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Public Unprepared For Local Health Emergencies

Armen Hareyan's picture

Public health emergency preparedness

Most Americans are not prepared for a public health crisis, and many who were previously prepared have let their readiness lapse, according to results of a new poll released today.

With lagging preparedness levels and more than 30 local disasters federally declared each year, the American Public Health Association (APHA) convened experts for a roundtable discussion to examine the nation's preparedness in the wake of recent health emergencies.

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The roundtable kicked off this year's National Public Health Week, which focuses on preparedness, and featured officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the American Red Cross; and state and local officials who responded to public health disasters in recent months: the Rhode Island meningitis outbreak and the Denver snow storm.

Among the poll's key findings: