The grouping of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) events is common in response planning literature, and yet from an emergency management perspective, responding to biological events is very unlike responding to the others. A sizable biological weapons response effort would be a singularly formidable emergency planning challenge. With the distinct characteristics of the biological weapons problem, and in the face of both transmissibility and the psychological trauma associated with disease, the perceived threat level matters little as long as a threat exists. Yet despite the formidable inherent threat, bio-preparedness policy has been absent from emergency preparedness planning. As such, this work will provide a critical analysis of the consistent failures of previous response policy efforts, and base analysis for renewal of the bio-preparedness discussion on agenda setting practices as established by John W. Kingdon. Finally, inter-disciplinary best-practice planning strategies will inform a comprehensive discussion on bio-specific response planning.
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