Businesses all across the country are gearing up for the coming onslaught of the flu season. Many companies have been slow to set up some sort of plan in case a pandemic occurs. Some companies are even making employees wear face masks at work on a daily basis so that they can ward off the deadly respiratory viruses that are known to erupt during a pandemic. But how should a company go about preparing a plan if a pandemic were to occur?
Preparing for a pandemic means having your human resources department ready to handle any employee who may get sick. They will be delving into virus strategies and finding ways to limit the amount of people who get ill. If the pandemic were to hit large cities like Los Angeles, this may mean limiting the amount of water that employees are allowed to drink. The idea is to limit the number of people who come down with the flu and to reduce the severity of the outbreak.
Other plans are simply to change some of the company’s typical routine to minimize the risk of an outbreak. For instance, if employees usually get sick on Mondays, it may become a Friday that they are free. Changing the rotation of shifts could also help cut down on the number of days when an outbreak occurs. However, most companies are cautious and may not consider this option. Instead, they focus on the business being closed down during the pandemic. And they may not be overly worried about having their regular employees to miss time from work because of the pandemic.
Depending on the area where you live, there may not be mandatory evacuations. If there are mandatory evacuations, your employees may not be able to go home until the pandemic has gone away. For this reason, you should include evacuation procedures in your plan. You should mention when the procedure will take place, how employees will get home, and what they should do if they cannot return to work immediately.
You should also consider how your employees will react to changes in your normal routine. Will there be less bathroom breaks? Can employees who normally take the bus be expected to ride bicycles instead? Your plan for pandemic preparedness should take into account the desires and needs of your employees.
If you are dealing with a large-scale pandemic, such as in West Africa this year, you may be forced to do much more than just make a simple plan. You may need to do a lot of contingency planning to execute various aspects of your plan. As with any plan, though, you should always be prepared for the worst, even if you’re not expecting it. In this case, a business plan becomes doubly important.