Disease, Disaster, Bioterror: Is Your State Ready?
(Trust for America’s Health) In ‘Ready or Not? Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases, Disasters and Bioterrorism,’ 25 states scored a 5 or lower on 10 key indicators of public health preparedness.
Massachusetts and Rhode Island scored the highest at 9 out of 10, while Alaska scored lowest at 2 out of 10. Ten other states, including several of the nation’s most populous, scored only 3 out of 10 — the full list appears below.
‘The country is in a continued state of inefficiently reacting’
The report found the country does not invest enough to maintain core capabilities for health security readiness and, instead, is in a continued state of inefficiently reacting with federal emergency supplemental funding packages each time a disaster strikes.
“While we’ve seen great public health preparedness advances, often at the state and community level, progress is continually stilted, halted and uneven,” said John Auerbach, president and CEO of TFAH.
“As a nation, we—year after year—fail to fully support public health and preparedness. If we don’t improve our baseline funding and capabilities, we’ll continue to be caught completely off-guard when hurricanes, wildfires and infectious disease outbreaks hit.”
Ready or Not? features six expert commentaries from public health officials who share perspectives on and experiences from the historic hurricanes, wildfires and other events of 2017, including from California, Florida, Louisiana and Texas.
Worst states to live in when disease, disaster, and bioterrorism strike:
- New Mexico
The report also provides a series of recommendations, including:
- A complementary Public Health Emergency Fund is needed to provide immediate surge funding for specific action for major emerging threats.
- Strengthening and maintaining global health security to prevent and control health crises. Germs know no borders.
- Prioritizing efforts to stop superbugs and antibiotic resistance.
Supporting a culture of resilience so all communities are better prepared to cope with and recover from emergencies. Sometimes the aftermath of an emergency situation may be more harmful than the initial event. This must also include support for local organizations and small businesses to prepare for and to respond to emergencies.
Read the full story at healthyamericans.org. Also of interest: Nursing Home Deaths Heighten Scrutiny of Disaster Planning