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H1N1 Swine Flu Preparedness Uncertainty Results in Higher Business Disruption Risk
Date:9/10/2009

CHICAGO, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Conflicting guidance on the depth and breadth of the H1N1 virus - the upcoming revisit of swine flu - has combined with other factors to result in dangerously low preparedness plans within the private sector. "There's no question that companies have delayed preparedness," said Joan Beaubaire, principal of The Kineo Group. "Businesses are navigating a daunting market and obstacles not immediately in their path aren't being addressed."

Buttressing this argument is the Harvard School of Public Health study released this week which found that two out of three U.S. businesses are unprepared to deal with the effects of a flu pandemic, when employee absences can be a major disruption.

The Kineo Group's Crisis Practice has created a H1N1 Readiness Check List that leverages its principals' expertise from work at the American Red Cross and other global organizations to help leaders manage their workforce effectively.

  • Those companies with no crisis plan will be surprised by the extent of employee absences and other disruptions, forcing them to be reactive and accept higher losses;
  • Firms with existing crisis communications plans should review and update their plans for H1N1 flu, referencing the latest government guidance, including visiting www.flu.gov. This effort should start immediately and be reviewed monthly;
  • Organizations without existing crisis plans should immediately formulate a basic H1N1 response plan relying heavily upon published guidance from government agencies and medical associations;
  • Firms should form a team to quickly assess those recommendations, identify issues unique to their industry and develop an action plan;
  • All companies should communicate regularly to key stakeholders, particularly employees, about what the company is doing, and provide the
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SOURCE The Kineo Group
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