Immediate actions

  • Establish a Pandemic Planning/Preparedness Team consisting of executive-level members:
    • Human Resources (people and preparedness)
    • Finance (financial stress testing)
    • Business stakeholders (business continuity planning)
    • Supply Chain/Procurement
    • Marketing & Communications
    • Identify communication tools and spokespersons for internal and external communications
  • Educate personnel, at both the family and employee level:
    • Personal hygiene/protection tips
    • Social distancing
    • Related pandemic terminology
  • Sign up for local emergency management agency alerts
Human Resources
  • Review/update/create work from home policy and confirm the policy addresses the following elements:
    • Paying hourly employees who are asked to work from home/take leaves of absence if they tested positive
    • Paying benefits to employees who are asked to take leaves of absence
    • Working with the business and IT to confirm employees have the capabilities to work from home
    • Working with Marketing/Communications to issue the policy to employees and ensure their awareness
    • Define alert levels/triggers
    • Travel Guidelines and Restrictions/Bans
    • Social Distancing Procedures
    • Telecommuting/Video Conferencing/Alternate Sites
    • Workplace and Leave flexibilities as well as pay and benefits in case of daycare/school closings, caring for ill family members, etc.
    • Align pandemic policies, standards, and procedures with public health recommendations as well as appropriate laws
  • Confirm employee contact information is current and distributed appropriately
  • Update Intranet site to link to the World Health Organization (WHO), local public health departments, etc.
Business Continuity / Information Technology
  • Confirm critical processes can be performed remotely or identify an alternative
  • Validate essential tools to work remotely are available (i.e., laptop, VPN, etc.)
  • Increased network bandwidth due to increased telecommuting, etc.
  • Remote security access capabilities
  • Establish a Help Line to assist employees who are not familiar with telecommuting or test thoroughly in anticipation of a pandemic
  • Review the organization’s Risk Assessment and Business Impact Analysis to confirm the critical business sites, processes, products, services, and a prioritized list of customers that will be the focus of continued operations during a pandemic event
  • Determine which business processes will cease during the pandemic deliver minimal viable product
  • Review the potential impacts to:
    • Legal/Regulatory Requirements
    • Reputation
    • Customer Service/Any Current Service Level Agreements
    • Operational Maximum Allowable Downtime
  • Sign-off that the Pandemic Plan has been reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors or Committee annually
Marketing/ Comms
  • Develop communication vehicles and frequencies targeting:
    • Employees
    • Customers/Clients
    • Regional Offices
    • Supply Chain/Service Providers
    • Board of Directors
  • Develop a communication plan to facilitate consistent internal and external communications
  • Determine the appropriate level of communication consistent with an organization’s protocol—keep employees informed without introducing unnecessary stress
  • Determine appropriate level of communication with clients
Security/ Facilities/ Health & Safety
  • Direct leadership to follow guidelines published by leading global authorities (e.g. WHO)
  • Inventory hand sanitizers, ensuring appropriate distribution of devices near restrooms, kitchens, common areas
  • Assess employee health and safety risks
  • Increased facility cleaning
  • Connect with critical supply chain providers to identify their operational approach in providing vital products/services
  • Determine critical suppliers and vendors as defined by the business
  • Work with the business to identify alternative vendors/suppliers – alternates may have been vetted previously
  • Develop and integrate a control structure for exports from highly impacted countries
  • Determine the location of the vendors/suppliers and define supplier routes
  • Review contracts with key customers and suppliers to understand liability in the event of supply shortages
  • Review vendor/supplier continuity plans
  • Develop plans for surge buying before, during, and between pandemic waves
  • Obtain line of sight for which orders will be potentially impacted
  • Obtain visibility into the tiers of your supply chain to assess overall impact
  • Explore transportation alternatives
  • Obtain transparency into what are the critical materials with the highest impact, if applicable
  • Evaluate inventory positions and manufacturing priorities, if applicable


Medium-to-long term actions

Pandemic Planning/ Preparedness Team
  • Closely monitor outbreaks and announcements as reported by WHO, and local health and emergency management agencies
  • Activate the Pandemic Plan, if appropriate
  • Work with the area public health departments and emergency management agencies to understand local pandemic response plans and align accordingly
    • Travel Restrictions/Bans
    • Public Transportation
    • Daycare/School Closings
    • Government Shutdowns
  • Develop Situation Reports on employee absenteeism/check-ins (confidential information/Need to Know Basis)
  • Open limited service locations with limited services, if applicable
  • Migrate to 100% virtual operations if needed
  • Review cash flow and revise expenditures as necessary
  • Work with supply chain to inventory forecasts and predict supply and demand
  • Assess financial stability and identify variables that will impact revenue and cost
  • Define scenarios that address global slowdowns, model cash flow, etc.
  • Include trigger-based moves in each scenarios to stabilization organizations
Business Continuity / Information Technology
  • Widen Virtual Private Network (VPN) to allow all employees to work remotely


Actions to consider following the event

Human Resources
  • Issue guidelines provided by public health authorities:
    • Lifting of Travel Restrictions
    • Public Transportation
    • Daycare/School Openings
    • Government Openings
  • Communicate with personnel to return to the worksite, once they are healthy and/or no longer caring for an ill family member and after any quarantine periods
Pandemic Planning/ Preparedness Team
  • Debrief and discuss any lessons learned
  • Assign any outstanding issues and report on the status of such issues until resolution
  • Protect customers by facilitating a no-penalty situation/fees for cancellations
  • Consider offering discounts to customers to preserve loyalty
Business Continuity/ Information Technology
  • Update the Pandemic Plan and any other related Business Continuity/Resiliency Plans based on lessons learned
  • Validate the Pandemic Plan annually (i.e., through tabletop exercises, functional exercises, tests):
    • So personnel understand their roles and responsibilities
    • Validate critical business processes can continue with internal and external support
    • Confirm communication tools are available and operational