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Bird Flu Plans Aren't For the Birds

Sunday, October 1, 2006

Do you have a bird flu plan? If your first reaction is, "You have got to be kidding," well, actually, we're not. Because we're the nation's central bank, the Fed has to prepare for any contingency, no matter how remote the possibility.

Think of it this way: Having a plan in place for an event that may never happen can help you prepare for a disaster that actually could happen—just like insurance that you hope you never need, or the Y2K preparations for an event that turned out to be a fizzle.

If the avian bird flu becomes transmissible from human to human, a pandemic could encompass the globe in a matter of weeks. While most disasters usually impact a single business or community, a pandemic could affect all of the country simultaneously. Therefore, community leaders must work together to prepare for a pandemic outbreak.

Key points to consider include:

  • planning for the impact of a pandemic on your business,employees and customers,
  • establishing policies to be implemented during a pandemic,
  • allocating resources to protect your employees and customers,
  • communicating to and educating your employees, and
  • coordinating with external organizations and helping your community.

Guidelines for preparing your business for the impact of a pandemic are available at