Kansas’ bad ranking for preparedness unfair, officials say

State officials are objecting to a national report that ranked Kansas and Montana as the worst-prepared states in the nation for public health emergencies, terrorism incidents and natural disasters. The “Ready or Not?” report by the nonprofit group Trust for America’s Health said that Kansas meets only 3 of 10 readiness criteria, and it blamed the low ranking in part on funding cuts in state and local public health programs, insufficient staffing at the state’s public health laboratory, and the state’s inability to meet preparedness standards set by the Emergency Management Accreditation Program, the Kansas Health Institute News Service reported. Gov. Sam Brownback complained that the report “does not provide an accurate and thorough picture of the state’s readiness.” Robert Moser, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, faulted the changing indicators used in the ranking and its all-or-nothing scoring system. “No matter the score, the report presents a skewed view of public health readiness, draws inaccurate conclusions and in no way indicates the actual preparedness level in Kansas,” Moser said in the statement.