By Marvin Weinschel
Most contingency planners already know that serious flu pandemics occur every few decades and some have killed millions of people. Forgive the pun, but Avian Flu is nothing to sneeze at. More than 65% of the people who have contracted the disease so far have died from it.
I am personally concerned for the welfare of my family and friends.
Contingency Planners help companies be prepared to recover from business disruptions. We are not medical practitioners, so our focus in pandemic preparations is on dealing with workforce unavailability.
Minimizing that unavailability via prevention and awareness is principally an issue for doctors and epidemiologists, but it contributes to process recoverability before and during a pandemic event. For this reason, we often get involved in planning to minimize the spread of a serious disease throughout our client’s firm.
I was recently, involved on a project related to a pandemic response planning phase for a company consisting of over 10,000 employees. As the elements of this program are propagated throughout the firm, plans for pandemic response will be enhanced, additional materials and antiviral medicines will be purchased, a skills database will be improved, people will be trained to use the tools provided, remote computing capability will be augmented, and all those other big and little things will be done that need to be done to ready the company for pandemic.
Of all the things that need to be done, the most critical – for the business and its employees – is awareness. Simple things like knowing how to sneeze or cough or wash your hands and why you would want to do that could change behaviors amongst your personnel and in their families.
Preventing the spread is done by spreading the prevention. The more people who learn and use preventive measures, the more protection your loved ones will have. Good habits can be contagious.
I implore you… help your organization spread good habits that will help minimize the deadly impact of a pandemic.
The life you save could be someone you love.
Marvin Weinschel is an accomplished speaker,
author of books on Business Continuity, and
author of many articles published in major magazines
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