Econ crisis may hit US disaster readiness -experts

December 10, 2008
by Maggie Fox

WASHINGTON, Dec 9 (Reuters) - The United States is still underprepared for a major disaster such as a biological attack or a pandemic and the current economic crisis could make things worse, health experts said on Tuesday.

Federal funding for state and local preparedness has been cut more than 25 percent compared to 2005 budgets, while at the same time state and local officials are being asked to do more, the report from the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found.

"The economic crisis could result in a serious rollback of the progress we've made since September 11, 2001, and Hurricane Katrina to better prepare the nation for emergencies," said Jeff Levi, executive director of the non-profit Trust.

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