This report compares three state-based experiences in assessment and evaluation of preparedness for public health emergencies and bioterrorism. It concludes that a structured, standardized assessment instrument and scoring system is very helpful when performing public health capacity assessments. The report was authored by the Kansas Health Institute, Illinois Public Health Institute and Michigan Public Health Institute. It was published by the National Network of Public Health Institutes. Funding was provided by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.