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Top 5 Most & Least Prepared States in the US - 2020

by Shawn Barrington 02 Jan 2024

When discussing emergency preparedness, think about where you are and the state you live in. Without knowing accurate information, where do you think your state lies on the scale of being the most prepared or not being prepared at all? The data that has been gathered is rather interesting and we can wait to go over this information with all of you. At the end of this article, please feel free to comment and tell us what you think!

Since COVID-19 has been the center of all attention for almost the last year now, all the articles that we looked at were based around the states that were or were not prepared for a national health emergency. But we found one article that was filled with tons of information; States National Preparedness Index Report of 2020. Beyond the COVID pandemic, hurricanes, storms, floods, fires, and extreme temperatures have touched every region of the country. Other hazards during 2019 included widespread outbreaks of hepatitis A, a continuing epidemic of opioid overdose deaths, clusters of severe lung disease associated with vaping, and tragic episodes of community violence at schools, churches and other public spaces.

Results from the 2020 release of the National Health Security Preparedness Index indicate that readiness for disease
outbreaks, natural hazards, and other large-scale emergencies improved during 2019, but wide differences in
preparedness persisted across states and regions. The national Index score reached 6.8 out of 10 by the end of 2019,
representing a 1.5% improvement over the prior year and a 11.5% improvement since 2013. According to the diagram below, the least 5 prepared stated of 2019-2020 would be; Florida(below US average), Washington(below US average AND declined from the previous year), Indiana(below US average AND declined from the previous year), Nevada(below US average AND declined from the previous year), and Wyoming(below US average). The top 5 most prepared states would be; Colorado(above US average AND increase from the previous year), Nebraska(above US average AND increase from the previous year), Iowa(above US average AND increase from the previous year, Maine(above US average AND increase from the previous year), Georgia(above US average AND increase from the previous year), and North Carolina(above US average AND increase from the previous year). As you can tell from the picture below, more states can be added to the list of being more prepared than others and vice versa.


The Pace of Improvement Remains Slow

The value has increased by one percentage point per year since 2013. At this pace, the United States will require six additional years to reach health security levels enjoyed in the strongest states of Massachusetts and Maryland (7.5 Index value), and at least 10 additional years to achieve a health security level of 9.0 out of 10. If the U.S. could achieve rates of improvement experienced in the fastest-improving states, national health security could reach a level of 9.0 in as few as five years. Conversely, if national rates regress to the negative rates of change observed among the lowest-scoring states, health security could fall to its lowest level on record by 2021.

It's important to remember that everyone plays a part in keeping everyone safe and prepared for when and if something big were to take place in the event of an emergency. We urge you to do your part by taking steps now to become a better prepared people. Reach out to your friends, family, neighbors to see how you can help them during these uncertain times. You never know what they could be going through and a simple act of kindness can go a long way for someone in need.

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