This chapter considers the process of preparing for a pandemic or major biological terrorism attack in terms of the organisational structure of civil defence and civil protection systems. The former are usually centralised at the national level and focus on security issues, while the latter tend to be devolved to the local level and to focus on public safety. Misconceptions about biological threats are discussed in the light of their potential impact upon preparedness. There are many incorrect or debatable assumptions about biological risks that need to be countered or at least fully discussed. For instance, anthrax is not a white powder, as is commonly supposed, panic is not a common reaction to threats, and at the world scale terrorism does not have a wildly fluctuating trend. The chapter ends with a modest classification of uncertainty and a discussion of its impact upon preparedness.
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