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Business Preparedness

Business Preparedness

Business Preparedness Overview
In the event of pandemic influenza or another public health emergency incident, businesses and other employers will play a key role in protecting employees' health and safety as well as limiting the negative impact to the economy and society. Planning for public health incidents is critical. Companies that provide critical infrastructure services, such as power and telecommunications, also have a special responsibility to ensure continued operations in a crisis and should plan accordingly. As with any catastrophe, having an additional contingency plan is essential.

Get Involved

Howard County Emergency Development Network: Encourages coordination, collaboration, and integration among community partners in Howard County, Indiana for the purpose of planning and executing public emergency drills and exercises with the intent of sharing resources, increasing efficiency, and completing required agency mandates. The Network meets the first month of each quarter on the 4th Thursday. Activities include an annual training event and exercise. Email the Preparedness Coordinator with questions or to join.

Planning Resources:

Ready.Gov Business Resources:

Small Business Association Prepare for Emergencies:

Business Continuity Considerations

Preventative Measures
Consider policies and procedures which promote good health habits, such as hand washing/sanitizing, staying home when sick, avoiding close contact, etc., that your business can enact to enhance the safety of the workforce and prevent the continued spread of an illness. Also consider how this information will be distributed to staff. In addition, consider what measures can be taken to protect your customer, as well as your employee, when performing services for customers that require face-to-face exchanges.

Identify Professional Relationships
Identify your suppliers, shippers, resources and other businesses you must interact with on a daily basis. Develop professional relationships with more than one company to use in case your primary contractor cannot service your needs. A disaster that shuts down a key supplier can be devastating to your business.

Critical Business Processes & Communication
Carefully assess how your company functions, both internally and externally, to determine which staff, materials, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep the business operating. Review your company's internal and external means of communication, including staff call down lists, email distribution lists, client/customer contacts, pagers, etc.

Succession of Management
Identify your company's line of succession for key leadership, recommended to be a minimum depth of three (3) employees. These identified successors should possess the capabilities to perform leadership responsibilities and have decision making authority for your organization. Include at least one person who is not at the company headquarters, if applicable.

Social Distancing
Businesses need to consider what activities can be implemented to limit social contact, such as limiting face-to-face meetings utilizing web or teleconference meetings. Also, consider your company's capabilities as they relate to telecommuting and the equipment needed in order to sustain operations.

Plan for Payroll Continuity
Include emergency payroll, expedited financial decision-making and accounting systems to track and document costs.

Family & Home Planning
Encourage a plan for your staff's families to prevent the spread of infections at the home. Find resources here:

Plan for potential absenteeism and consider staff restrictions due to employees/family members sick or thought to be sick. Consider staffing assignments based on operations critical to survival and recovery.

Protect staffing through Closed Point of Dispensing (POD) Clinic Agreements with the health department (restrictions apply). Closed POD Clinics ensure your staff and clients/residents receive the medical countermeasures they need in response to a public health incident involving an outbreak or worse. Applying organizations must have trained medical staff licensed to dispense medication. Closed POD Clinics define to which populations they will dispense medical countermeasures and will receive all of the supplies and resources required directly from the health department.

Resource Availability
Access to supplies may be restricted. Identify the critical resources needed to accomplish critical/essential functions and plan for shortages.
Travel Restrictions
Consider and plan for possible travel restrictions to conferences/meetings or distribution services.