Published: International Trade Strategies newsletter, May 2013
With the emergence of H7N9 in China earlier this year, pandemic planning has become a top priority again for business continuity planners. A severe global pandemic will wreak havoc across every locale, business unit and function in organization. Advanced planning can improve employee safety while simultaneously mitigating the losses to productivity and revenue. Following are steps an organization can take to create an effective pandemic plan:
- Develop guiding principles about what is most important to your organization in a pandemic and seek approval from senior management on required spending and sensitive policies.
- Use the guiding principles as a litmus test for each tough decision that needs to be made before and during a pandemic.
- Invest time and resources to develop internal subject matter experts in critical functions such as human resources, communications, facilities and crisis management.
- Decide if your organization will provide personal protective equipment (PPE), anti-virals or vaccines to its employees so that inventory and contracts can be negotiated ahead of time when prices are lower and stock is available.
- Identify critical employees and determine how these employees will continue to work in a pandemic, either remotely or onsite, with the appropriate social distancing protocols in place. Think through what your organization will do if local authorities shut down your facilities.
- Ensure that vendors and suppliers have pandemic plans in place that are aligned to your pandemic plan in order to minimize gaps in supply or support.
- Conduct a crisis management exercise or drill based on a pandemic scenario internally and then with a critical vendor to identify gaps in your pandemic plan and take corrective action.
IntraPoint is the global leader in enterprise resilience software and consulting solutions. IntraPoint can help your organization develop or update a pandemic plans. Contact us at 703.476.1166 or https://www.intrapoint.com/.