Ready or not yet?

Half the states are definitely not, and most others need improvement. Oklahoma scored the highest in a report on American health emergencies readiness and disaster preparedness, achieving 10 of the 10 possible indicators. Virginia had 8. The Trust for America's Health (TFAH) released a 2006 report card on America's disaster readiness as it had in 2005, noted in the FR post in January '06, which had rated Hawaii as one of 16 states to receive only 5 out of the ten indicators. This year's report found Hawaii to achieve 7 out of the ten indicators for preparedness.

The report mentions several key findings:
  • Forty states face a shortage of nurses.
  • Rates for vaccinating seniors for the seasonal flu decreased in 13 states.
  • Eleven states and D.C. lack sufficient capabilities to test for biological threats.
  • Four states do not test year-round for the flu, which is necessary to monitor for a pandemic outbreak.
  • Six states cut their public health budgets from fiscal year (FY) 2005 to 2006.

Ready or Not? Protecting the Public's Health from Disease, Disasters, and Bioterrorism, 2006
(2006, pdf, 84pp/1MB)

Summary and individual state reports available in HTML.

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