Hurricane Katrina, the nation’s worst natural disaster, unleashed a series of social consequences that continue to test Gulf Coast residents and the nation as a whole.

We are proud to say that the LHSFNA – in conjunction with LIUNA, its signatory employers, LECET and the Laborers-AGC – has risen to the challenge. In a variety of significant ways, our organizations have rallied to help members and the people of the region stabilize their lives and begin rebuilding their communities. In this issue, we tell some of these stories.

After Katrina, we are all more alert to disaster warnings. We all need to make preparations so we can deal with disasters yet to come. In this issue, we suggest ways that you can get yourself and your family ready.

Now, health agencies are predicting a catastrophe of a different sort – the probability of a worldwide flu pandemic that could kill tens of millions of people, including more than two million in the U.S. and Canada. Experts say it is not so much a matter of if, but of when. They also say the best protection is broadened public awareness. In this issue, we give you the first round of information about this newly identified danger and urge you to educate yourself and your loved ones.

On a more personal level, with the holiday season approaching, we continue our efforts to help you address the dangers of excessive weight. We highlight a highly successful effort of the Midwest Region Laborers’ Health and Safety Fund to encourage more physical exercise among the region’s staff and fund participants.

This has been a tough year for many in our LIUNA family, but the holidays give us the chance to appreciate our many blessings. We hope you are able to enjoy them with family and friends, and we wish you the best as we look ahead to 2006.