There is a scientific consensus that the threat of a pandemic is real and serious. Public health watchdogs and the medical science community including the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, the executive branch of the federal government, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have concluded there is a growing and significant threat of a global pandemic.
However, representatives from all of these organizations confess there is no way to predict either exactly when it might occur or the severity of the impact. As with any of the business continuity risks including natural disasters, accidents, and terrorism it is imperative that every business, agency, school, and organization be prepared for a pandemic public health emergency. During the coming pandemic, business continuity managers and disaster recovery employers will play a key role in protecting the health and safety of employees and ensuring the continuity of business operations 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 telecommunication, also have a special responsibility to plan for continued operation in a crisis and should plan accordingly. As with any catastrophe, continuity, contingency, and disaster recovery planning is essential. This book has been created to help those who are charged with the preparation and planning process. Whether it is a school, university, not-for-profit agency, small business, medium-size company, or a major corporation, the process for pandemic preparedness planning starts in much the same way. You must learn about the threat risks, ask how your business would be affected, determine steps you can take to mitigate manage and recover from these events, and initiate the process of planning and preparation.
Since neither of the authors is a medical health care expert nor a pandemic epidemiological scientist, we have drawn from a wide variety of public domain reference sources including materials available from the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control, the executive branch of the federal government, including the Department of Health and Human Services and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. We believe that what we report is authoritative and based on the most reliable scientific and medical consensus. Our intention in this book is not so much to break new ground regarding the scientific or medical consensus regarding the coming pandemic, but rather we want to try to make this information more accessible to the business continuity and disaster recovery planning community and provide a template to help facilitate the pandemic preparedness planning process.
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