Not “If” But “When”: Preparing Your Business for the Avian Flu Pandemic

This information comes from Dr. Maurice Ramirez, founding chair of the American Board of Disaster Medicine

There are mathematical certainties that a pandemic (an epidemic that occurs worldwide and simultaneously) will occur between the years 2005 and 2013. The last pandemic, the Spanish Flu of 1918, affected 40% of the workforce and had tremendous economic impact. Scientists are predicting that 6% of the world’s workforce will die, not “if” but “when” the next pandemic strikes.

The best response for businesses in the case of a pandemic is to have a good plan. Evacuation will not be an option, because it will affect the workforce worldwide. Here are a few ways to lessen the impact:
· Create an “institutional memory” archive: get the information out of your key players heads and on to paper.
· Plan for contingencies: prepare for one of your key suppliers or largest customers to close its doors.
· Take steps to isolate your people from the disease: vaccination and early treatment, even telecommuting, can reduce the spread of the disease.
· Have a treatment plan: make sure your company has access to the latest medications.
· Plan for your employees’ family care: flexibility will be key when employees loved ones are affected.

As frightening as the prospects for this pandemic are, you can plan for it. A disaster becomes a catastrophe when needs outweigh resources. By following these tips, businesses will be able to reduce the impact on their business. Turning a blind eye could be fatal.

For more information from Dr. Ramirez, founder High Alert, LLC, visit this link.