Report: Wisconsin Largely Unprepared For Health Emergency

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Heard On The Morning Show
Flu shots sign
A sign lets customers know they can get a flu shot in a Walgreens store. Darron Cummings/AP Photo

A new report shows that Wisconsin and several other states are mostly unprepared for a public health emergency. We talk with the report’s lead author about where she says Wisconsin is coming up short, which states are among the most prepared, and her recommendations to make America ready when disaster strikes.

The report, “Ready or Not? Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases, Disasters and Bioterrorism,” was released Tuesday by Trust for America’s Health. In it, states were given a point for each of 10 key indicators of public health preparedness. 25 states received a score of 5 or lower. Wisconsin and nine other states got a 3. Massachusetts and Rhode Island led the nation with a 9.

Wisconsin got points for having a biosafety professional, providing biosafety training and increasing its overall preparedness score on the National Health Security Preparedness Index. It was denied points in seven other categories, including for cutting funding for public health programs, failing to vaccinate half the population for seasonal flu, and not having a paid sick leave law.

How concerned are you about the state’s ability to handle public health emergencies? Do you get a flu shot – if not, why? Does Wisconsin need a paid sick leave law? Is climate change a public health threat? Weigh in at 1-800-642-1234 or You can also tweet us @wprmornings or post on the Ideas Network Facebook page.

Episode Credits

  • John Munson Host
  • Bill Martens Producer
  • Laura Segal Guest