H1N1 and “All-Hazards” Emergency Preparedness – Homeland Security Today

The potential challenges of responding to a revived threat from H1N1 have spurred tremendous efforts among public health agencies in recent months. Yet gaps still remain in resource planning and training to ensure resilience of America’s wider emergency preparedness and response efforts in the event of a healthcare crisis, experts said Wednesday at a House Homeland Security committee titled “Beyond Readiness: An Examination of the Current Status and Future Outlook of the National Response to Pandemic Influenza.”

At the hearing Bernice Steinhardt Director, Strategic Issues at the Government Accounting Office urged that leadership roles and responsibilities for an influenza pandemic need to be clarified, tested, and exercised, and existing coordination mechanisms, such as critical infrastructure coordinating councils, must be better utilized to address challenges in coordination between the federal, state, and local governments and the private sector in preparing for a pandemic.