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Board of Trade Issues Business Preparation Guidelines for H1N1 Virus Outbreak
Date:5/5/2009

WASHINGTON, May 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the H1N1 Virus outbreak intensifying in the United States, there is significant potential for the virus to cause difficult business conditions.

To assist businesses prepare for disruption if the virus continues to spread, the Greater Washington Board of Trade is issuing guidelines, arranging updates, organizing conference call briefings and creating a website for resources.

The Board of Trade recommends the following considerations:

  • Create a task force.
    • Companies, firms and organizations should consider immediately establishing an internal task force to stay current on the latest news and issues concerning the virus and to monitor the organization's preparations. This task force might include personnel from human resources, the executive office, finance and operations.
  • Clarify lines of authority and communication protocols.
    • Develop or review company delegations of authority for emergency operations; be clear about decision-making authority and how decisions will be relayed and/or announced; and develop or review orders of succession for emergency operations.
  • Develop a plan.
    • Develop a comprehensive plan for conducting business with multiple scenarios that address operations ranging from a reduced staff presence to no staff being able report for work. Assess the impact that disruption would have on staff, clients, suppliers, contractors, vendors, service providers and other dependencies up and down the line. Ensure that your employees understand their respective roles in the plan.
  • Validate communications.
    • Update or validate your communication operations with key personnel. Be sure that everyone understands how to get information from management if that becomes necessary. Update phone and email contact information.
    • Review policies and procedures associated with alternative working conditions or telecommuting. Confirm that everyone has the current information necessary to work from home and access central systems.
    • Consider creation of a regular company-wide voicemail and/or email updates. Pre-arrange with a conference call company to establish a call-in number and service for company updates and assignments, and, if needed, consider creation of an intranet or private website that employees and clients can access to provide for continuity of operations.
  • Stay current.
    • Track websites (Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization), news updates, briefing calls and email bulletins to stay current on the restrictions and announcements that may be coming rapidly.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for companies, firms and organizations as they prepare for the potential implications of a pandemic. The Greater Washington Board of Trade has developed these guidelines through its Emergency Preparedness Committee as a reference as organizations create their own customized plans. For a complete list of the guidelines, visit www.boardoftrade.org.

Greater Washington Board of Trade

The Greater Washington Board of Trade is the Greater Washington region's premier business network and the only local business association representing all industry sectors. Founded in 1889, the Board of Trade enjoys a long history of helping its members' businesses grow by providing content-rich programs, connecting business leaders and marketing Greater Washington's economic opportunities. As Greater Washington's regional business organization, the Board of Trade addresses business concerns that stretch across geographic boundaries, such as transportation, emergency preparedness, green as a competitive advantage and workforce issues. To learn more about the Greater Washington Board of Trade and its commitment to improving the region's business community, visit www.boardoftrade.org.

CONTACT: Liz Krinock of Greater Washington Board of Trade, +1-202-821-5095 (c), +1-202-857-5987 (o), LizKrinock@bot.org


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SOURCE Greater Washington Board of Trade
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