Utah gets average score on preparedness

December 19, 2008
by Lois M. Collins
Deseret News

A rocky economy has put America's emergency preparedness in jeopardy, according to a report that gives Utah seven out of 10 points for its efforts.

The sixth annual "Ready or Not? Protecting the Public's Health from Diseases, Disasters and Bioterrorism" gave five states a perfect score: Louisiana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Virginia and Wisconsin. Utah's seven was average.

The report is prepared each year by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation using public health data.

While states have been making "steady progress" toward improved public health preparedness, it has been undermined and threatened by cuts to emergency and federal funding and planned cuts by states, said Jeff Levi, executive director of the trust. That's a concern in Utah, "definitely," said Patrick. "But we're also proud and pleased with what we've all accomplished" for preparedness.

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