Critical Elements of Emergency Preparedness. Once a flu pandemic starts, everyone is at risk of getting pandemic flu. Some people will be more at risk than others, although it is not possible to identify those that will be most at risk in advance of a pandemic. It is possible that a pandemic will affect mainly the young and healthy, as opposed to those most affected by traditional flu such as the elderly or infirm. To prepare for an influenza pandemic, Arcus Consulting Group will help your organization develop a business continuity plan that:
- identifies the organization’s mandated and critical services
- ranks all services in order of priority
- identifies the internal and external effects of disruptions
Communication and Emergency Preparedness
Communication will be critical to an effective response to the pandemic. All organizations should have plans in place for communicating with employees during an emergency. Phone trees or e-mail lists ensure rapid and efficient communication with a large number of employees, provided that employee contact information is kept up-to-date. Your organization may choose to designate one individual who will be responsible for receiving and communicating information. Strategies should also be developed for communicating with clients and stakeholders about changes to or disruptions in services.
Education and training
Education and training sessions should be developed and provided to staff regarding emergency and business continuity plans, so they will know their roles and responsibilities. Staff should also be trained in infection control precautions and the proper use of personal protective equipment.
Skill set inventory
The skills of all employees and the skills needed to provide the critical services of the organization should be recorded. The skill set inventory provides the planners with the ability to identify transferable skills that would allow an employee to be transferred from one task, job, or workplace to another without the need for extensive training or close supervision.
Business continuity plan
Businesses will need to prepare for pandemic influenza to reduce the impact on their operations and ensure continuation of services wherever possible. Businesses must also begin to prepare for the specific disruptions they may face during a pandemic and develop a business continuity plan. This information will assist businesses with planning and preparedness for any emergency.