May 8, 2019, 1:57 p.m.
Nebraska is doing better than much of the nation when it comes to health security, according to a new study.
The 2019 National Health Security Preparedness Index shows Nebraska is strong in health security surveillance and the ability to detect and manage health threats.
Nebraska scored 7.3 on a 10-point overall scale, whereas the United States average score was 6.7. The index is six years old and Nebraska has made steady improvements throughout those six years.
The main weakness for the state is environmental and health occupation, which is the ability to maintain food and water, along with testing for potential large-scale health hazards.
Glen Mays, index developer and University of Kentucky professor, said Nebraska’s biggest area of concern is flood protection.
“Both getting more of the population covered by flood insurance, particularly with people in flood-prone areas," Mays said. "As well as implementing mitigation activities that at the local level can reduce the risk of flooding. Actually modifying the physical environment and modifying where structures are built. Reinforcing waterways for example.”
Mays said their data suggest the number of Nebraskans covered by flood insurance decreased before the spring flooding in Nebraska.
To see the results, visit the National Health Security Preparedness Index's website.