CDC releases it's emergency preparedness report

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its 2013-2014 Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response report on Wednesday, stating emergency preparedness plans are critical for national health security.

"CDC support for state emergency preparedness is vital to the health security of Americans," CDC Director Tom Frieden said. "The lives protected by the public health response to Hurricane Sandy, the fungal meningitis outbreak, and the tornadoes in Joplin are just a few examples of how communities and CDC can work together to protect the public's health when its needed most."

The report includes data from all 50 U.S. states, four large metropolitan cities and eight U.S. territories. The CDC assessed each location based on public health laboratories, coordination of emergency operations, testing capabilities, warning system and public health education.

The CDC report also reviewed recent national emergencies, such as Hurricane Sandy, the tornado in Joplin, Mo. and the West Nile Virus outbreak in Texas. The CDC reviewed how well emergency responders handled the situations and whether or not it the response was effective.

"The ability of our local and state health departments to be innovative and maintain a steady level of preparedness despite extensive budget cuts is reassuring," CDC's Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response Director Ali Khan said. "However, preventing an erosion of our nation's health security will be difficult in the current fiscal environment."