Concern for the “What If(s)” in a Pandemic

This past May I attended the Central Station Alarm Association’s CSAA Forum meeting in Savannah, GA. Over dinner I entered into a very interesting conversation with Ivan Spector, president of Sentinal Alarm, Montreal, Canada and Lou Fiore, an industry veteran and regular contributor to Security Dealer magazine. Both gentlemen suggested that I look into addressing the topic of Avian Flu and what central stations need to do to prepare for such an event. So here goes…

Think about this for a moment as it relates to the rest of Corporate America –

What if up to 50% of your employees don’t show up for work because they are sick?
What if another 25% of your employees are afraid to come to work?
What if tens of millions of people require medical attention?
What if health care systems become overwhelmed?
What if essential services break down as key personnel are infected?
What if businesses and schools are closed?
What if international travel is limited as governments restrict entry?

These are the predictions from the experts. There is reason to be concerned, these events occur every 30 to 50 years and we are overdue. If you own a central station you must mitigate the risk and have a plan. The truth is, a flu shot may not be enough!

Now think about it from the stand point of a central station –

What if the first responders were not there to answer the calls for help?
What if Police, Fire and EMS couldn’t be dispatched to the scenes of mass casualty incidents?
What if civil unrest, rioting and looting sprang up across the U.S. with little or no Police or Military intervention?
There are plans in place, there are best practices to share, there are key areas of your business that need to be identified and analyzed. To learn how you can prepare your company to minimize the spread of the disease, reduce illness and death rates, attempt to maintain essential services and to limit the economic and social consequences of the outbreak, please read the full column which appears on the Central Station Monitoring section of
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The following web sites also offer invaluable information and research:, and

In closing, a final thought: If first responders are protected then why not those who dispatch them?