Business Continuity Planning  for Pandemics

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What is Business Continuity Planning?. Business Continuity Planning is a proactive planning process that ensures critical services or products are delivered during a disruption.Critical services or products are those that must be delivered to ensure survival, avoid causing injury, and meet legal or

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Business Continuity Planning for Pandemics

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1. Business Continuity Planning for Pandemics

2. What is Business Continuity Planning? Business Continuity Planning is a proactive planning process that ensures critical services or products are delivered during a disruption. Critical services or products are those that must be delivered to ensure survival, avoid causing injury, and meet legal or other obligations of an organization.

3. Every organization is at risk from potential events that include: ¦ natural disasters such as tornadoes, floods, blizzards, earthquakes and fire; ¦ pandemics; ¦ accidents; ¦ sabotage; ¦ power and energy disruptions; ¦ communications, transportation, safety and service sector failure; ¦ environmental disasters such as pollution and hazardous materials spills; ¦ cyber attacks and hacker activity. What Risks Should We Be Prepared For?

4. Why are Pandemics Different? An influenza pandemic has a greater potential to cause rapid increases in death and illness than virtually any other natural threat Population lacks immunity High attack rates in all age groups Increased deaths and illness Onset may occur in any season of the year Will last for an extended period of time

5. Pandemic H1N1 2009 June 6, 2009 – World Health Organization declares H1N1 influenza a global pandemic In the majority of Ontario cases illness caused by pH1N1 was mild. However, 352 people with the virus have been hospitalized and 22 people infected with the virus have died (as of August 19, 2009). pH1N1 has a population based mortality rate of 0.17 deaths per 100,000 Ontarians pH1N1 has a population based hospitalization rate of 2.7 admissions per 100,000 Ontarians We are currently in a pandemic! The World Health Organization has declared a global pandemic of H1N1 influenza and the level of influenza pandemic alert is Phase 6. This reflects the spread of the disease worldwide, not the severity of illness. The WHO considers the severity of the influenza pandemic to be moderate. We are currently in a pandemic! The World Health Organization has declared a global pandemic of H1N1 influenza and the level of influenza pandemic alert is Phase 6. This reflects the spread of the disease worldwide, not the severity of illness. The WHO considers the severity of the influenza pandemic to be moderate.

6. Other Pandemic Scenarios Outpatient visits (Peterborough) This table provides us with an estimate of the number of Peterborough residents who will require outpatient care, not hospitalization. When we look at the number of residents that our Health Unit serves (approximately 133,000), we see that between 10 000 to just under 25 000 may require some form of medical care depending on the severity of the outbreak. You can see in the middle column that if the attack rate is 25%, 17, 700 residents of Peterborough will require outpatient care. This will overwhelm our hospital emergency department which also serves surrounding areas and sees patients from these areas. This table provides us with an estimate of the number of Peterborough residents who will require outpatient care, not hospitalization. When we look at the number of residents that our Health Unit serves (approximately 133,000), we see that between 10 000 to just under 25 000 may require some form of medical care depending on the severity of the outbreak. You can see in the middle column that if the attack rate is 25%, 17, 700 residents of Peterborough will require outpatient care. This will overwhelm our hospital emergency department which also serves surrounding areas and sees patients from these areas.

7. Impact on Our Community People will be encouraged to care for the sick at home (self-care) Visitors will be restricted at health care facilities Hospital will be overwhelmed, services will be cancelled Schools, colleges, day cares may be closed Community centres, churches, theatres, restaurants, etc. may be closed

8. What Should a BCP Include? Plans, measures and arrangements to ensure the continuous delivery of critical services and products, which permits the organization to recover its facility, data and assets. Identification of necessary resources to support business continuity, including personnel, information, equipment, financial allocations, legal counsel, infrastructure protection and accommodations. A priority task list that: determines if your workplace can maintain essential services during a pandemic (or any emergency) given that 35% of your workforce may be off ill; and determines the number of staff available, by type of staff, for re-deployment during a pandemic (or any emergency)

9. Steps to Creating a Business Continuity Plan 1. BCP Governance – establish a BCP Committee 2. Business Impact Analysis 3. Plans, measures, and arrangements for business continuity 4. Readiness procedures 5. Quality assurance techniques (exercises, maintenance and auditing) Business Impact Analysis – this is where the priority task list fits inBusiness Impact Analysis – this is where the priority task list fits in

10. 1. BCP Governance Establish a BCP Committee Responsibilities include oversight, initiation, planning, approval, testing and audit of the BCP Committee implements the BCP, coordinates activities, approves the priority task list, oversees the creation of continuity plans and reviews the results of quality assurance activities. A BCP contains a governance structure often in the form of a committee that will ensure senior management commitments and define senior management roles and responsibilities. The BCP senior management committee is responsible for the oversight, initiation, planning, approval, testing and audit of the BCP. It also implements the BCP, coordinates activities, oversees the creation of continuity plans and reviews the results of quality assurance activities. A BCP contains a governance structure often in the form of a committee that will ensure senior management commitments and define senior management roles and responsibilities. The BCP senior management committee is responsible for the oversight, initiation, planning, approval, testing and audit of the BCP. It also implements the BCP, coordinates activities, oversees the creation of continuity plans and reviews the results of quality assurance activities.

11. 2. Business Impact Analysis for Pandemics Ask all managers to list all the activities their staff perform on a Priority Task List Ask managers to prioritize each activity. Select a key individual to collect all the information and collate the data Key individual to create a new Priority Task List by: i) deleting ‘Medium Priority’ and ‘Low Priority’ items ii) eliminating all rows where medium or low priority were checked iii) adding two columns: ‘Minimum Number of Staff Required’ and ‘Type of Staff’ Meet with management to review the document listing only ‘must do’ and ‘high priority’ activities. Do management agree on priority levels for assigned activities? Ask managers to indicate the number of staff and type of staff required to perform the ‘Must Do’ and ‘High Priority’ activities. 1. It is better to have a detailed list of tasks. Provide the form to management electronically 2. Only one priority level can be assigned to each task1. It is better to have a detailed list of tasks. Provide the form to management electronically 2. Only one priority level can be assigned to each task

12. Example of a Priority Task ListExample of a Priority Task List

13. Can your workplace perform all essential activities during a pandemic?

14. Plan for the highest attack rate….therefore, up to 35% of your staff may be off ill or absent during a pandemic We would like you to prepare for the worse scenario…35% of your staff complement will be off ill or absent during a pandemic… We would like you to prepare for the worse scenario…35% of your staff complement will be off ill or absent during a pandemic…

15. 3. Plans for BCP Mitigating threats and risks (contingencies) Analyze current recovery capabilities Create continuity plans Response preparation Alternate facilities This step consists of the preparation of detailed response/recovery plans and arrangements to ensure continuity. These plans and arrangements detail the ways and means to ensure critical services and products are delivered at a minimum service levels within tolerable down times. Continuity plans should be made for each critical service or product.This step consists of the preparation of detailed response/recovery plans and arrangements to ensure continuity. These plans and arrangements detail the ways and means to ensure critical services and products are delivered at a minimum service levels within tolerable down times. Continuity plans should be made for each critical service or product.

16. 4. Readiness Procedures Training Exercises Training: Business continuity plans can be smoothly and effectively implemented by: ¦ Having all employees and staff briefed on the contents of the BCP and aware of their individual responsibilities; and ¦ Having employees with direct responsibilities trained for tasks they will be required to perform, and be aware of other teams’ functions. Exercises: After training, exercises should be developed and scheduled in order to achieve and maintain high levels of competence and readiness. While exercises are time and resource consuming, they are the best method for validating a plan. The following items should be incorporated when planning an exercise:Training: Business continuity plans can be smoothly and effectively implemented by: ¦ Having all employees and staff briefed on the contents of the BCP and aware of their individual responsibilities; and ¦ Having employees with direct responsibilities trained for tasks they will be required to perform, and be aware of other teams’ functions. Exercises: After training, exercises should be developed and scheduled in order to achieve and maintain high levels of competence and readiness. While exercises are time and resource consuming, they are the best method for validating a plan. The following items should be incorporated when planning an exercise:

17. 5. Quality Assurance Techniques Internal Review External Audit Ongoing issues management and risk management analysis Review of the BCP should assess the plan’s accuracy, relevance and effectiveness. It should also uncover which aspects of a BCP need improvement. Continuous appraisal of the BCP is essential to maintaining its effectiveness. The appraisal can be performed by an internal review, or by an external audit. 2.5.1 INTERNAL REVIEW It is recommended that organizations review their BCP: ¦ on a scheduled basis (annually or bi-annually); ¦ when changes to the threat environment occur; ¦ when substantive changes to the organization take place; and ¦ after an exercise to incorporate findings. 2.5.2 EXTERNAL AUDIT When auditing the BCP, consultants nominally verify: ¦ the procedures used to determine critical services and processes; and ¦ the methodology, accuracy, and comprehensiveness of continuity plans.Review of the BCP should assess the plan’s accuracy, relevance and effectiveness. It should also uncover which aspects of a BCP need improvement. Continuous appraisal of the BCP is essential to maintaining its effectiveness. The appraisal can be performed by an internal review, or by an external audit. 2.5.1 INTERNAL REVIEW It is recommended that organizations review their BCP: ¦ on a scheduled basis (annually or bi-annually); ¦ when changes to the threat environment occur; ¦ when substantive changes to the organization take place; and ¦ after an exercise to incorporate findings. 2.5.2 EXTERNAL AUDIT When auditing the BCP, consultants nominally verify: ¦ the procedures used to determine critical services and processes; and ¦ the methodology, accuracy, and comprehensiveness of continuity plans.

18. References Business Planning Checklist for Pandemic Influenza (www.pcchu.ca) A Guide to Business Continuity Planning – Government of Canada (www.publicsafety.gc.ca) Canadian Centre for Emergency Preparedness (www.ccep.ca) All these links are available on our website – just remember www.pcchu.ca and search for Pandemic Planning – it will all be there!All these links are available on our website – just remember www.pcchu.ca and search for Pandemic Planning – it will all be there!

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