Preparing your pandemic response plans: a comprehensive checklist

Published: Friday, 06 March 2020 08:29

Dr. Jim Kennedy provides a detailed checklist of items that organizations need to consider to sense-check existing pandemic plans, or to inform planning processes which may be underway.

In the last few days I have responded to various questions about what companies should do to prepare for a possible COVID-19 pandemic which has led me to write this article. It is a little late if a pandemic plan is not already in place, but then that is always a challenge for contingency planners world-wide!

I have tried in this article to provide some cogent thoughts on what the various business industry segments should consider in business continuity planning for such an event now that it is knocking at our doors. The profession of business continuity planners is generally to plan ahead for potential events and to advise management: I hope that a majority of businesses have done that planning, but if not I hope to provide suggestions on how to proceed. It is the obligation of business leaders to perform due diligence and exercise due care in running its operations even during trying times such as a pandemic.

I have highlighted areas of concern that need to be reviewed in regards to a pandemic type of incident. The list is by all means not all-inclusive, but represents areas that have been raised as concerns by my clients and fellow colleagues.

My sincere desire is that these highlighted areas will stimulate action by companies small, medium and large so that they can properly prepare for the possibility of COVID-19 impacting their operations.


Policy revision

Consider immediately consider changes to policies:

Use of technology


Workforce (changing the way you do business)

Raw material supply

Transportation services



I am sure that there are many more things to be considered. I hope that I have stimulated thought and a need for further inquiry and dialogue between contingency planners and business leaders. We need to prepare; let’s not wait too long or before it is too late.

The author

Dr. Jim Kennedy is an industry recognized business continuity expert having served as a Principal Consultant for Alcatel-Lucent’s Professional Services Security Practice. Dr. Kennedy has over 30 years’ experience in the business continuity and disaster recovery fields and holds numerous certifications in network engineering, security and business continuity. He has lectured widely on pandemic planning and has developed during his career more than 30 corporate/government recovery plans, planned or participated in more than 100 BC/DR plan tests, helped to coordinate three actual recovery operations, and has co-authored three books and published over 100 articles. Contact: