Report: Security agency not prepared for pandemic

The Homeland Security Department's internal watchdog says the agency is ill prepared to respond to a pandemic and has a stockpile of expired or soon-to-expire medicine and supplies on hand.

Homeland Security's inspector general says in an audit released Monday that the agency bought supplies, including surgical masks, coverall suits and respirators, without first figuring out exactly what it would need to respond to a health crisis. Nearly all of the department's antiviral medicine will have expired by next year.

The 's audit says the department estimates its entire stock of personal protective equipment will also be unusable after 2015.

Congress gave the agency $47 million in 2006 to help pay for training and supplies to respond to a health crisis.


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