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Is pandemic planning now a laughing stock? Full results of the recent Continuity Central survey

Get free weekly news by e-mailIn June, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) criticised WHO and governmental responses to the H1N1 pandemic, saying that there has been an over-reaction to the H1N1 pandemic resulting in a “waste of large sums of public money, and unjustified scares and fears about the health risks faced by the European public”.

But what impact has this ‘over-reaction’ had on business continuity managers trying to make sure that their organization is prepared for the next pandemic?

PACE says that confidence in official advice concerning pandemic planning and response has ‘plummeted’ and that this could prove “disastrous in the case of a severe future pandemic”. Is this the case within organizations too? Have business continuity managers been left embarrassed and with less credibility? Will BCMs be laughed out of the board room when trying to present the case for spending on pandemic planning in the future?

To answer some of these questions Continuity Central conducted a survey to which 222 readers responded, many also providing useful information about the current state of pandemic planning within their organization.

The survey first asked:

“Is pandemic planning now a laughing stock?”

61 percent of respondents said ‘no’, this is not the case, but almost a quarter (23 percent) agreed with the statement, with 16 percent being unsure.

The second question was:

“Do you feel that after the H1N1 pandemic there is less respect for business continuity management within your organization?”

Again, the resounding answer was ‘no’, ( 72 percent) but a significant 19 percent of respondents answered ‘yes’. 9 percent were not sure.

Finally, respondents were asked to provide some information on
‘What is the current state of pandemic planning in your organization?’

These responses are reproduced below. They have been spell checked but otherwise are exactly as received:

  • Continuity planning has taken a back seat.  Pandemic planning became the state agency's continuity planning so what real BCP planning that was done is now outdated.  It is still a wait and see with H1N1-we are hearing that it has mutated and there is always the concern with avian flu or the H5N1 which has a 59% mortality rate. 
  • Pandemic Flu Preparedness Plan existing since 2006, having been updated early in 2009. Implementation started on in 2009 and completed meanwhile with roughly 75%; remainder will be dealt with before the end of 2010. We trust in further support by all involved, especially since no hurry is due any more (for the time being).
  • In the background but nevertheless still a consideration. One cannot forget about it altogether but need to be measured in any response to avoid panic and knee-jerk reactions.
  • We updated our existing pandemic plan during the H1N1 pandemic and approached the pandemic with cautious, appropriate planning. At first our executive was seeking an avoidance plan, but as the first stage of H1N1 passed, we moved to a "manage through the illness" approach with things such as social distancing, etc. I think our team can be viewed as prepared and appropriate.
  • Developed plans and procedures are in place will have to go thru periodic reviews and updates.
  • Ensure that every PIC in critical process has back up person.
  • Programme and plans now updated with lessons identified.
  • High-level.
  • We're ready.
  • It is just one scenario based upon loss of staff, key suppliers.
  • We have an organisational level resource plan that will be used to respond to any major resourcing issues, not just pandemic. The key for us was the decision to look at it from an organisational level, and not at a granular team/business unit level, and to look broadly at resourcing issues, not just from a pandemic perspective. We will be using similar messages at various times in the year to counter the effects of seasonal illness as we had a reduced absence during the "pandemic" probably as a result of increased hygiene.
  • Plans have been developed and adopted. Persons are sensitized and knowledgeable on the threat, possible impact and response actions that maybe pursued; however more could be done in terms of training, resource allocation and education on the hazard.
  • Proportionate. We noticed a significant drop in sickness levels during the period, possibly because staff were more aware hygienically.
  • Good.
  • Strong.
  • We have a Pandemic Event Guide that provides guidance based on a pandemic and the various severity levels.  The H1N1 allowed me to create an Intranet site for providing information and people came to count on me as source of reliable information, so no it had no negative impact on my credibility.  
  • Our pandemic plan was updated with realistic goals based on the heightened awareness of H1N1. We have been able to leverage our planning so that it addresses other risks in our area, such as a flood scenario (we are at risk until a large dam in our area is repaired, which could take 3-5 years).
  • Thought of as just another Y2K - much to do about nothing.
  • Plan complete and ready. The plan can be used for any kind of crisis that would be due to a contagious virus.
  • Normal operations - no cases have been reported in the last 7 months.
  • The same as before the H1N1 event. We are still preparing for a worldwide novel pandemic event.
  • Zero planning taking place.
  • There is an increased sense of awareness of "flu" in general and I received direct feedback from staff  thanking us for the preparations we instituted.  We did have some employees who had significant illness and our response was recognized by them positively. Even if some say the flu was a "bust”, we were able to increase our proactive COOP activities.
  • Dead and buried. The work is considered done.
  • Keeping the pandemic plan "warm", but is fundamentally the same plan from 2003, just with tinkering.
  • As a U.S. company, my biggest frustration was with the announced and drilled public health plans. As the crisis developed, most of those plans went unexecuted and the crisis was drifting for months. Incidents rarely follow the plan, but some fidelity to six years of pandemic planning would have been appreciated.
  • Ready for next wave if/when it arrives.  The outbreak last year was a good preparation exercise and raised awareness of the need for BCM across the organisation.
  • Plan is in place and can be invoked quickly.  this event highlighted that BC planning needs to avoid specific scenario-based planning as scope is too narrow.  program and organization is better served by higher-level and more 'flexible' plans.
  • Written plan only.  No supplies were purchased. Work from home recovery efforts were not tested.
  • Continuing, albeit with somewhat less emphasis, as part of the overall continuity/emergency management program. Pandemic issues are not a laughing stock, but we need better risk management to inform our education, awareness, and training activities in the future. In recent years we've had SARS, H5N1, and now H1N1 from which to learn. We have to prepare, but let's do it more smartly.
  • Active and sponsored.
  • Since we are a healthcare system, we are continuing to improve our ability to respond to any type of disaster including infectious disease outbreaks (pandemics).  Although the H1N1 pandemic may not have been as lethal as the 1918 pandemic, it still caused us to activate parts of our plans--surge, supply chain management, and HR particularly.  We are in the process of finalizing our after action report and will continue to improve our plans based on lessons learned from H1N1. Contingency planning is never wasted...the lessons we learned can be applied to other types of disasters whether natural or man-made. 
  • The plan is kept up to date and will form the basis of a 'lack of people' scenario for the main business continuity plan.
  • Centred on the effects of an outage rather than the cause.
  • Plan in place, monitoring situation, reporting of cases no longer necessary.  Now treated the same as normal absence procedures. This could have been a very different result and the planning can act for many scenarios for loss of staff so plans are now more robust against different situations / disaster concerning loss of staff.
  • Incorporated within general business BC planning as staff shortages. Pandemic-specific activities incorporated with central support function plans (eg Facilities).
  • The same as it was prior to H1N1.
  • Prepared and well positioned for future disease outbreaks.
  • Ongoing, H1N1 is still around and we are still getting cases. Only last week we had an additional 'outbreak' in our office with 20% of staff at leave at one point. All the lessons learned last year - stay away of you have ILI symptoms, temperature screening, reminders about good hygiene practices etc  - were again put into action and the situation is now thankfully back to normal. BCP is all about preparation and practice, practice, practice; the pandemic situation last year did wonders for our plans. Regarding the 'cost' of the pandemic, I would argue that large sums were saved in some organisations when travel was restricted. Not being able to travel also made management think a lot harder about their telecommuting and remote conference facilities - all an investment for the future.
  • Whilst this incident can be seen as a "storm in a tea cup" it’s also been an opportunity to ensure the organisation has appropriate strategies in place. So for us it’s been an exercise in learning, testing and ensuring we're better prepared if a pandemic eventuates.
  • Stalled.
  • Awareness and general preparedness. No asset procurement. Procedural response.
  • Comprehensive assessments have taken place in order to deliver critical activities at pre-determined levels with reduced resources, particularly during the potential 2-week peak of absences.
  • On hold indefinitely.
  • None.
  • Pandemic Planning is part of the overall BCM program, so it is now treated as part of the program and not a separate entity.  It has helped raise the profile of BCM within my organization.  If there is anything negative I'd have to say the level of communication by authorities (their lack of understanding) and the hijacking of Pandemic issues by groups/individuals who don't fully understand BCM in the first place and how it relates to pandemics etc. 
  • Completed.... and now we are in observing status.
  • Pandemic is incorporated in disruption to resources, services and suppliers irrespective of cause.
  • We have plans in place for loss of staff, including Pandemic, we also have documented lessons learned and incorporated those into our planning. I think that we had a pragmatic approach which has enhanced our reputation with our management.
  • The pandemic alert status is reduced now. Due to the introduced pandemic follow up system, some of the countries (we are international company) introduced into their daily practice as resource follow up system. This is a useful tool not only in case of pandemic but whenever you are facing with high level absence - like holiday season.
  • The corporate plan and a suite of service level plans have been reviewed and updated in light of the Pandemic and as a result of a formal lessons learned exercise internally and with partners.
  • On hold.
  • Current plan will be revisited in October.
  • All the plans were in place prior to the alleged pandemic. At the time of the H1N1 outbreak I thought it was ridiculous. The more publicity surrounding it, the more staff were took the advantage to be off for a week. With the NHS refusing to see or test possible sufferers, there is no way of knowing actual figures. I would anticipate at least half of those who claimed to have H1N1 actually didn't.
  • All critical services have completed the required information and a skills audit has been undertaken. Not sure of appetite to keep this up to date.
  • Good.
  • Fully prepared.
  • Presently, people hold back and no-one criticizes what was done. However, preparations for the next pandemic will be difficult, as credibility has been severely damaged.
  • We do continue some measures for a healthy working place (such as hand cleaning gel, masks stock), review of essential vendors plans, staff awareness ... We have stepped down some measures such as mandatory reporting of staff absenteeism, temperature scan at lobby, optional ear temperature checking facility, optional sponsored staff vaccination, staff education on health measures, travel policy, quarantine, HR measures on sick leave, pregnant staff, monitoring of medical sources (WHO, local),  ... We are ready to re-activate them. We also maintain specific plans that could be used for Pandemic such as "remote working" / "split team" / "process relocation" ... but also for other issues (riots, district closed...)
  • In progress and be alert.
  • Continuing and almost complete.
  • Plan in place.
  • It is always easy to say and laugh when some disaster or crisis did not happen. However, if it happens everybody will point at the business continuity manager. This is the situation as it happened in the H1N1 case. Thank God that this pandemic outbreak did not propagate as feared. We have a plan but have not spent much on that initiative. If again a pandemic strikes it matters on the availability of the stock of items in the market. Just to refresh my memory that 3M closed its online purchase for masks during the peak of the situation as they could not supply them.
  • Vaccinations were offered to employees, however no mandate was made. A formal action plan was drawn out to be used in case of a massive outbreak.
  • Blasé'.
  • We have reduced our pandemic alert phase to a normal level of vigilance and continue to provide recommendations and follow-up to the adoption of the standard of protection. Our planning for a pandemic event has improved with H1N1, since staff has seen it as something that can really happen.
  • Everybody who thinks that influenza has somehow vanished, raise your hands. Everybody who thinks that influenza will -never- mutate to become highly-pathogenic, raise your hands. Discussing whether or not planning for influenza is a good idea is a real laughingstock, except that for professional contingency planners, it's, frankly, embarrassing.
  • Plan in place and exercised...
  • Dormant!
  • We implemented a Pandemic policy. We currently encourage attention to detail should someone get sick (especially during flue seasons), encouraged division management to cross train, etc.  Overall it gave everyone the opportunity to understand how the spread of a virus could impact business. There is no major effort to brace for the upcoming flu seasons, but at least we know how to react and how to get up to date information from reliable websites.
  • On Hold.
  • Business Continuity planning is still in a very immature state; however, the pandemic scare was just one of many factors that has resulted in much more attention being paid to BC planning.  Tsunami, earthquake, floods, and G-20 have all been key factors in moving BC forward...along with increase client audits!
  • We have a COOP and used it during the H1N1 pandemic.
  • A considerable amount of reports say that plans were effective, well tested and the response to the pandemic was excellent.  With respect, plans were not tested effectively and no the response was not tested.  Had rates of infection and impact on supply chains been higher, then we could say plans were tested.  The pandemic didn't hit hard enough and we should be cautious when resting on our laurels.
  • We have a Pandemic Plan in place that has been adjusted to reflect the differing levels of severity, so resources can be more appropriately dispensed during an actual event.  The individual responsible for full time planning has had her job eliminated due to budget constraints over the last fiscal year.  Without Federal grant funding that individual cannot continue to provide the level of consistent planning that had previously occurred, ie Public Education campaigns, consistent employee messaging for coping with a Pandemic in the workplace, etc.
  • Our plan has been revised to reflect the lessons we learned from the H1N1 experience.  In particular, our plan now more realistically recognizes the speed at which we could go from WHO Pandemic Alert Level 3 to 6 and also the fact that a global level of 6 may have zero impact on us at a local or regional level. 
  • We are definitely in a holding pattern at this point.  We continue to monitor reliable sources of information on H1N1 as well as the forgotten H5N1.  Lessons learned from the 2009 H1N1 Pandemic have been incorporated into our Pandemic Response Plan.
  • As it was.  While Pandemic may be a particular cause of disruption to business, it is the effect that it has that counts - from sickness to travel, network capacity to reliance on buildings, etc.  This was a good forced exercise without the dire consequences that were predicted.
  • Currently at stand still waiting for a reduction in WHO phase alert level.
  • We have reviewed out pandemic plan in light of observed strengths and weaknesses brought out during the reaction to the H1N1 outbreak.  Based on feedback from the various Departments, we are revising the plan to improve our preparedness level.
  • Pandemic planning is much more mature - the next pandemic that happens will already have planning, mitigation and recovery ready to go.
  • Whatever the state of the plans - at least some areas (including the assumptions) have been tested and the business areas have experienced the reality of loss of staff for approx 10 days. 
  • We continue to plan, refine our ability to stockpile and sequester PPE and other associated items, have refined our COOP to allow us to identify departments that may be able to operate remotely during periods of mandatory social distancing.  By building IT infrastructure we were also able to support some of our department’s ability to work remotely during severe weather when travel restrictions may be in place.
  • There is a comprehensive plan in place ready to be brought back into action if and when required. It has good management and work force support.
  • There is a requirement to differentiate between pandemic planning that was dictated by government departments and BC practitioners. For those practitioners that used the government direction as guidance to inform their overall BCMS and provide a flexible approach to staff disruption then they were seen as being very good at their job. Those that slavishly followed directions from centre and were not flexible enough to adapt to the situation may have some egg on their faces. I also would like to point out that the plans from central government departments were in fact appropriate, for H5N1 not the eventual pandemic that occurred.  The biggest problem was the lack of flexibility within the plans and the lack of experience in some of the people required to implement the plans.
  • Bible prophecy notes that we are living in times when disasters are going to be prevalent worldwide.  From that perspective it makes sense to plan.  In addition it just makes sense to prepare for the worst case scenario where these events are concerned.  As a local emergency manager, I am always concerned with preparing and when there is no adversity I am grateful and continue with more planning because one day, when we least expect the worse might occur.
  • Although pandemic planning has been put on hold, extensive plans were prepared and exercised utilizing tabletop exercises. The plans put in place, with a minimal amount of updating, should suffice.
  • It had been crystallized upon inception of the H1N1, but sadly categorized with Y2K even though our plan can be scalable to suit ever changing biological needs.
  • Pandemic-specific plans in place, will be reviewed shortly as part of the annual cycle. Variations of the pandemic plans used to good effect during snows earlier in year. However, user perception of the benefits and necessity for pandemic plans did take a significant downturn once the lack of severity became apparent, which has contributed to a general reduction of engagement with BCM as a whole. Unfortunately.
  • Zero!
  • Still ongoing.
  • I am a BCM consultant, so I cannot speak about "my organization, per se.  However, H1N1, while more virulent than the typical Type B "seasonal" influenzas, was certainly not the threat a human-transmissible H5N1 avian influenza will be.  It was only when the Spanish flu of 1918-1919 was identified as an avian virus, that the scale of the threat of H5N1 was understood.  Now, while the effort to protect against that scale of impact may seem like much ado about very little, vis-a-vis H1N1, the far more serious threat of H5N1 continues to be endemic in parts of the world, with the same admonition remaining:  It's not a matter of if, but of when.  All the ado around H1Ni has dulled the senses of many to the word "pandemic."
  • Meetings moved to monthly - keeping under observation.
  • The current state of pandemic planning is good. The recent incident helped to bring a strong focus to the organisation the importance of business continuity. We have plans in place which we will review as and when required.
  • Prepared. HR Issues, regardless of cause, will always be a cause for concern. Consider service delivery during long term industrial action. A pandemic/epidemic plan is just one more club in the golf bag.
  • On hold. Will meet with management in September to discuss renewing protective measures campaign but like Y2K, a non event makes all preparations for other events much harder to accomplish. I don't want to have a disaster but each time this happens, I lose credibility and support. throughout the company.
  • Very aware -a strong realistic strategy to work from although the caveat will always be the variation on severity.
    This gave us an opportunity to:
    - show the value of the BIA,
    - address where our critical points were re staff/skill shortages
    - focus on the reality rather than hype with an appropriate response.
    - look at our suppliers BC preparedness - no matter what the scenario!
  • We are prepared to respond to pandemics as a part of holistic BS 25999 compliant BCM strategy.
  • None, it was difficult before: now it is impossible.
  • All measures are on hold, but can be put into action at short notice if needs be.
  • Very good. We have a comprehensive plan which is based on worse case scenario (H5N1) down to last guidance published on H1N1 attack levels.
    Staff training good, masks and other critical equipment stockpiles in place. Vaccination programme agreed for 2010/2011 period.
  • Non-existent.
  • We have reduced our pandemic alert phase to a normal monitoring level and continue to provide standard protection measures. Our pandemic planning has improved with the H1N1 event.
  • Still ongoing. With avian influenza still endemic in several southeast Asian countries, the possibility that it could mix with other influenza strains and spread more easily is still a concern. The main difference from before is that pandemic plans must include a severity element.
  • Our pandemic plans are mature and were in place before the recent 'scare'. From a BCM perspective pandemic plans are fundamentally about loss of staff and therefore are widely recognised and accepted across our organisation.
  • We trust the government to take care of the situation, to invest funds to educate the country/businesses and make corrective actions; we monitor our staffs' well-being as standard procedures, it's not a special pandemic plan. We have remote working facilities so we are prepared for staff working from home when they have to care for a sick relative, and backups are arranged for any staff falling ill.
  • Poor.
  • Covered under BC plans.
  • Pandemic plans have been filed (archived) for now, awaiting any new outbreak (of whatever kind). We'll keep them up to date following the normal yearly cycle.
  • I do not advocate a single, isolated plan for pandemics. The high level plan should be to deal with serious staff shortages due to any unforeseen circumstances. Then a threat analysis is required to consider the organisation's actual exposure (likelihood) to the many types of threats. Any widespread infectious disease can have an impact on the business - so can a mountain of snow preventing staff (and their families) from travelling to work/school etc. In the case of infectious disease one must defer to medical opinion, not second guess it.
  • It was a valuable exercise in seeing how the company could survive without key personnel and on restricted numbers. So whether it was impacted by bird flu or any other incident that would stop colleagues getting in e.g. tube strike, severe weather or another type of virus it has us, as a company better prepared. We have changed our plans from specific pandemic planning to large scale absence of colleagues.
  • We have stepped down, although still providing hand gels in the washrooms.
  • As a LA social care and education directorate we have to be prepared (legally and morally) and even though H1N1 was not the pandemic it could have been it provided us with an opportunity to 'test' the planning we had in place and develop that planning to the level we have today which it significantly more advanced than in the past. However, it is now becoming increasingly difficult to engage senior managers in the process of testing, exercising and developing plans. I do not believe that this 'slip' in senior management engagement it to the extent that Pandemic Planning is a "laughing stock" or that BCM now has less respect, as BCM has to go far beyond just pandemic planning. However we have a lot of work to do to keep pandemic planning and BCM on the agenda, particularly as we now enter a period of large financial cuts within the Public Sector, which will refocus senior management priorities.
  • We have tested plans which we will review as part of our standard process. We continue to monitor the situation and we will react proportionally to situations. We will continue to use WHO and other UK Govt. departments as our main source of information and react accordingly.
  • As well prepared as can reasonably be expected in the current climate. Would feel confident in our ability to meet the demands of another pandemic.
  • There is a strong commitment to business continuity in the organisation generally, and people felt a lot of useful lessons were learned from the pandemic planning. The debrief was only held a few weeks ago and I have just had approval for a load of recommendations - including reviewing the pandemic plan and ensuring our arrangements for loss of staff are more robust. However there have been a few comments made about it being the incident that never was, but generally I would say it raised the profile of business continuity rather than damaging it.
  • There is an implemented pandemic plan in the whole group.
  • Prepared.
  • Stagnant.
  • Up to date.
  • Perceived as being over prepared and over reaction in stockpiling supplies etc. Board would not authorise release of supplies due to limited impact and perception of no real threat particularly with haste to overreact to top level warnings vs actual impact.
  • Same as before but strong belief it’s all over for another 50 years.
  • Greatly enhanced and with more flexibility (no longer aligned to WHO alert levels). Our organisation did have recorded cases of H1N1 and both showed how you can lose staff for long period of time. Had greater traction with both training and planning at an operational level.
  • The same as it has been all along i.e. sound pandemic plan, which is principles - based and allows for a ramping up staged approach if and when needed.
  • Prepared.
  • The organisation was grappling with the best method of implementing BCM, and used the H1N1 as a trial for a for the business impact analysis, and for other procedures. At best, executive management were luke warm to the notion of BCM and the H1N1 BCP was to be the 'flagship' for things to be the model upon which BCM would be based. The outcome of the pandemic only served to support the perceptions that BCM was generally a waste of time and effort.
  • My organisation retains the pandemic plan as a model for other incidents that could cause widespread personnel loss. The planning focussed all senior management teams across the world and raised awareness for business continuity in general. The risk of a pandemic is only one of many risks and we now have a flexible plan that can be used. The pandemic plan has become a subset of the overall business continuity plan and is very relevant. There will be other widespread illness risks such as winter vomiting, food poisoning etc.
  • High.
  • None.
  • Had bought masks / gloves & gowns as per Corporate Policy and now no place to stock them.
  • On the back burner.
  • If plans cover staff loss (rather than just pandemics) they have probably been used twice this year already in the UK - for snow and volcanic eruptions.
  • Corporate Pandemic Plan approved by BOD Evaluation of cutting hand sanitizers expenses. Pandemic Training dissemination and awareness put on hold to attend other issues. Employees and Management, thinks that the pandemic phase is over!!
  • Dormant, no activity.
  • We still have the plans in place. The plans really cover the possibility of more than average absenteeism and how that would impact the business. This could cover a pandemic or other scenario, so it is not a waste of time. Also, most people believe it is a matter of time, before we come across a virus that will not be easily contained.
  • Documented and tested.
  • To react commensurate with the level of risk.
  • Carry on but support is not as it was before. We were burned badly.
  • We continue to prepare for multiple scenarios that could impact our employees, supply chain and customers. We never presented pandemic risks to our organization as a "doomsday" certainty, only as a significant and likely risk. We have our preparations in place, and continue to expand our internal readiness plans and public-private cooperative efforts in case there is a resurgence of risk (we have reminded management that this remains a "when," not "if" scenario). Many of the exercise elements were useful tests of our Crisis and Business Continuity Plans and senior management recognizes the value.
  • Before H1N1 there was already pandemic planning burnout among emergency management and business continuity management professionals, and now after H1N1 there is definitely pushback from some and lack of desire from others to use a large-scale disease outbreak as a planning scenario.
    It is the responsibility though of emergency management and business continuity management to keep the momentum moving forward on planning and find other valid, likely threats to use for planning and training purposes with employees and partner agencies.
  • Continues to be a concern that is placed on the same level of our most highest risk - Earthquakes.
  • Improved as a result ! better awareness, appreciation and realisation of the importance ! Maintaining this is the challenge !
  • We have stood down at this point. Our plan is very good and was managed well. Information and communication was set as "fear mongering". The Executive supported the initiative of general awareness and plan enhancement that allowed the BCP team to respond according to our impacts in Canada. General information was provided on a regular basis but impact information was sent to specific audience at specific times... worked well. Managing BCP communication is essential - especially at the start of an issue...
  • Pandemic awareness and planning is at a much higher level than it was when prior to the H1N1 pandemic.
  • Put BC on the map as management now persuaded that you do not need a specific contingency plan as risks emerge, what you need is a robust BC plan to deal with generic impacts of loss of staff, premises, IT etc
  • It has been abandoned.
  • Our 'Pandemic Planning' team continues to meet on a regular (quarterly) basis and continues to monitor WHO reports/updates.
  • No current activity, but planning and exercises are always a good thing.
  • We are working on incorporating lessons learned into our plans. I work for a public health organization that understands the need for prevention and planning - and that it is far better to over-react to pandemic than to underestimate it.
  • Monitoring WHO and CDC site. Recently halted Monthly - Pandemic team meetings.
  • We treat this as a people absenteeism issue along with threat of industrial action, therefore it is not seen as an issue.
  • I implemented enhanced health and safety standards not pandemic policies. Managers are required to send sick staff home, staff are not allowed to visit clients while sick, critical staff are defined and have ability to work from home, hand sanitizers were given to all staff and dispensers installed in common areas (canteen, restroom, coffee kiosk). What I DID NOT do, based upon my experience with the bird flu pandemic, was try to turn my firm into an emergency service unit capable of handling sick staff or their families.
  • We have a plan. It is required by FFIEC and the effort should be looked at as beneficial for several types of events. But the real value has not been fully accepted.
  • Fairly good but our decision was to phase planning, such that the latter stage detail wasn't completed as we were awaiting to see how the situation developed. We made a point of taking a measured approach, and at all times ensured staff and management knew it was a changing and uncertain situation which could be really bad - or not bad at all. For this reason I think we have managed to control the organisations response in a way that limited the embarrassment factor.
  • I think it is has been portrayed as an over reaction but I also believe that the pandemic would have been a lot worse if the public didn't buy into the vaccination program here in the US (Denver, CO). What doesn't get published is the State Health Dept stats on hospital admissions for flu like symptoms which spiked to over 10 times normal hospitalizations in the non-flu season. I think this proved a pandemic existed but was handled through the non-pharmaceutical measures people took and vaccinations people had.
  • None at present - plans from last year still in place.
  • I think the H1N1 pandemic was a wake up call to my business. We had not really taken it seriously. We are still putting measures in place to mitigate this risk. In future, we will base our response on the severity of any illness as well as the WHO alert levels.
  • Stale.
  • We always had a measured approach. I have been at this for a long time and see how NGOs and Consultants will play any scenario for funding or business - and us BCPers are left holding the bag. Been there and done that so I have put a very measured approach to these scenarios without causing panic in the org. Company was happy with the level of response.
  • Monitoring and keeping plans "shelf ready". Use the model developed for other types of infectious diseases.
  • No current plans but the pandemic versions can be used as a start for other BC planning.
  • Ready now but very unlikely to be updated so will become stale.
  • Don't want to bring up the subject of future table top tests.
  • Fully prepared both in terms of BCP, guidance and policies, and in terms of protective equipment.
  • Monthly report to management.
  • Response to the first question is a "yes" if the organization only developed a pandemic contingency plan. Pandemic component of our BCM Program is alive and well following a post event review and ongoing continuity response refit.
  • Plans complete and being maintained / refreshed at least annually.
  • Already caught it.

•Date: 30th July 2010 • Region: World •Type: Article •Topic: Pandemic planning
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