The National Health Security Preparedness Index invites nominations for new measures to be considered for future releases of the Index. The Index tracks the nation’s progress in preparing for disasters, disease outbreaks, and other emergencies that pose threats to population health. The Index is the only tool that measures changes in health security preparedness capabilities over time, across a broad array of domains and sectors, for every U.S. state and the nation as a whole.

Measures are added to and retired from the Index each year to reflect expansions in scientific knowledge about preparedness capabilities and to reflect changes in available data sources and measures. Measures selected for use in the Index must meet the following criteria:

  1. Importance: the measure must reflect an activity, skill, resource or capability that contributes to improved preparedness for minimizing adverse health consequences caused by disasters, outbreaks, and/or other emergencies.
  2. Validity: the measure must be tested for validity and reliability.
  3. Coverage: data for the measure must be available for each U.S. state and the nation as a whole, with valid solutions available for resolving missing data problems.
  4. Periodicity: data for the measure must be collected consistently over time at least once every 3 years.
  5. Timeliness: the most recent year of data available for the measure must be no more than 3 years older than the Index release year.
  6. Accessibility: data for the measure must be in the public domain or agreements must be formed with owners to access data for inclusion in the Index.
  7. Parsimony: the measure must add new or superior information to the Index compared to that of other measures included in the Index, and should not duplicate or compete with other measures.

The Index allows users to explore key components of preparedness and resiliency for the nation as a whole and to compare preparedness levels across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. As such, the Index is designed to promote awareness and understanding of preparedness principles and practices, mobilize multi-sector coordination and cooperation, facilitate benchmarking and quality improvement, and inform planning and policy development. The Index aggregates existing state-level preparedness data from a wide variety of sources and computes a range of key measures for each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the nation as a whole. The Index was created by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and first published in 2013. The current release of the Index is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The current release of the Index, published in April 2018, contains a total of 140 individual measures, which are grouped into 6 domains of preparedness and 19 subdomains. The Index and its associated documentation can be accessed at The 2019 release of the Index is planned for spring 2019.

Submission of Measure Recommendations

Stakeholders are invited to recommend new measures for inclusion in the Index, to recommend changes to existing measure definitions and specifications, and to recommend deletion of existing measures from the Index. Recommendations for new measures that reflect environmental and occupational health capabilities and capacity for planning for, responding to, and recovering from health emergencies are especially encouraged, as are measures that reflect the social, economic, and/or environmental dimensions of preparedness and resiliency. The Index gives priority to measures that can be constructed from existing, low-cost data sources such as surveys, records, registries, documents, images, sensors, or other automated monitoring systems. We are especially interested in measures that make use of novel electronic data sources such as data from web search engines, social media, satellite imagery, and commercial transactions. Measures that have been previously validated and that provide both national-level and state-level estimates of preparedness and resiliency are of primary interest.

Please submit your recommendations by completing the survey below.

Thank you!

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