Monday, April 27, 2009

IBHS Cautions Businesses to Prepare for Flu Pandemic; Provides Free Self-Assessment Tool to Rate Readiness

/PRNewswire/ -- The Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) is cautioning businesses and nonprofit organizations to examine their ability to operate in the event of a flu pandemic.

With the federal government declaring Swine Flu a public-health emergency, IBHS says it would be wise to prepare now for the possibility of closures or other impacts a pandemic could have on operations.

"Evaluating specific risks and planning well beforehand for a variety of potential emergencies that could disrupt day-to-day business is critical, no matter how big or small a company may be," states IBHS President and CEO Julie Rochman. "Fortunately, most catastrophes can be managed with advance, effective preparation - and that means having a well-thought out action plan with specific, appropriate policies, resources and contingencies."

The Top 5 IBHS pandemic preparedness steps include:

1. Determine when to curtail employee travel, domestically and
internationally.
2. Develop business continuity policies that provide work-at-home options.
3. Address sick leave policies, since people with swine flu or those
attending to relatives may need to be on leave longer that the current
policy allows.
4. Consider the impact a shutdown of public transportation or the loss of
basic utilities would have.
5. Determine at what point the organization would need to close its doors.


IBHS has created a self-assessment tool for business owners and managers who can rate their readiness for a flu pandemic by answering nine basic questions. http://www.disastersafety.org/resource/resmgr/pdfs/pandemic_flu.pdf.

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