As an influenza pandemic is to be expected, contingency plans are being developed in industrialized nations. During the interpandemic phase the responsibilities are clearly defined and no shortage occurs with respect to vaccines and drugs. In contrast, a lack of material and of infrastructure must be expected in a pandemic which will stress public health and disrupt social and business life. This plan illustrates how with the available means we should attempt to the best possible primarily to reduce premature mortality, secondarily to diminish morbidity and to maintain essential public services and security. Options are described, for instance how an increased production of vaccine already during the interpandemic phase would probably reduce the impact of a pandemic.