Workshop Report/Summary

Citizen Engagement in Emergency Planning for a Flu Pandemic: A Summary of the October 23, 2006 Workshop of the Disasters Roundtable (2007)

Although human cases of avian influenza to date have been rare, there is growing concern that an influenza pandemic may arise from the mutation of avian influenza strains and subsequent transmission among humans. On October 23, 2006, the Disasters Roundtable of the National Academies in cooperation with the Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) convened a workshop on Citizen Engagement in Emergency Planning for a Flu Pandemic to explore the roles and needs of the citizenry in pandemic influenza preparedness planning. Panelists stressed the importance of citizen engagement in all stages of pandemic preparation and response. Topics of discussion included national and local preparedness, citizen education and cooperation, the importance of communication, and possible pandemic scenarios which highlighted key issues of citizen involvement. This report is a summary of that discussion.