling from his Georgia home to New Orleans last week. Our conversation covered as much ground as the general did, and we will share with you parts of that conversation over the course of the day.

We talked about the possibility of New Orleans being hit by another hurricane. The conversation seemed quite hypothetical, or at least a situation much further away... But now as Gustav threatens the Gulf Coast, our conversation takes on a whole new feeling.

________

We've already had several storms make landfall this year, if a hurricane hits New Orleans again – are they prepared now?

In a way I think the government is better prepared. I know they’ve invested in more; the levees have been reinforced and reshaped. They’ve acquired some backup communications, which a big problem after Katrina. They’ve conducted training for first responders.

But it’s going to be a wait-and-see.. Because you know what? Government can do all they want to prepare, but if people don’t prepare themselves, it doesn’t mean much. If you're dealing with 200,000 to 300,000 people as was the case in New Orleans, there’s only so much government can do to prepare. It’s incumbent on the families to do their preparation part… to be prepared to evacuate when the mayor says they need to evacuate.

In New Orleans, the people are in better shape. The life experience they gained from living in the storm, they'll find a way out this time. More of them will leave if it happened again.

August 20th, 2008
07:21 PM ET

Honoré on NOLA: So much to be done

David M. Reisner
AC360° Digital Producer

Nearly three years after Hurricane Katrina devastated their city, President Bush spoke to people in New Orleans today. Among his guests at the ceremony was Lieutenant General Russel L. Honoré, known best for serving as commander of ‘Joint Task Force Katrina.’ He was responsible for coordinating military relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina-affected areas across the Gulf Coast. Now retired, he spends much of his time in the region, and works to prepare families for future natural disasters.

I caught up with the general as he was traveling from his Georgia home to the ceremony this morning. Our conversation covered as much ground as the general did, and we will share with you parts of that conversation over the next several days, leading up to the 3rd Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. We started by talking about today’s event:

So where will the President be commemorating the 3rd anniversary of Katrina?

We're headed to ‘Jackson Barracks’, home of the Louisiana National Guard. Their equipment was stored there prior to Katrina, and unbeknownst to them, when the levees burst, it flooded the equipment. So the equipment the National Guard was depending on to help rescue people in New Orleans ended up 12 feet underwater.

Would this be your first time back to Jackson Barracks since Katrina?I was in Jackson barracks about 3 months ago. I went through for a tour. Many of the buildings were about 80% complete. So I imagine all those buildings are complete now, but it has taken that long, 3 years, with full resources. That’s how long it can take even when you are fully resourced to do a significant project. So when folks say ‘well, we don’t have all the schools back online or we have fire stations that are not completed...’ its going to take time to get a lot of this stuff done.

What are looking to hear from the President today?
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