Pandemic Business Continuity Plan

Most governments throughout the world have and will continue to take necessary precautionary measures and update their pandemic flu BC and/or preparedness plans.Planning for the unthinkable pandemic flu may appear to be a humongous and complex set of tasks.

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The key outcome is the understanding of the scope of implementation of contingency, BC or crisis management plans and the application of the BC execution stages to implement the necessary actions to prepare an organization of the impending pandemic flu outbreak.

Even though we have experienced three previous pandemic flu outbreaks in the 20th century, no one knows precisely how a pandemic might unfold.

The key disaster scenario should be based on the worst-case situation – occurring at the most vulnerable time; resulting in damages and losses of the most severe magnitude, like total loss of information, physical infrastructure and equipment.

The traditional BC planning focuses on denial of access to facilities.

The key challenge in the preparatory process is the synchronization of the business continuity plan and procedures with the World Health Organization’s and the local health ministry’s pandemic alert phases.

Several probable outbreak situations, and several more possible variations in responses to them, makes the planning process one of the most complicated challenges facing business continuity professionals.One major concern for organizations is that the current supply chain and outsourcing arrangements may not operate at contracted service levels.Organizations that are highly automated, ‘just in time’ value chains, outsourcing core activities to third parties will be seriously at risk.Hence, it is imperative for organizations to develop and implement a BC plan that is flexible and adaptable to the evolving threat; which can be easily and regularly updated as and when more information on the virus is available, through the joint efforts by the communities and governments.There is a constant debate on what to name the plans that we develop for this crisis.However, but the pandemic flu BC plan focuses on denial of access to facilities, and loss of key people.Hence, the assumptions to cope with a pandemic BC planning are very different.One of the business continuity (BC) best practices is to define the key disaster scenario.This scenario provides a common perspective to the executive management, BC project manager, BC team, IT Disaster Recovery Planning team and even the Crisis Management team.This paper discusses about the pertinent aspects of pandemic flu business continuity (BC) planning.In the last two years, there is an increase in organizations preparing themselves for the possible influenza (flu) pandemic outbreak.

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