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Virginia earns recognition for emergency preparedness

Published: Mar. 17, 2022 at 4:40 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - The commonwealth ranked in the top tier of states for emergency preparedness in Trust for America’s Health’s “Ready or Not” study.

The rankings look at a state’s readiness for disaster, whether it’s a virus like COVID-19, a natural disaster or a manmade event. The study shows Virginia, along with 16 other states and D.C. are thought to be the most prepared.

The study looks at things like incident management and public health system comprehensiveness, along with eight other factors.

“Virginia, through the collaboration of its public health agencies through other stakeholders like hospitals and health systems and many other partners, prepare for and actively plan for response to these kinds of situations. No one ever wants these things to happen, but unfortunately, the inevitable reality is these things will happen, so it’s important to be prepared,” said Julian Walker, Vice President of Communications with the Virginia Hospital and Health Care Association.

The study’s authors say the ranking is important to help public health systems know where to look for growth. Walker said he’s pleased with the ranking, but Virginia is always looking to improve.

“It’s another data point that illustrates that we need to be forward thinking and long-range in our planning as it relates to preparing for the inevitability of future challenging situations,” said Walker.

Walker said the commonwealth has earned top recognition for three years. He said the work continues every day to make sure skills and training are sharp.

West Virginia earned the low tier ranking.

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