Ten years ago, the September 11th and anthrax tragedies clearly demonstrated that the public health system was not prepared for the range of modern health threats we face. Since then, significant investments have resulted in the country being much better prepared to respond to public health emergencies ranging from threats of bioterrorism to major infectious disease outbreaks like a pandemic flu or natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes and floods.
For the past eight years, in the annual Ready or Not? Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases, Disasters, and Bioterrorism, TFAH has documented progress and ongoing vulnerabilities in the nation’s ability to respond to health crises. The following provides an overview of key areas of progress, gaps, and recommendations for America’s public health preparedness.