The states most and least prepared to handle health emergencies

Although health security improved in 38 states and the District of Columbia, large health security disparities persisted in 2017, with the Deep South, Southwestern, and Upper Mountain West regions falling behind the rest of the U.S., according to the National Health Security Preparedness Index.

The 2018 Index looked at 140 measures significant to protecting people from the health consequences of disasters, disease outbreaks and other large-scale emergencies.

The Index then combined measures from over 60 different data sources and from multiple sectors to offer a wide view of health security levels achieved for the U.S. and for individual states. The Index measures represent wide areas of preparedness activity, including health security surveillance, community planning and engagement, information and incident management, healthcare delivery, countermeasure management and environmental and occupational health.

In 2017, the national health security preparedness index was 7.1 out of 10, which represents a 2.9 percent improvement from last year and a 10.9 percent improvement since 2013, the report authors noted. However, significant differences in health security persisted across states and regions.

Here's how each U.S. state fared in health security last year, listed according to whether the state was ranked above, at or below the national average.

Above national average
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Illinois
Maryland
Massachusetts
Minnesota
Missouri
Nebraska
New Hampshire
New York
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Wisconsin

Within national average
Alabama
Arkansas
Florida
Iowa
Kentucky
Maine
Michigan
New Jersey
North Carolina
South Carolina
Washington

Below national average
Alaska
Arizona
California
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Indiana
Kansas
Louisiana
Mississippi
Montana
Nevada
New Mexico
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
West Virginia
Wyoming

To access the full report, click here.

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