Local health departments (LHDs) are essential to emergency preparedness and response activities. Since 2005, LHD resources for preparedness, including personnel, are declining in the face of continuing gaps and variation in the performance of preparedness activities. The effect of these funding decreases on LHD preparedness performance is not well understood. This study examines the performance of preparedness capacities among NC LHDs and a matched national comparison group of LHDs over three years. We observe significant decreases in five of eight preparedness domains from three years of survey data collected from 2010 through 2012. Most notably, we observe significant decreases in the Surveillance & Investigation domain. Performance decreases may be a result of continued, compounding declines in preparedness funding.
Bevc CA, Davis MV, Schenck AP. Temporal Trends in Local Public Health Preparedness Capacity. Front Public Health Serv Syst Res