You've prepared for the worst. You're ready for robberies, hostage situations, extended power failures, long term communication loss, fire, floods, tornados, hurricanes, earthquakes, and even nuclear strikes. But are you ready for the flu? Maybe it's time. We have some information and resources you'll want to be familiar with.
Not just any flu, pandemic flu. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that the flu kills 35,000 to 40,000 Americans every year. Another 200,000 are hospitalized. A pandemic flu is much more serious than normal flu outbreaks and occurs only a few times each century. The CDC estimates that a "medium-level" pandemic flu may cause up to 207,000 deaths in the United States. Another 725,000 hospitalizations and 20-47 million people being sick, with an economic impact in the range of $71 - $166 billion. A pandemic flu could easily leave 25-30% of the workforce ill for an extended period. And the experts agree; we are overdue for our next pandemic.
Unlike most disaster scenarios, with pandemic flu, your main concern is not the loss of equipment or operations facilities, but instead the people necessary to make it all work. So, how do you prepare for a pandemic that could leave you without 30% of your workforce for weeks or months?
The above list is just a small sample of what needs to be done in the event of a pandemic flu. A complete business oriented checklist from the CDC may be found at: CDC Business Continuity Checklist for Pandemics.
More information on pandemic flu may be found at:
An excellent source for information on Business Continuity Planning is available from BOL Guru Dana Turner at: Disaster Recovery & Business Resumption Planning.
And the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Contingency Planning Guide for Information Technology Systems may be found here: NIST Contingency Planning Guide for Information Technology Systems.
For the sake of conciseness, this article was edited. To see the complete article, please click here.
At the time of this article's original printing, Jeff Patterson, a 25 year IT industry veteran, worked in the technology department of a large Oklahoma-based financial institution where he oversaw support and vendor management for many of the institutions key applications. He has taught application programming, database design and development and database administration classes. His expertise includes enterprise application development, network infrastructure, information systems risk analysis, project management, and database design and administration.