'US Ill Prepared for Disaster'

Study warns of inability to meet emergencies, funding cuts
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2007 6:32 AM CST
An Indonesian health official throws a slaughtered chicken into a hole to be burned during a culling to prevent the spread of avian influenza virus. A new study says the US is not prepared for a major...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The US is not prepared for major disasters, including biological attacks and pandemics, and funding to meet such emergencies is falling, according to a new study. Thirteen states don't have adequate plans to distribute vaccines, 12 states don't have systems to track the spread of diseases and 7 states are unable to test for biological threats, according to a survey by the Trust for America.

"Diseases recognize neither state nor local boundaries and every link in the local, state and federal chain of protection must be strong," concluded the group. "Overall, federal funding for state and local preparedness will have declined by 25% in 3 years. Until all states measure up, the US is not safe."