"This guide is for the people who write the words, who take the pictures, and who tell the stories about the events in our world--both ordinary and extraordinary. It is intended to provide information about how the public health system is preparing for and will respond to previously unthinkable events, such as September 11. More specifically, the guides intent is to offer the best possible information about the worst-case scenarios. The efforts of public health agencies at the federal, state, and local levels to prepare for what could happen in the future are largely invisible until there is an emerging threat, such as the recent SARS outbreak, or a dramatic event, such as the anthrax attacks of 2001. Through this effort, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) intends to provide the best available and most essential up-to-date health-related facts and background information that will be needed in the event of a terrorist attack or public health emergency. In addition, HHS hopes to reveal the commitment and often hidden complexity of the public health domain to news people who live in the world of here and now. The goal of this guide is not to tell you how to report or what to think but to serve as a resource at the time of an event and to provide guidance about what may be some of the most important stories ever written."