Funding Public Health Emergency Preparedness in the United States
The historical precedents that support state and local leadership in preparedness for and response to disasters are in many ways at odds with the technical demands of preparedness and response for incidents affecting public health.
New and revised laws and regulations, executive orders, policies, strategies, and plans developed in response to biological threats since 2001 address the role of the federal government in the response to public health emergencies. However, financial mechanisms for disaster response-especially those that wait for gubernatorial request before federal assistance can be provided-do not align with the need to prevent the spread of infectious agents or efficiently reduce the impact on public health.
We review key US policies and funding mechanisms relevant to public health emergencies and clarify how policies, regulations, and resources affect coordinated responses.