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A Lake effect snow storm as it enveloped Buffalo, New York. Photo was taken from Hamburg, New York which is approximately 8 miles south of Buffalo. The clouds were formed over Lake Erie. Image: wunderground.com

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The Buffalo region is the nation’s second-best-equipped to handle a major public health emergency stemming from an epidemic or a terrorist attack, a federal analysis shows.

Buffalo scored 98 on a 100-point scale on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2010 “Cities Readiness Initiative,” just one point shy of first-place Albany. What’s more, the federal figures show metro Buffalo’s score improving in both 2009 and 2010.

While the annual study analyzes a community’s ability to respond to the worst imaginable disaster — an anthrax attack — its results reflect every region’s ability to cope with any major event that could pose a threat to public health, from a flu outbreak to a crippling storm.

“If you can plan for [an anthrax attack], you can plan for anything,” said Stephanie Dulin, chief of the Program Preparedness Branch of the CDC’s Division of Strategic National Stockpile.

She attributed the Buffalo region’s high score to an unusually well-coordinated disaster-response system tying together first responders and the public health system in both Erie and Niagara counties.

Source: Jerry Zremski for Buffalo News.

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A Lake effect snow storm as it enveloped Buffalo, New York. Photo was taken from…