Report: Emergency Preparedness Eroding in Montana

December 29, 2011

Montana is at risk of becoming less prepared to respond to disasters and public-health emergencies because of state and federal budget cuts.

That’s according to a new report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Trust for America’s Health.

The Billings Gazette reports the study shows cuts to public-health budgets and staffs are beginning to take a toll on disaster preparedness across the nation.

Montana cut public-health funds at the state level by 7.5 percent last year.

The report says Billings is at risk of being eliminated from the Cities Readiness Initiative, which supports rapid distribution of vaccines and medications during emergencies.

The state also is at risk for losing the support of Career Epidemiology Field Officers, experts who help respond to outbreaks and disasters.

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