Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Provides free self-assessment tool to rate readiness

April 27, 2009/TAMPA – The Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) is cautioning businesses and nonprofit organizations to examine their ability to operate in the event of a flu pandemic.

With the federal government declaring Swine Flu a public-health emergency, IBHS says it would be wise to prepare now for the possibility of closures or other impacts a pandemic could have on operations.

“Evaluating specific risks and planning well beforehand for a variety of potential emergencies that could disrupt day-to-day business is critical, no matter how big or small a company may be,” states IBHS President and CEO Julie Rochman. “Fortunately, most catastrophes can be managed with advance, effective preparation – and that means having a well-thought out action plan with specific, appropriate policies, resources and contingencies.”

The Top 5 IBHS pandemic preparedness steps include:

Determine when to curtail employee travel, domestically and internationally.
Develop business continuity policies that provide work-at-home options.
Address sick leave policies, since people with swine flu or those attending to relatives may need to be on leave longer that the current policy allows.
Consider the impact a shutdown of public transportation or the loss of basic utilities would have.
Determine at what point the organization would need to close its doors.

IBHS has created a self-assessment tool for business owners and managers who can rate their readiness for a flu pandemic by answering nine basic questions.

This tool was adapted from the IBHS Open for Business® planning and preparedness program and its suite of free resources. For more information visit the IBHS web site

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