A new report analyzing how ready states are for disasters gives Nebraska one of the best grades in the country, though it finds most states are still lacking in preparedness.
Paul Kuehnert is with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, one of two non-profit groups that issued the annual report.
“Quite frankly, as a country we have not paid sufficient attention to setting a baseline of preparedness that every community should expect,” Kuehnert says.
The foundation’s 10th annual “Ready or Not?” report shows Nebraska failed to meet three out of 10 public health goals.
Categories include: public health funding, staffing in labs where infectious disease outbreaks are tested, or mandates that child care centers must have evacuation and relocation plans.
The report concludes there are “persistent gaps” in the ability of states to respond when a public health threat emerges.
“Obviously it’s impossible to be prepared for every scenario,” Kuehnert says. “But it is possible and essential to maintain a basic, core level of preparation and response capability in our health departments, just like we do with fire and police departments all around the country.”
While Nebraska scored a seven out of ten on the study, five states scored as high as eight points, while Kansas and Montana were the lowest, each with just three out of ten. See the full report at: www.rwjf.org