Ready or Not? 2006 finds that five years after September 11, public health emergency preparedness is still not at an acceptable level. Limited progress continues to be but the big-picture goals of adequate preparedness remain unmet. As a result, Americans continue to face unnecessary and unacceptably high levels of risk.
Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) has issued an annual "Ready or Not?" report, beginning in 2003. Each report assesses the level of preparedness in the states, evaluates the federal government’s role and performance, and offers recommendations for improving emergency preparedness. Ready or Not? 2006 is the fourth in the series.
In 2002, Congress passed the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Act, allocating nearly $1 billion annually to states to bolster public health emergency preparedness. Even after this investment of almost $4 billion, the government health agencies have yet to release state-by-state information to Americans or policymakers about how prepared their communities are to respond to health threats.
TFAH issues this report to:
- Inform the public and policymakers about where the nation’s public health system is making progress and where vulnerabilities remain;
- Foster greater transparency for public health preparedness programs;
- Encourage greater accountability for the spending of preparedness funds; and
- Help the nation move toward a strategic, “all-hazards” system capable of responding effectively to health threats posed by diseases, disasters, and bioterrorism.
State-by-state materials are available on TFAH's Web site at www.healthyamericans.org.
TFAH’s report was supported by grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Bauman Foundation.
Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information visit the Pandemic Planning Project on PewHealth.org.