2012 Public Health Preparedness Summit
Regroup, Refocus, Refresh: Sustaining Preparedness in an Economic Crisis
Over the past 10 years, significant measures have been taken to build and sustain the public health capability and capacity to plan for and respond to disasters and other emergencies. Federal funding and lessons learned after the events of September 11, 2001 and Hurricane Katrina, have largely been responsible for our accomplishments in domestic preparedness. Initiatives such as the National Health Security Strategy, Presidential Policy Directive 8, and the Presidential Executive Order pertaining to medical countermeasures following a biological attack, represent a call to action for a stronger and more robust approach to ensuring the health and safety of all communities. However, as federal funds gradually diminish and the economic outlook grows bleak—local, state, tribal, and territorial health departments are no longer aimed to do more with less, but in some cases find themselves faced with the decision to eliminate critical preparedness activities—the kind that could eventually mean life or death.