Nashville, TN (PRWEB) May 10, 2006
Based on discussions with experts in the field, Laurie Grace of Bird Flu Beacon has drawn up guidelines for how to prepare in the event of a human outbreak of bird flu, including business continuity planning for pandemic flu.
Pandemic bird flu is a growing concern among the American public. Although H5N1 avian influenza has not yet arrived on American shores, nor has it mutated into a form which can be readily passed from person to person, experts tell us it is only a matter of time before this becomes the case.
Recently, the ABC television network aired the program, Fatal Contact: Bird Flu In America, which brought the issue before the American public. Drawn as a "plausible worst-case scenario," Fatal Contact leaves many questions unanswered, particularly with regard to what steps must be taken to minimize the impact upon the American way of life.
In her article entitled, "How To Prepare In The Event Of A Human Outbreak Of Bird Flu" Ms. Grace discusses the likelihood of various scenarios as well as the steps necessary to prepare adequately for those contingencies. She alerts people to the need to plan for basics such as food, water, fuel, medications and cash; preparation which would be a good idea in ANY emergency.
In a companion article entitled, "Business Continuity Plan For Pandemic Flu" Ms. Grace goes even further to warn businesses of the need for business continuity planning and outlines specifics for avoiding liability and developing strategies for high absenteeism and supply-chain disruption.
Ms Grace points out that even the relatively small SARS outbreak had a large economic impact, and that pandemic flu would likely have much greater consequences. The workforce could be reduced by as much as 30-40% due to illness and commerce would likely experience slowdowns and halts.
For these and other reasons, Ms. Grace points up the need for businesses to proactively address the following issues:
1. Updating a Business Continuity Plan for bird flu.
2. How to remain sustainable with at a 30-40% absenteeism.
3. Planning for interruption of essential services.
4. Develop alternative supply chains.
5. Educating employees regarding bird flu.
6. Maintaining a healthy work environment.
7. Review and update of all sick leave, & medical policies.
8. Legal review of all "force majeure" liabilities.
9. Designing structures for internet-based "telecommuting."
10. Security plan and personnel in place for panic.
11. Take necessary precautions to protect against liability.
12. Developing a communications plan for how to communicate with your employees, your customers and your shareholders in order that you might provide guidance and leadership to them, as well as your community as a whole.
Ms. Grace commented, "We have only ourselves to blame if we do not each prepare with haste and due diligence. You will want to know that you have done all you can to protect your employees, your customers, your shareholders, and most importantly yourself and your families and the communities you live in."
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