While only 14 states last year scored eight points or higher (out of a possible 10) on an assessment of health emergency preparedness, seven states received a score of 10, and 28 states and Washington, D.C. scored an eight or nine on the 10-point scale this year, according to a report by the Trust for America’s Health. The fifth annual “Ready or Not? Protecting the Public’s Health from Disease, Disasters, and Bioterrorism,” also noted that 21 states do not provide sufficient legal protection from liability for health care volunteers who respond to a call for assistance in an emergency and seven states have made no purchases toward their share of the stockpile of antivirals for pandemic influenza.
Jeff Levi, Executive Director of TFAH, said “there is little doubt that emergency health preparedness is on the national radar. But until all states are equally well prepared, our country is not as safe as it can and should be.”