Study: Ariz. ties for last in disaster preparation

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX -- A new study finds Arizona tied for last among states nationwide in readiness for a health emergency.

Arizona scored a five out of 10 possible points on indicators for health emergency preparedness capabilities in the study by Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Tied with Arizona were Maryland, Connecticut, Florida, Montana, and Nebraska.

More than half of states and the District of Columbia scored a seven or less. Louisiana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin scored the highest with 10 out of 10.

The study's authors say budget cuts and the economic crisis could jeopardize America's progress toward protecting the country from outbreaks of disease, natural disasters or bioterrorism.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)