Pandemic idea sharing. Regardless of cause, H5N1, SARS or Ebola the same basic plannings are the same. While a few are tasked with creating the plans, the many are tasked with carrying them out. Disucss plans, ideas, fears and rescources here.
H1N1 Pandemic Planning
September 18, 2009 at 1:04 pm #80906
Although this posting from flu.gov is directed at the small business community it is MY opinion that not only does it have some degree of relevance for Larger government agency/companies but at least some relevance to EVERYONE who wishes to be prepared for ????
Small businesses play a key role in protecting employees’ health and safety as well as limiting the impact to the economy and society during an influenza pandemic. Advance planning for pandemic influenza, a novel infectious disease that could occur in varying levels of severity, is critical. Companies that provide critical services, such as power and telecommunications, have a special responsibility to their community to plan for continued operations in a pandemic and should plan accordingly.
A new influenza virus, now called 2009 H1N1 influenza, or 2009 H1N1 flu, first caused illness in Mexico and the United States in March and April, 2009. On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) signaled that a global pandemic of 2009 H1N1 flu was underway by raising the worldwide pandemic alert level to Phase 6. This action was a reflection of the spread of the new 2009 H1N1 flu virus across the globe, not the severity of illness caused by the virus. At the time, more than 70 countries had reported cases of 2009 H1N1 flu infection and there were ongoing community level outbreaks of 2009 H1N1 flu in multiple parts of the world. Since June, this new H1N1 virus has continued to spread. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) anticipates additional cases, hospitalizations and deaths associated with this pandemic in the United States during the U.S. 2009–2010 influenza season.
Community strategies that delay or reduce the impact of a pandemic (also called nonpharmaceutical interventions) may help reduce the spread of disease until a vaccine is available. Over the past several years, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the CDC, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have developed guidelines, including checklists, to assist businesses, industries, and other employers in planning for a pandemic outbreak as well as for other potential disasters.
The Department of Homeland Security, the CDC, and the Small Business Administration have developed this booklet to help small businesses understand what impact a new influenza virus, like 2009 H1N1 flu, might have on their operations, and how important it is to have a written plan for guiding your business through a possible pandemic.
September 19, 2009 at 8:50 am #80912
Related this July 31 Memorandum
MEMORANDUM FOR HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
Date: July 31 2009
FROM: John Berry Director
Subject: Pandemic Influenza 2009: Additional Guidance
In anticipation of the fall influenza season, and with the ongoing spread of H1N1, it is critically important that we continue and strengthen our efforts to protect the Federal workforce and ensure the continuity of operations. Based on lessons learned this spring and feedback from agencies, we have prepared a series of questions and answers on a wide range of human resources (HR) policies and flexibilities to supplement the “Planning for a Pandemic Influenza, Human Resources Information for Departments and Agencies,” found on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM’s) website at http://www.opm.gov/pandemic/OPM-Pandemic_AllIssuances.pdf.
The questions and answers reflect the numerous inquiries we received from agencies and employees about pandemic influenza HR policies. The Chief Human Capital Officers Council worked closely with OPM to obtain clarification of various policies, and the H1N1 Human Resources Readiness Forum held at OPM on May 6, 2009, also generated a number of additional questions and concerns. Based on this dialogue, I am pleased to provide you with the attached, updated questions and answers on pandemic influenza, which are arranged under the following topics:
+ Excused Absence (Administrative Leave)
+ Employee Relations
+ Evacuation during a Pandemic Crisis
+ Evacuation Pay
+ Work Assignments during an Evacuation
+ Work Schedules
+ Hazard Pay
In reviewing our spring 2009 experience, I must emphasize the importance of being telework ready. The Federal Government cannot shut down and will be expected to continue essential operations during all phases of a pandemic influenza. As we plan for the future, we recognize pandemic influenza is difficult to predict because it has the potential for quickly mutating and spreading, but we can mitigate its effects on employees and Government services through social distancing interventions such as telework.
Telework can be an important tool in two different ways. First, as the pandemic influenza approaches and intensifies in a geographic area, telework can be used in advance of any formal evacuation orders and requirements to work at home (or at an alternative location mutually agreeable to the agency and the employee). Second, if an evacuation is ordered, and designated employees must work at home, agencies who have prepared for and tested telework capabilities as part of their normal HR flexibilities program, will be in a far better position to meet mission needs.
Agencies need to implement and maintain a robust IT system with the necessary infrastructure (including bandwidth and VPN access) to accommodate a sudden spike in remote usage of agency systems as well as the accompanying technical support personnel to resolve remote connectivity issues. Agencies also need to maintain a robust routine telework program. As many employees as possible should have telework capability; meaning that they have current telework arrangements, connectivity and equipment commensurate with their work needs, and frequent opportunities to telework so that systems are tested and known to be functional.
We look forward to continuing to assist agencies with their pandemic preparedness and welcome your continued questions. You may continue to send questions related to human resources issues and the pandemic influenza to [email protected]
If you have questions about this guidance or need additional information, please contact your OPM Human Capital Officer. Employees should contact their agency’s human resources offices for assistance.
September 22, 2009 at 7:22 pm #80910
Teleworking in Pittsburg – got some thanks last night to VP of Pittsburg company that is teleoworkign because of the Upcomming G-20 summit.
Yes folks pandemic planning is not just for disasters anymore. Those who are prepared suffer far less than those who are not.
September 22, 2009 at 7:26 pm #80908
OSHA has put out several good papers but I’ve missed the part on “Hazard pay”
For an employee with underlying health problems I can see where this may apply.
Most of the focus has been on a reduced workforce and failure of JIT (just-in-time) delivery structure.
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