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Report: N.H. improving in emergency preparedness

A national report said New Hampshire has made progress toward building and strengthening its abilities to prepare for a public health emergency.

Being prepared to prevent, respond to and recover from all types of public health threats, such as disease outbreaks, chemical releases, or natural disasters, requires that public health departments improve and maintain their capabilities in surveillance and epidemiology, laboratories and response readiness.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report said New Hampshire’s Public Health Laboratories has demonstrated capabilities for responding if the public is exposed to chemical agents. The state Health Department’s incident management team also reported for duty in 20 minutes in 2012 during a drill when the goal was within 60 minutes.

“We are pleased with the results of the report,” said Dr. Jose Montero, director of public health at the state Health Department. “Employees at our department and around the state have put in tremendous amounts of work over the last few years to prepare for emergencies, as well as some real-life practice that have enabled us to improve and learn what works best for the people of New Hampshire.”

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