What should I do to be prepared?

We continue to hear stories of the public buying gas masks and hoarding medicine in anticipation of a possible bioterrorist or chemical attack. We do not recommend it either. As Secretary Thompson said recently, people should not be scared into thinking they need a gas mask. In the event of a public health emergency, local and state health departments will inform the public about the actions individuals need to take.

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1. A question often asked by the public in response to a bioterrorism event is: How can I prepare?
2. Are health department labs equipped / capable of doing testing?
3. Does every city have an adequate emergency response system, especially one geared for a bioterrorist attack? How quickly can it be implemented?
4. Are hospitals prepared to handle a sudden surge in demand for health care?
5. What should I do to be prepared?
6. With all this talk about possible biochemical agents, just how safe is our water? Should I be disinfecting my water just in case?