CDC’s Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI) is a federally funded program designed to enhance preparedness in the nation’s largest cities and metropolitan statistical areas where more than 50% of the U.S. population resides. Through CRI, state and large metropolitan public health departments have developed plans to respond to a large-scale bioterrorist event by dispensing antibiotics to the entire population of an identified MSA with 48 hours.

Why is CRI necessary?

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.

What are the specific risks for the citizens in my city?

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.

How is CRI funded?

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. Funds are provided to the states for further distribution to the local level, except for Washington DC, Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles, which are directly funded cities.

What are PODs?

Points of Dispensing (PODs) are designated dispensing locations for persons who are currently healthy but may have been "exposed" and need preventive medication. PODs are the traditional method of providing preventive treatment in Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI). Public health staff and trained volunteers would operate PODs for exposed people to receive medications. These locations would be announced through local media and will serve as central places for the public to get these life-saving medical countermeasures.