"State and local health departments continue to face unprecedented challenges in preparing for, recognizing, and responding to threats to the publics health. The attacks of 11 September 2001 and the ensuing anthrax mailings of 2001 highlighted the public health readiness and response hurdles posed by intentionally caused injury and illness. At the same time, recent natural disasters have highlighted the need for comparable public health readiness and response capabilities. Public health readiness and response activities can be conceptualized similarly for intentional attacks, natural disasters, and human-caused accidents. Consistent with this view, the federal government has adopted the all-hazards response model as its fundamental paradigm. Adoption of this paradigm provides powerful improvements in efficiency and efficacy, because it reduces the need to create a complex family of situation-specific preparedness and response activities. However, in practice, public health preparedness requires additional models and tools to provide a framework to better understand and prioritize emergency readiness and response needs, as well as to facilitate solutions; this is particularly true at the local health department level. Here, we propose to extend the use of the Haddon matrix"a conceptual model used for more than two decades in injury prevention and response strategies"for this purpose."
Environmental Health Perspectives (May 2005), v. 113, no. 5, p. 561-566.