Telework advocates stress pandemic preparedness

Business Pandemic Influenza Planning checklist

Planning, communication and technology must be the focus of states’ and cities’ responses to a possible avian flu pandemic, public health experts said Dec. 8 at an event in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Telework Coalition.

States should be prepared to communicate and share information regionally in the event of a pandemic, said Jim Gilmore, former Virginia governor who is now chairman of the National Council of Readiness Preparedness. The council will hold regional meetings in several states, beginning Feb. 1, 2006. The first meeting will take place at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Health experts say the avian flu strain known as H5N1 could become the most lethal virus in human history if a pandemic were to occur. “A successful response will depend on a well-informed public,” said Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu, director of the Fairfax County Health Department. She recommended that businesses and government agencies plan for a possible pandemic by emphasizing the common health practice of hand washing. Addo-Ayensu also recommended that agencies expand teleworking opportunities.

Paul Striedl, chairman of the Association of Contingency Planners, said planning and technology are critical elements in preparedness. “You need a plan,” he said. “Technology infrastructures have to be greatly beefed up.”

Chuck Wilsker, president and chief executive officer of the Telework Coalition, said telework would be a survival tool by protecting people from exposure to other workers who might spread the flu. The coalition is an advocacy group representing tech companies whose products and services support telework.

Featured

  • Workforce
    White House rainbow light shutterstock ID : 1130423963 By zhephotography

    White House rolls out DEIA strategy

    On Tuesday, the Biden administration issued agencies a roadmap to guide their efforts to develop strategic plans for diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA), as required under a as required under a June executive order.

  • Defense
    software (whiteMocca/Shutterstock.com)

    Why DOD is so bad at buying software

    The Defense Department wants to acquire emerging technology faster and more efficiently. But will its latest attempts to streamline its processes be enough?

Stay Connected