Homeland Security says more prep needed for pandemic response

Emergency Management Alert, August 4, 2009

At a House Homeland Security committee hearing, experts said that there are gaps in the nation's pandemic preparedness, including resource planning and training, according to Homeland Security Insight and Analysis.

Bernice Steinhardt, director of Strategic Issues at the Government Accounting Office said federal leadership roles need to be clarified, as most roles involve shared responsibilities between the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security.

The Department of Homeland Security has had personal protective equipment for those most at risk, such as the U.S. Coast Guard and the Transportation Security Administration, and has stockpiled two types of antivirals to the H1N1 virus, dedicated to DHS workforce protection.

Experts also said that though fire, police, and emergency medical services know how to use an incident command system, other agencies need a better understanding.

Source: Homeland Security Insight and Analysis.

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