As a nation, the United States is becoming better prepared for possible disasters, disease outbreaks, and other emergencies, according to a recently published preparedness study. The National Health Security Preparedness Index reached 6.7 out of 10 in 2018, a 3.1% increase over the prior year, and an 11.7% improvement since 2013. The level of readiness, however, is uneven across the country.
Authors of the study say the United States is facing increased frequency and intensity of health security threats. These include virulent diseases such as Zika and Ebola; growing resistance to antibiotics by infectious diseases; ongoing epidemic of opioid abuse; and globalization in travel and trade. Extreme weather events are also becoming more common. Several of the most powerful hurricanes of all time occurred within the last 10 years.
In light of the increasing threats, the study’s authors recommend that the nation improve its social and health care networks; augment data and information systems; involve the private sector in health security; expand preparedness training; ensure funding for health security resources; and target regions that are falling behind in preparedness.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed the findings of the index, prepared by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to determine which states are the most (and least) prepared for a disaster.