The Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI) is a federally funded effort to prepare major U.S. cities and metropolitan areas to effectively respond to a large scale bioterrorist event by dispensing antibiotics to their entire identified population within 48 hours of the decision to do so. The Wichita Metropolitan Area, which includes Sedgwick, Butler, Harvey and Sumner counties, is a particating member of the Cities Readiness Initiative.
CRI is needed to enhance preparedness at all levels of government and to provide a consistent nationwide approach to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a large-scale public health emergency. Past events have taught us that the risk of terrorism, including bioterrorism, being perpetrated against Americans, is real. The ability to quickly deliver countermeasures to a large population is a central component of public health preparedness.
Since 2004, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has provided funding for CRI through the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Cooperative Agreement to enhance the mass dispensing capabilities of the CRI cities. The Wichita Metropolitan Area was added to the growing list of participating cities in 2007.
How is the medication distributed? Points of Dispensing (PODs) are designated dispensing locations for persons who are currently healthy but may have been "exposed" and need prophylactic medication.