Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Ross Alexander


The lack of preparedness by local communities in the event of a biological attack is a predicament that will result in chaos and an increase in casualties. Assessing city preparedness is essential in the event of a biological attack. The potential for an enormous number of casualties is real; it is imperative, therefore, for local communities to be prepared in the event of a biological attack. This descriptive single case study investigated whether one city in the southeastern United States is prepared for a biological attack. System theory provided the theoretical framework for this research, with the unit of analysis being the local Emergency Operations Center, which is responsible for coordination, preparation, and oversight in the event of such a disaster. Data were collected from interviews, documents, public records, and participant observation. Pattern matching and comparative analysis were utilized to analyze data that was collected in this research. This examination of the preparedness of the city for a biological attack is critical because any lack of preparedness would be devastating to the community. The findings of this study revealed that the city is prepared for a biological attack and that the recommendations and best practices identified in this study such as the utilization of virtual technology during a biological attack, the ability to perform random biological exercises, investments in laboratories, bioterrorism training for citizens, and establishing global partnerships in combating bioterrorism, promote social change, and will result in saving lives in the event of a biological attack. This research contributes to social change by promoting security improvements and identifying a model of preparedness for other cities in their own preparation for a biological attack.