This past May I attended the Central Station Alarm Associations annual meeting in Savannah , GA. Over dinner one evening I entered into a very interesting conversation with Ivan Spector of Sentinal Alarm in 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.
Let's think about this for a moment as it related to the rest of the corporate environment â€“
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 - Healthcare systems become overwhelmed?
What if - Essential services break down as key personnel are infected?
What if - Businesses and schools 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 let's think about it from the stand point of a central station â€“
What if - The first responders, first responder wasn't there to answer the calls for help from our citizens?
What if â€“ The 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 US 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 read more about 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 let's look at them now.
Pandemic Management Process
Companies are gearing their responses to the following trigger points aka Phases
Phase 1 â€“ No Virus Present
Phase 2 â€“ Virus in Animals not transmitted to Humans
Phase 3 â€“ Human infection in Virus, No human to human spread - We are here
Phase 4 â€“ Small clusters of human to human spread
Phase 5 â€“ Large clusters, virus adapting
Phase 6 â€“ PANDEMIC â€“ Wide Spread Transmissions
Understanding the implications of a Pandemic or global event.
Flu waves last 2 to 12 weeks but the entire event may last 6 to 18 months.
Waves fade then recur multiple times
Illness lasting 7 to 14 days, recovery period could be prolonged
Most people treated at home. Healthcare overwhelmed
Peak of waves last 1 to 4 weeks with 50% absenteeism
What can you expect?
Locations may be affected at different times with different recovery periods
Supply chain will also be impacted
Must guarantee a clean and safe work environment
Travel and transportation shutdown
DEVELOP A PLAN
Identify Employees that will be off work.
Family with Children
Family with Parents (Elderly)
Identify and Manage Business Critical Operations
Which facilities can you afford to shutdown completely?
Which facilities are business critical?
Identify Business Critical Staff.
Develop plan to get them to and from work safely.
Which suppliers are business critical? Request that providers develop an appropriate pandemic plan.
Your objective is to reduce sickness and mortality in employees and to maintain business continuity.
Balancing the Needs of the People and the Business
People Focus â€“ Awareness and Education, Reducing Illness, Mitigating Anxiety
and Assisting with Hardship.
Business Focus â€“ Customer Support, Maintaining Supply Chain, Preserving
Revenue, Rebounding Quickly.