November 15, 2018
Bye Bye Summer, Hello Flu! – WST
Winter seems to be in a big hurry, and yes, that means Pandemic Plan time. In the Midwest, we raced right from Summer into Winter without so much as a goodbye handshake. Right on cue, with the colder weather, we are already seeing the first cases of flu pop up . . .and you all know what that means. Yup, time to dust off the pandemic plan and make sure it is up to date.
Pandemic Plan reminders:
- Focus on operating with limited staffing (are your procedures up to date, and have you cross trained?)
- Don’t limit the plan to any specific illness or medical condition.
- Consider your vendors; if they are short-staffed how will it affect your organization?
- Don’t hard-link your “pandemic declaration” to World Health Organization or the Centers for Disease Control declarations. Your plan should be escalated when your risk escalates.
- Train & Test. Use the day after Thanksgiving, July 5th, snow day, etc. as an actual “low staffing day”.
- Include in your Pandemic Plan:
- Contacts, especially medical and governmental.
- Shelter-in-place needs (e.g., food, hygiene items, medicines, etc.).
- “Must perform” tasks, and identify areas that can be postponed.
- Considerations for “working from home” (i.e., remote access, pay, etc.).
You may also consider:
- Providing Flu shots to your employees, or at least keeping them informed on where they can get them.
- Conducting good hygiene training with employees; you know the basics: cough in your sleeve, wash your hands, and don’t touch your face.
- Providing hand sanitizers and tissues for employees and customers.
And of course, if you are sick enough to be contagious, stay home.