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A 10-question guide for pandemic planning

Business risk consultancy Control Risks identifies ten questions organizations can use to determine their level of preparedness in the event of a pandemic emergency

As news of the swine flu continues to dominate headlines, businesses are evaluating the potential impact on operations should the virus become a massive interruption. Control Risks, an international business risk consultancy based in Washington, DC, has issued a list of ten questions companies can use to determine just how prepared they are for a pandemic emergency (Also see CSO's Pandemic Preparedness Planner).

"The challenge of preparing for a pandemic is different from any other scenario," said Brian Kaye, Vice President and National Practice Leader for Business Continuity at Control Risks. "It is a unique effort and must take into account variables such as the business model of the firm, the geography where a company operates and most importantly the culture of the organization."

While many organizations may have cut back on preparedness spending, Kaye stressed there are a number of specific areas companies should consider to minimize the risk exposure of their businesses and people.

"There are measures that can help corporations and that will guarantee the continuity of their operations," he said. "For corporations with outdated or without pandemic preparedness plans, the first step is for the executive management team to set guiding principles for the coming weeks and months which address duty of care responsibility and to communicate those decisions, as appropriate, to the workforce. There are also policies and protocols that, once put in place, can have a strong impact in countering a pandemic emergency."

Control Risks encourages organizations to take stock of the following ten questions:

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