Clean water supply is essential for the safety of all humans, plants, and animals. The disruption of clean water would endanger public health and safety risks, as well as the economy. There have been many cases about the outbreak of waterborne disease that have caused damaged to water supply and the public’s health. Protecting the water supply from waterborne diseases and other threating issues will ensure that public’s health will not be at risk. The federal government plays a big role in securing the water supply that the bioterrorism threat can cause. Bioterrorism threats such as water safety is a precaution that the United States needs to protect, the citizens also have a role they can do to help protect the water safety of the public.
According to the biological threat to the United States water supplies more than 160,000 public water systems provide drinking water to more than 300 million American. “In 1996, the nations’ water supply was designated as one of eight national infrastructures vital to the security of the United States, through the issuance of Executive Order. Since September 11,2001 the attacks, federal dam operators and local water and wastewater utilities have been under heightened security conditions and are evaluating security plans and measures” (Copeland, 2005). “The government responsibility is to ensure the public’s health, state public health authorities could temporarily constrain certain civil liberties, require private sector participation in public health objective, shut down potentially harmful industries, destroy contaminated property, deport or prevent the entry of individuals who may infect others, ration supplies, and control the flow of information” (Hodge, 2002). The critical choice for public health authorities is not to decide where the power to protect the public health lies or which level of government has the primary power to act, but rather where the leadership to respond to a bioterrorism event will derive.
Public health resources that are available to address bioterrorism threats include public health officials, law enforcement, firefighters, paramedics, and the military. In the case of a bioterrorism threat the first to respond is to determine exposure to biological agents and contact federal, state, and local contact information in the event of an emergency. According to the science and public health practice preparedness planning tools consist of a spreadsheet based software name MedCon and VacStockpile. Both software’s are designed to “assist state, regional, and federal level preparedness planners in planning baseline care response during an emergency by estimating the pre-event population needing special medical care following a disaster.”
Communication plays one of the most important roles during an emergency response. If there was no way of the government getting in contact with everyone no one would know when and if we are in danger. Communication is critical to safety of all citizens. Broadcasting on cable television and the radio have proven to be effective in times of crisis, letting everyone know if a disaster has happened and keeping up with updates. Almost everyone have a cell phone, they are really good tools for letting everyone know if a disaster should happen. The government can send out a signal that goes to all cell phones letting the citizens know what is happening around them. Broadcasting on the television and radio as well as sending a signal through all cellphones are a great communication tool to have. Almost everyone have one or the other and it doesn’t matter if you have cable or not you can still be notified through the television.
The state I live in is Georgia I do not believe that we are prepared if a bioterrorism threat happens. Georgia scored a level 3 on preparedness compared to the other states. The state of Georgia only has one Biosafety Lab and no more than 3 counties without emergency alert capability. I assumed the reason for this is because of funding for the state. Some of the state funding should go towards public health programs that will ensure the safety of its citizens. According to research 26 states and D.C. did not spend or obligate 90% or more of their FY 2002 federal bioterror preparedness funding this was including Georgia. It’s important to utilize
funding properly so that it benefits the public.
Indeed clean water provides health benefits for all humans, plants, and animals to survive. Any disruption in the water flow will not only harm humans but cause loss of death as well. The United States needs to make sure they follow guidelines and save funding when it comes to bioterrorism threat. It there is no funding to help out if a disaster does happen it will not be good for the economy nor the public. The United States supplies tons of water for millions of people, in order to continue to supply clean safe water the government needs to take better precaution.
Copeland C, Cody B. Terrorism and Security Issues Facing the Water Infrastructure Sector. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service; April 25, 2005. Available at: http: //www.fas.org/sgp/crs/terror/RL32189.pdf. Accessed May 25, 2005. References http://www.cdc.gov/phpr/science/planningtools.htm
http://healthyamericans.org/reports/bioterror03/Bioterror.pd Hodge, J. (2002). Bioterrorism Law and Policy: Critical Choices in Public Health, 30 Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 254