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  • Writer's pictureJohn R.

Take this seriously: the coronavirus is about to change your life … for a while

There have been more than 1,000 cases of the coronavirus (“COVID-19”) reported in the U.S. according to the state and local health agencies and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To date, thirty-one people have died. That's a fraction of the population. But this is far from over.

You don't realize how many people you come into contact with until you think about it.

So much of the U.S. economy is built on services. So many workers depend on being in the same place as other people. Already travel and hotel industries are suffering.

Are you and your staff getting stressed out by the daily media blitz? You should be referencing approved sources of pandemic preparedness and response from federal, state and local government agencies.

Is your firm prepared? Does your business continuity plan address pandemic planning and response? When did you last review/test the underlying principals of your pandemic BCP strategy?

Does your plan address:

· Staff awareness and training

· HR policies that clearly address employee leave and absenteeism

· Remote work site capabilities

· Critical functions that can’t be performed or supported remotely

· Business and technical skills inventory

· Pandemic response best practices

· Implications of government/health sector public responses

· Critical dependencies and associated risks

· Pandemic response and trigger points

Does your organization have an expected timeline for the duration of this? Will it last 2 weeks? 4 weeks? 8 weeks? Longer?

Epidemiologists suggest eight weeks might be needed to arrest this outbreak. Administrators, students, teachers and parents need to get busy figuring out how to continue the education of our children while contributing to this community-wide public health effort."

"Everybody should say, it’s time for all hand’s on-deck.”

When it is eventually over (yes, this will end), make sure that the important actions you take or any issues or risks that are uncovered do not get lost in the fog of war.

Ensure that you develop an after-action report that addresses:

· Actions taken

· Issues/threats/risks uncovered

· Lessons learned

· Updates to the firm’s BCP

· Enhancements to procedures, policies, technology infrastructures

· Regulatory compliance implications, going forward

· An action plan with short-term and long-term recommendations

For an objective assessment of your firm’s pandemic preparedness and responses, feel free to reach out for a consultation.

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