In the event of pandemic influenza, businesses and other employers will play a key role in protecting employees' health and safety as well as limiting the negative impact to the economy and society. Planning for pandemic influenza is critical. Companies that provide critical infrastructure services, such as power and telecommunications, also have a special responsibility to plan for continued operation in a crisis and should plan accordingly. As with any catastrophe, having a contingency plan is essential.
Community strategies that delay or reduce the impact of a pandemic (also called non-pharmaceutical interventions) may help reduce the spread of disease until a vaccine is available.
HHS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have developed guidelines, including checklists, to assist businesses, industries, and other employers in planning for a pandemic outbreak as well as for other comparable catastrophes.
The Hamilton County Health Department use the following resource tools to assist businesses with planning for pandemic influenza. Indiana businesses need to be taking proactive approaches to evaluate their business continuity of operations in the event that the situation becomes more severe. Please use the related links below to help you with gathering information and preparedness tools.
Business Continuity Considerations Preventative Measures
Consider policies and procedures which promote good health habits, such as hand washing/sanitizing, staying home when sick, avoiding close contact, etc., and your business can enact to enhance the safety of the workforce and prevent the continued spread of the virus. Also consider how this information will be distributed to staff. In addition, consider what measures can be taken to protect your customer, as well as your employee, when performing services to customers that require face-to-face exchanges.
Identify Professional Relationships
Identify your suppliers, shippers, resources and other businesses you must interact with on a daily basis. Develop professional relationships with more than one company to use in case your primary contractor cannot service your needs. A disaster that shuts down a key supplier can be devastating to your business.
Critical Business Processes & Communication
Carefully assess how your company functions, both internally and externally, to determine which staff, materials, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep the business operating. Review your company's internal and external means of communication, including staff call down lists, e-mail distribution lists, client/customer contacts, pagers, etc.
Succession of Management
Identify your company's line of succession for key leadership, recommended to be a minimum depth of three (3) employees. These identified successors should possess the capabilities to perform leadership responsibilities and have decision making authority for your organization. Include at least one person who is not at the company headquarters, if applicable.
Businesses need to consider what activities can be implemented to limit social contact, such as limiting face-to-face meetings utilizing web or teleconference meetings. Also, consider your company's capabilities as they relate to telecommuting and the equipment needed in order to sustain operations.
Plan for Payroll Continuity
Include emergency payroll, expedited financial decision-making and accounting systems to track and document costs.
Family & Home Planning
Encourage a plan for your staff's families to prevent the spread of infections at the home.
Plan for potential absenteeism and consider staff restrictions due to employees/family members sick or thought to be sick. Consider staffing assignments based on operations critical to survival and recovery.
Access to supplies may be restricted. Identify the critical resources needed to accomplish critical/essential functions and plan for shortages.
Consider and plan for possible travel restrictions to conferences/meetings or distribution services.