As promised, I have uploaded two new documents to the Florida CIO Council Pandemic Website.
The first document is "IT pandemic presentation, updated for swine influenza," Scott McPherson, author. April 2009, a Powerpoint presentation that I first created in 2007 and have just updated to reflect the current threat of swine H1N1 influenza. This prresentation contains historical information on influenza that you will hopefully find interesting.
The second document is "IT Pandemic Planning Checklist
April 2009. Scott McPherson, author . It is designed to be used both as a planning tool and as a discussion-provoking set of questions to kick around -- and to kick upstairs.
All IT managers, CIOs, CTOs, business owners and families can and should use these two documents to complete their pandemic planning efforts. Share them liberally.
Why the sudden urgency?
After years of refusing to raise the threat level to 4, just yesterday the World Health Organization did just that. It took less than a week for the WHO to make that move and push that button. This new virus is moving that quickly.
In fact, I predict if there is broad evidence that the disease is causing secondary infections at a faster rate, the WHO will raise that level from 4 to 5. This will kick in a whole new range of preparations -- and will raise the level of citizen concern to near panic.
The warning sign of a potential Phase 5 escalation is when we see many, many more human cases who had absolutely nothing to do with Mexico. Didn't go. Didn't know or go to school with anyone who did. And not just one or two. I am talking dozens or hundreds. WHO will not hesitate to pull that trigger.
Woe betide to those who do not have a real panflu plan at that point.
At Phase 5, supermarket shelves will begin to look barren. Supplies of staples and medicines and hand sanitizer will be almost impossible to find. It will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for you to procure the items that you will need. The public will be in full frenzy, as will the press. It will look like a Publix or Home Depot in Miami 48 hours before a major hurricane makes landfall.
And waiting until Phase 5 is declared and then getting started on developing a pandemic plan will, in all probability, doom your pandemic plan to failure.
A word of caution: If this virus simply fades during the summer, do not automatically assume the virus has burned out. Remember that pandemics move in waves, and it was the second wave in 1918 that was the most lethal.
Then-HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt told Americans in 2006 and 2007 that for every 3 cans of tuna they buy, pick up a fourth can and place it under the bed. Now, with the pandemic threat level raised to unprecedented heights and fresh human cases growing by the hour, that advice is mysteriously missing.
Why? Why was it good policy to tell people to stockpile with no pandemic threat, but that advice is absolutely lacking now?