Bankers Can Take Community Lead in a Crisis

For months, talk of a possible bird flu pandemic was a fixture in the news. But these days, there's hardly a peep. However, the possibility of a pandemic remains-and all levels of government and many corporations can be found making precautionary plans.

The Federal Reserve suggests that bankers get involved with their local government and local companies that are already making plans. For example, in early 2006 the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services brought together planners from business, government, utilities and associations to create pandemic plan templates for small and medium business. (For example, see www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/tab4.html.)

Says Ed Pearce of Business Continuity at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: "As leaders within their communities, bankers could play a pivotal role in pandemic preparedness. Banker examples would encourage business customers to join with them in establishing partnerships with city and county public health departments. Each community pandemic partnership can determine a collective approach to preparing for a pandemic using planning templates and establishing lines of communication."

For more information, see www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/bcreg/bcreg20060315a1.pdf.

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