Top 5 Steps for Employers to Take to Prepare for Flu Pandemic

April 28, 2009

Businesses and nonprofits are being urged to examine their ability to operate in the event of a flu pandemic.

With the federal government declaring Swine Flu a public-health emergency, the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) says it would be wise to prepare now for the possibility of closures or other impacts a pandemic could have on operations.

“Evaluating specific risks and planning well beforehand for a variety of potential emergencies that could disrupt day-to-day business is critical, no matter how big or small a company may be,” states IBHS President and CEO Julie Rochman. “Fortunately, most catastrophes can be managed with advance, effective preparation – and that means having a well-thought out action plan with specific, appropriate policies, resources and contingencies.”

The Top 5 IBHS pandemic preparedness steps are:

  • Determine when to curtail employee travel, domestically and internationally.
  • Develop business continuity policies that provide work-at-home options.
  • Address sick leave policies, since people with swine flu or those attending to relatives may need to be on leave longer that the current policy allows.
  • Consider the impact a shutdown of public transportation or the loss of basic utilities would have.
  • Determine at what point the organization would need to close its doors.

IBHS has created a self-assessment tool for business owners and managers. By answering nine basic questions, they can rate their readiness for a flu pandemic. For more information visit the IBHS web site

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