From what I can tell, the public health establishment has done an excellent job in dealing with Influenza A (H1N1). So much so, that it appears many people do not believe it was ever a serious crisis. When the flu makes its re-appearance this fall — and it will — I believe it will be made worse because of those who will not take the necessary steps out of a false sense of security.
Therein lies the problem with preventing end of the world scenarios: If you take the right steps, many people may not even realize that the end was averted. If you don't, you probably won't be around to rue your inaction.
Case in point: the movie Quarantine. How did most people react to this story? "How could you lock up those innocent folks and condemn them to a horrible death?" This is probably why, when the Solanum virus made its reappearance, the outbreak quickly went worldwide.
For a more conventional example, consider the Johnstown Flood. Prior to that disaster in 1889, the engineer in charge of the dam could have dredged out a section to allow the water to drain out in a controlled fashion. This, however, would have then required an expensive repair effort. He probably would have lost his job because no one would have known of the averted disaster, the lives saved. Instead, fearing for his job, he chose to do nothing in the hope that it would all work out. Over 2,200 people we killed in the ensuing flood.
So, what does it take to do the right thing? You have to assume that doing so will cost you greatly, anything from losing your job to your life. You have to be willing to make that sacrifice. A good backup plan couldn't hurt when your faced with a personal SHTF as a result of folks not realizing that the negative they face now is no where near as bad as the one you just averted.