- Do you have a Business Continuity Plan that covers infection disease situations? A pandemic flu will have an impact on employees, suppliers, and family. Have a plan that will sustain your core business activities for several weeks with reduced staff. Identify your company’s essential functions and the individuals who perform them. Make sure you have trained enough people to properly work in these essential functions. Try out your plan. Involve staff to help determine weaknesses, gaps, and opportunities for improvement.
- Do all employees know of your plan for a pandemic? Tell the workforce about the threat of pandemic flu and the steps the company is taking to prepare for it. Clear and frequent communication is essential.
- Are sick leaves and absentee policies up to date? Are you ready for anywhere from 20 to 50% of your employees not being able to come to work (for various reasons).
- Have you planned for both increases and decreases to your business (depending on what you do) as a pandemic may affect demands for your products and/or services (e.g. gatherings may be restricted while need for hygiene supplies increases). Can you still meet the needs of your key customer base?
- Maintain a healthy work environment by ensuring adequate air circulation and posting tips on how to stop the spread of the virus at work. Promote hand and respiratory hygiene. When regular soap and water facilities are not available, make sure you have a number of alcohol-based hand sanitizer products available.
- Can your computer systems allow or accommodate a large number of people working from home or from other locations? Can your business telephone services be re-routed as well?
- Have business decision-making policies been documented? Remember a pandemic flu can affect anyone.
- Plan accordingly for interruptions of essential services like transportation, sanitation, water, power, and disruptions to the food supply.
- Do you know where to turn to for reliable, up-to-date information in your local community (and provincial, or federal)?
- Be prepared for a range of situations. The true impact of a pandemic flu will not be known until it happens.