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SunGard Availability Services Addresses the Business, Operational and Workforce Issues Involved in Pandemic Planning
Date:10/26/2009

andemic and traditional disaster planning is a pandemic typically generates waves of impact while an event such as a utility power failure is generally contained in one occurrence.

"The peak of the first wave of the H1N1 virus hit the United States in April, May and June, and experts are predicting a new wave with the coming flu season. This approach means organizations need to establish 'trigger points' in their pandemic plans which provide signals that when a set of circumstances occurs, it serves as the trigger to start preplanned response activities," said MacMicking.

Other key considerations in pandemic planning include:

Enterprise Planning. Company policies, such as human resources and legal, need to be addressed at a business-wide level to ensure consistency with corporate and regulatory requirements. For example, a company policy may require any employee out three or more days to provide a doctor's slip to return to work. During a pandemic, a doctor may not be readily available to provide the slip -- an organization should have a corporate policy on whether employees can return to work or not without the slip due to these circumstances.

Communications. Similar to planning for other disasters, communications is an area of top importance in pandemic planning. Organizations need a communications strategy that addresses both global and local communications issues since pandemic waves will impact different regions at different times. An inward communications system is essential so critical employees can contact an organization regarding their availability. For instance, if an area's schools close down, that would have a dramatic impact on an absentee rate -- including even healthy employees.

Business Operations. The areas of the business that generate revenue and provide customer service must be prepared for people missing on the frontlines. Pandemic plans need to include flexible arrange
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SOURCE SunGard Availability Services
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