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«Business Continuity Planning Guide for Influenza Pandemic Business Development Bank of Canada 2007 Business Continuity Planning Guide for Influenza ...»

-- [ Page 1 ] --

WHAT BUSINESSES NEED TO KNOW

ABOUT PANDEMIC FLU PLANNING

Business Continuity Planning Guide for Influenza Pandemic

Business Development Bank of Canada

2007

Business Continuity Planning Guide for Influenza Pandemic

Disclaimer

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has prepared this guide to

promote best practices in planning for a possible influenza pandemic for small to

medium sized businesses. The information is current as of the date of publication.

However, further work is being undertaken in this area, and consequently changes, deletions, additions, or other amendments may be made to this information without notice. Users should check for more up-to-date information on BDC’s web site (www.bdc.ca) and other websites listed in this document.

The information in this document is not intended to cover every situation. Details, which may be relevant to a user’s particular circumstance, may have been omitted.

Users are advised to seek professional advice before applying any information contained in this document to their own particular circumstances. Users should always obtain appropriate professional advice on the medical issues involved.

The Business Development Bank of Canada accepts no liability or responsibility for any acts or errors, omissions, misuse, and/or misinterpretation resulting from reliance, in whole or in part, on this document. The Business Development Bank of Canada disclaims all responsibility or liability to any person, whether in contract, equity or tort, or on any other basis, for any direct or indirect losses, illness or injury, or damage of any kind, arising from use of this document.

The Business Development Bank of Canada is not responsible for the contents or reliability of any websites mentioned in this document, and does not necessarily endorse the views expressed in them. The Business Development Bank of Canada cannot guarantee that links will work all the time, and has no control over the availability of the linked pages.

Please note that the material should not be reproduced for use in association with commercial or promotional activities.

Acknowledgement This planning guide was prepared after thorough research of best practices of various federal and municipal agencies, recognized Canadian associations and Health authorities and other international governments and agencies. Some of the information and templates have been reproduced and incorporated in this guide.

Permission to adapt, reproduce, insert or use of portion or full texts from different organizations were obtained. We would like to particularly thank those organizations cited in our reference source section of the document.

2 Business Continuity Planning Guide for Influenza Pandemic Table of Contents

1.0Introduction & Background…………………………………………… page

–  –  –

2.0 Business Continuity Planning for a Pandemic Flu……………… page 7

2.1 What is Business Continuity Planning?……………………………….. page 7

2.2 How do I Start?……………………………………………………….………….. page 8

2.3 Key Steps of Business Continuity Planning…………………………. page 8 ` Step 1. Establish a Corporate Steering Committee or individual to oversee the planning process…………………………… page 10 Step 2. Identify Essential Services/Functions.………………… page 10 Step 3. Identify required skill sets and opportunities for staff reallocation…………………………………………….. page 11 Step 4. Identify any relevant issues/implications for implementation.…………………………………………………………………… page 11 Step 5. Prepare a Business Continuity Plan for each essential service/function……………………………………... page 11 Step 6. Compare with the “Preparedness Checklist”…………… page 12 Step 7. Review your Business Continuity Plan with the Corporate Steering Committee……………………………… page 12 Step 8. Revise, test the plan and update as required……….. page 12

Templates, Planning Initiatives & Checklists

Appendix 1.0 Key Roles & Responsibilities…………………………………...……… page 13 Appendix 1.1 The Business Continuity Planning Pandemic Flu Team… page 14 Appendix 2.0 Essential Services/Functions Ranking………………………….….. page 15 Appendix 2.1 Identify Essential Services/Functions by Criticalness Factor……… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… page 16 Appendix 2.2 List of Questions and Initiatives for Action Planning for Essential Services/Functions………………… page 17 Appendix 2.3 Action Plan Template for Maintaining Essential Service/Activity……………………………………………………… page 21 Appendix 2.4 Action Plan Template for Maintaining Essential Service/Activity: Key Customers …………….………………………….. page 22 Appendix 2.5 Action Plan Template for Maintaining Essential Service/Activity: Critical Suppliers …...……………………………. …. page 24 Appendix 2.6 Action Plan Template for Maintaining Essential Service/Activity: Business Partners or Support Providers …… page 26 Appendix 3.0 Business Continuity Plan Checklist……………………………. page 32





2.0Links…………………………………………………………………………. page 33

3.0 References ……………………………………………………………….. page 34

–  –  –

1.0 Introduction & Background About pandemics Pandemic influenza is not your average flu. It's a large-scale outbreak of a highly infectious illness and spreads easily from person to person, regardless of age or physical health. Unlike the "ordinary" influenza that occurs every winter in Canada, pandemic influenza can strike at any time of year.

We know influenza pandemics are recurring events but they are unpredictable. It has been 36 years since the last influenza pandemic and, although it is impossible to predict when the next one will hit, experts agree that we are overdue for one.1 World Health Organization recommendations WHO2 has stated that the risk of the H5N1 virus (avian influenza or ‘bird flu’) developing into the next human pandemic influenza is immediate and very real.

In response to the threat posed by the continuing spread of the H5N1 virus, the WHO has recommended that all countries undertake urgent action to prepare.

There is no way to predict exactly when the next pandemic might occur or the severity of the impact. Outbreaks of influenza have been known to occur for

centuries, and three influenza pandemics occurred in the previous century alone:

1. Spanish influenza pandemic (1918)

2. Asian influenza pandemic (1957)

3. Hong Kong influenza pandemic (1968).

A history of pandemics The Spanish pandemic, in two short years, killed an estimated 20 million people world-wide, with some experts reporting deaths as high as 40 million. Entire towns were decimated and many families were wiped out by influenza. Physicians tending to soldiers in military camps wrote letters home about young healthy men who came to the infirmary with a cough in the morning and were dead by nightfall. This virus quickly made its way around the globe.3 How your business can prepare for a pandemic Considering our reliance on trade, Canada’s economy could suffer by as much as $60 billion due to a pandemic outbreak—even more if the Canada–US border were to experience serious difficulties. 4 It has been projected that up to 30% to 35% of the workforce may be absent due to the effects of this virus on individuals and families. That's why it's important for 1 Public Health Agency of Canada: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/influenza/pandemic_qa_e.html - 2 2 World Health Organization (WHO):WHO Strategic Action Plan for Pandemic Influenza 2006-2007, pg3 http://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/influenza/WHO_CDS_EPR_GIP_2006_2/en/index.html Special note: WHO do not endorses any of BDC specific company or products.

3 Adapted with permission from Halton region Health Department, Ontario: Pandemic Influenza Response Plan, http://www.halton.ca/health/services/communicable_disease/pandemic_influenza.htm http://www.halton.ca/health/Resources/cd_infection_control/pdf/pandemic_influenza_business_continuity _toolkit.pdf 4 Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters: Preparing for the Pandemic, CME Releases, Tuesday, March 21, 2006, http://www.cme-mec.ca/national/media.asp?ID=698

–  –  –

small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) to make plans to ensure continuity of essential services. 5 Your business could be faced with extremely high absenteeism rates during a pandemic influenza. For this reason, your organization should plan ahead to ensure you can maintain service delivery during that time. The next step in this process is the development of a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) to maintain essential services and/or functions during a pandemic emergency.

About this guide This guide is designed to help businesses minimize the risk that an influenza pandemic poses to the health and safety of employees, the continuity of business operations, and their bottom line. It is intended to provide all businesses in Canada with the basic information they require to prepare a continuity plan to mitigate the potential effects of a pandemic.

6

1.1 Fast Facts About 8,000 Canadians die from seasonal flu each winter. Health Canada estimates that a pandemic flu could claim 11,000–58,000 lives.

Experts agree: it is not a question of if, but when the next flu pandemic will strike. The pandemic will affect Canada, even if we are prepared.

An influenza pandemic could last for a year or more, infecting up to one-third of the population of Canada.

All businesses, hospitals and government agencies will feel the effects of a pandemic.

During a pandemic, it will not be business as usual: A flu pandemic could cost the Canadian economy billions of dollars in lost productivity and medical expenses.

15% to 35% of your workforce may be ill at any one time.

Unlike other disasters, pandemic flu will touch everyone in every part of the country, and every part of the world. Moving operations to another location is not likely to be a viable option.

5 BMO Nesbitt Burns, “The Avian Flu Crisis: An Economic Update”, pg 13:

http://www.bmonesbittburns.com/economics/reports/20060313/report.pdf 6 Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters: “Influenza Pandemic: Continuity Planning Guide for Canadian Business, March 2006, page 4: http://www.cme-mec.ca/national/template_na.asp?p=22

–  –  –

1.2 Impact of a Pandemic on Business Staffing7 Unlike natural disasters, where any disruption to business service provision is likely to be hardware-related, disruption to business operations in the event of a pandemic is anticipated to be mainly human-resource oriented.

Overall a pandemic wave may last about eight weeks.

Businesses should plan for up to 50% staff absences for periods of about two weeks at the height of a severe pandemic wave, and lower levels of staff absences for a few weeks on either side of the peak.

An influenza pandemic usually spreads in two or more waves, either in the same year or in successive influenza seasons. A second wave may occur within three to nine months of the initial outbreak and may cause more serious illnesses and deaths than the first. In any locality, the length of each wave of illness is likely to be six to eight weeks.8

Staff absences can be expected for many reasons:9

Illness/incapacity (suspected/actual/post-infectious) • Some employees may need to stay at home to care for the ill • People may feel safer at home (e.g. to keep out of crowded places such as • public transport) Some people may be fulfilling other voluntary roles in the community • Others may need to stay at home to look after school-aged children (as • schools are likely to be closed).

Other impacts on business 10

A pandemic may have other impacts on businesses, for example:

The provision of essential services like information, telecommunications, • financial services, energy supply, and logistics may be disrupted Customer orders may be cancelled or may not be able to be filled • Supplies of materials needed for ongoing business activity may be disrupted.

• Further problems can be expected if goods are imported by air or land over the Canada–US border.

The availability of services from sub-contractors may be affected (this • may affect maintenance of key equipment, and is an area that merits close planning attention) Demand for business services may be affected – demand for some • services may increase (Internet access is a possible example), while demand for others may decrease (e.g. certain types of travel activity).

1.3 Impacts on the economy 7 Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters: “Influenza Pandemic: Continuity Planning Guide for Canadian Business, March 2006, page 6: http://www.cme-mec.ca/national/template_na.asp?p=22 8 Ibid 7 9 Ibid 7 10 Ibid 7

–  –  –

The Bank of Montreal (BMO Nesbitt Burns) 11 indicates that depending on the scenario, pandemic influenza could have serious negative impacts on the Canadian economy and significantly impair the ability to conduct business and commercial

activities. Their report also points out that:

• Public meetings are likely to be cancelled by the authorities or because of low attendance

• Canada’s trade status may be compromised

• Impacts on critical infrastructure impacts are likely to be moderate to serious

• The tourism industry would be badly affected.

Business sectors at risk The following sectors, which depend on heavy foot traffic, could especially take a hit

if the avian flu turns into a pandemic:

• Retail

• Leisure

• Gaming

• Lodging



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