"The topic of Pandemic Influenza planning and preparation for emergency and public service organizations will always be a dynamic issue for discussion. First and foremost, this document focuses on the need for a community to plan and prepare for a pandemic outbreak today. While it is unknown when a pandemic influenza outbreak will develop in this nation, it is beneficial to realize that these best practices and model protocols are applicable to other emerging infectious disease outbreaks (e.g., SARS, Smallpox) or an act of bioterrorism in a community. Completing planning and preparation efforts for a pandemic outbreak today will have multiple benefits and applications in a community tomorrow. One critical preparation issue for a service provider is knowing when to implement the community's pandemic plan. Service organizations typically implement operational plans based on specific 'trigger-points'. Whether it is dispatching the unit, responding to an emergency, or maintaining the community infrastructure, there is generally an event that causes the action plan to be initiated. For this reason, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is coordinating development of this guidance model by the United States Fire Administration (USFA) with the ongoing efforts of the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and others."
Dept. of Homeland Security: http://www.dhs.gov/