Today it was announced that the World Health Organization (WHO) has assessed the current swine flu (H1N1 virus) situation and confirmed that it is the first full-blown pandemic in 41 years. The WHO has declared a pandemic Phase 6 for the first time since the advent of the alert system.

Now is a reasonable and prudent time for your business to evaluate its pandemic plans to ensure that operations will be able to continue as normally as possible in the case of a widespread pandemic. Organizations must plan to cope with public fear, people exercising social distancing instead of interacting in a normal face-to-face marketplace, and, perhaps most importantly, widespread absenteeism and illness.

It has been speculated that in the height of a pandemic event’s severity, up to 40% of employees at an organization may be absent due to illness, their family’s illnesses, or children staying home from school or day care as a result of social distancing measures. This does not only significantly impair your business internally, but vendors and service providers may also be working at 60% capacity. As Phase 6 is declared, your organization must ask itself what needs to be done?

It is also worth considering how public demand for goods and services may change upon the onset of a pandemic event. Many of GraVoc’s information security customers work in the banking industry, and it is safe to say that in times of public fear, members and customers may want to carry cash at a higher rate.

Other items to consider as pandemic fears escalate can be found in past posts on the GraVoc News Blog by clicking here.

GraVoc Associates, Inc, based in Peabody, MA, is celebrating fifteen years of business serving greater Boston, New England, and beyond in the fields of information security, information systems, and technological and professional services. One of the services offered by GraVoc’s information security practice is helping organizations design business continuity plans so that a business can continue operations in the event of a disaster. Pandemic planning is a keystone element of business continuity planning. If you believe your business needs planning or training on how to cope with the onset of a pandemic, please feel free to explore the website or to call GraVoc’s offices at 978-538-9055.

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