April 29, 2016 | Number of The Day
New Jersey’s national health security score

How well prepared is New Jersey for dealing with and recovering from disasters that risk residents’ health and wellbeing? On a scale of zero to 10, the Garden State scores 6.8, according to the 2015 National Health Security Preparedness Index.

New Jersey’s ranking just tops the national average of 6.7 and puts the state in close company with several of its neighbors. Pennsylvania earned a 6.9 and Delaware scored 6.7. New York scored a 7.5 and Maryland achieved a 7.6, leading the nation.

The latest overall ranking is consistent with past findings. In 2014 New Jersey scored 6.7 against a national average of 6.5; in 2013, the state logged a 6.6 against a national average of 6.4.

The index, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, combines results from more than 100 different measures, ranging from emergency planning and participation in public drills to food inspections to testing for the Zika virus.

The findings are compiled in six categories designed to provide a full picture of a region’s preparedness: health security and surveillance; community planning and engagement; incident and information management; healthcare delivery; countermeasure management; and environmental and occupational health. New Jersey scored between 5.4 (for healthcare delivery) and 8.8 (for incident and information management), beating the national average slightly in each case.