"The National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza notes that pandemic flu could overwhelm the heath and medical capabilities of the United States, cause hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of hospitalizations, and cost hundreds of billions of dollars. The consensus within scientific circles is that the nation will likely face one or more pandemics in this century, although there is disagreement as to the probable timing of such an event. Studying the 1918 pandemic will assist modern day planners in mitigating the effects of pandemic flu and the contingency planning will have widespread applicability to other events, both natural and manmade, that may significantly impact the nation's health and security. This paper reviews the 1918 pandemic, explores concerns about the avian influenza virus H5N1, and considers current planning for pandemic flu. Weaknesses in the current schema are examined and recommendations are offered to facilitate both enhanced pandemic planning efforts and Homeland Security."