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Cities Readiness Initiative

CDC's Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI) is a federally funded program designed to enhance preparedness in the nation's largest population centers where more than 50% of the U.S. population resides. Using CRI funding, state and large metropolitan public health departments develop, test, and maintain plans to quickly receive and distribute life-saving medicine and medical supplies from the nation's Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) to local communities following a large-scale public health emergency.

Initially, the CRI planning scenario was based on a response to a large-scale anthrax attack; however, through continued analysis and lessons learned, it became apparent that CRI jurisdictions must be prepared to respond to other public health emergencies. The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act emphasized an all-hazards approach to public health preparedness planning, thereby expanding the scope of the CRI planning to include natural and man-made public health threats.

Participating Metropolitan Statistical Areas

The CRI project began in 2004 with 21 cities and has expanded to include a total of 72 cities and metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) with at least one CRI city in every state.

CRI Cities and Metropolitan Areas

Albany, NY
Albuquerque, NM
Anchorage, AK
Atlanta, GA
Baltimore, MD
Baton Rouge, LA
Billings, MT
Birmingham, AL
Boise, ID
Boston, MA
Buffalo, NY
Burlington, VT
Charleston, WV
Charlotte, NC
Cheyenne, WY
Chicago, IL
Cincinnati, OH
Cleveland, OH

Columbia, SC
Columbus, OH
Dallas, TX
Denver, CO
Des Moines, IA
Detroit, MI
District of Columbia
Dover, DE
Fargo, ND
Fresno, CA
Hartford, CT
Honolulu, HI
Houston, TX
Indianapolis, IN
Jackson, MS
Kansas City, MO
Las Vegas, NV
Little Rock, AR

Los Angeles, CA
Louisville, KY
Manchester, NH
Memphis, TN
Miami, FL
Milwaukee, WI
Minneapolis, MN
Nashville, TN
New Haven, CT
New Orleans, LA
New York City, NY
Oklahoma City, OK
Omaha, NE
Orlando, FL
Peoria, IL
Philadelphia, PA
Phoenix, AZ
Pittsburgh, PA

Portland, ME
Portland, OR
Providence, RI
Richmond, VA
Riverside, CA
Sacramento, CA
Salt Lake City, UT
San Antonio, TX
San Diego, CA
San Francisco, CA
San Jose, CA
Seattle, WA
Sioux Falls, SD
St. Louis, MO
Tampa, FL
Trenton, NJ
Virginia Beach, VA
Wichita, KS

Technical Assistance to Ensure Operational Readiness

CDC's Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, Division of State and Local Readiness (DSLR), provides technical assistance to the participating CRI jurisdictions for developing plans and testing their capability to receive, distribute, and dispense medical assets from CDC's Strategic National Stockpile. To ensure continued readiness, CDC and state public health personnel conduct operational readiness reviews to better determine a CRI jurisdiction’s ability to implement plans for distributing and dispensing medical assets in response to an incident or exercise requiring medical countermeasures.


CRI is funded through CDC's Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) cooperative agreement. State awardees provide CRI funds to their CRI jurisdictions in support of all-hazards medical countermeasure distribution and dispensing planning and preparedness.

FY 2015 Cities Readiness Initiative Funding

Q&A about the Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI)

What is the Cities Readiness Initiative?
The Cities Readiness Initiative is a federally funded effort to prepare major U.S. cities and metropolitan areas to effectively respond to large scale public health emergencies by dispensing life-saving medications and medical supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile to their entire identified population within 48 hours of the decision to do so.

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.

How is CRI funded?
Since 2004, CDC has funded the CRI through the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) 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, and to the four directly funded localities: Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington D.C.