Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

January 22, 2006

Canadian corporations prepare for the pandemic flu

Filed under: Biosecurity,Preparedness and Response — by Christian Beckner on January 22, 2006

The Canadian Press wire service has an interesting story over the weekend on efforts by Canadian companies to prepare for the pandemic flu threat. The article describes some of the preliminary preparations that companies are making, and highlights the ways in which this potential threat is different from other business continuity challenges:

In a recent article written for the Harvard Business Review, [Sherry] Cooper said that most companies have not adequately planned for a pandemic, and notes that it’s “very different” than traditional crisis management.

“An influenza pandemic will likely be prolonged — measured in months, not weeks or days — and it will be pervasive,” she wrote.

“For most businesses, it would be prudent to take some actions immediately. Even though the probability of an influenza pandemic might be low, the consequences are enormous.”

I think that assessment is exactly right, and the pandemic flu threat is one that companies ignore at their own peril. For more on this issue, see the CDC’s Pandemic Flu Checklist for Businesses at this link.

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