Is your Company Prepared for the H1N1 Virus

The Harvard School of Public Health study released several weeks ago found that two out of three U.S. businesses are unprepared to deal with the effects of a flu pandemic, when employee absences can be a major disruption.

The Kineo Group’s Crisis Practice has created a H1N1 Readiness Check List that leverages its principals’ expertise from work at the American Red Cross and other global organizations to help leaders manage their workforce effectively.

  • Don’t be taken off guard. Those companies with no crisis plan will be surprised by the extent of employee absences and other disruptions, forcing them to be reactive and accept higher losses;
  • Review your existing plan, if you have one. Firms with existing crisis communications plans should review and update their plans for H1N1 flu, referencing the latest government guidance, including visiting www.flu.gov. This effort should start immediately and be reviewed monthly;
  • Develop a plan now if you don’t. Organizations without existing crisis plans should immediately formulate a basic H1N1 response plan relying heavily upon published guidance from government agencies and medical associations;
  • Form an assessment team. Firms should form a team to quickly assess those recommendations, identify issues unique to their industry and develop an action plan;
  • Communicate regularly. All companies should communicate regularly to key stakeholders, particularly employees, about what the company is doing, and provide them clear information on what they need to do to sustain the enterprise.
  • H1N1  douments:  H1N1 Legislative Brief, H1N1 Employee Awareness Poster, H1N1 Flu Vaccine Poster. For more detailed flu pandemic planning guides please contact me at jsbradley@chhins.com or 631-329-7268.
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Swine Flu Employee Education

Below are links to a variety of swine flu educational resources that will help you stay on top of the situation. They include:

The CDC has offered recommendations for everyday actions people can take to protect themselves from this new strain of flu.

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
    • Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
    • If you get sick, the CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
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