IT Trenches

Apr 27 2009   7:22PM GMT

Pandemic preparation, risk and business continuity

Troy Tate Profile: Troy Tate

I’m not the kind to run around thinking the sky is falling or that the swine or bird flu risk is non-existent. I take a lot of these warnings with a grain of salt. However, the pandemic watches of the past few years should obviously have organizations thinking about their risks and business continuity plans. In fact, my organization has a few sites in Mexico and along the border with Mexico. So, this situation has the potential to directly affect our employees.

I wanted to bring your attention to a recent posting on the excellent SANS organization website about the pandemic watch of 2009. This posting is titled Pandemic Watch April 2009. This has very good explanations of the current situation and the potential health risks.

The section that I think is most appropriate to IT folks (actually to everyone) describes a skeleton plan for companies to help deal with the situation. The following is an excerpt from the SANS website.

Don’t Panic!

Initial monitoring stage (where we are right now)

* If you’re sick, stay home
* Family is sick, stay home
* Close contact with someone showing symptoms, stay home
* Wash your hands, cover your cough

Then, if multiple cases in your area,

* Think about telling non-essential workers to stay home
* Recommend workers take kids out of daycare

Pandemic stage

* Everyone will be staying home, how will you handle it?
* Do you have enough laptops?
* Can your VPN concentrators handle the load

I would recommend taking some time to read the summary about the health risks of the various flu strains. Let’s continue to keep our thoughts and best wishes for those who have already been affected by this most recent health issue.

Thanks for reading and let’s continue to be good network citizens – stay healthy too and if you are not healthy, then please contact a health care organization as soon as you can. Get well soon!

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