Catching the flu is not a walk in the park for anyone. However, when the flu hits a single business, management needs to be prepared for the worst case scenario.
For that reason, the Warren County Chamber of Business and Industry is presenting the Pandemic Preparedness Program for Businesses at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16 at the WCCBI office.
"The idea for the program has been fueled by the general concern that has been raised nationwide regarding the possibility of a pandemic. H1N1 is certainly at the forefront of everyone's mind right now, given its recent attention and concern at an international level," said Melissa Anderson, director of Chamber for the WCCBI. "While it is something that we hope will not affect Warren County, we would like businesses to have the tools and knowledge necessary to deal with one, should it strike our area."
The program will cover information regarding preparedness before a pandemic and recommendations if a pandemic were to occur. It will also give insight to Warren County's pandemic plan.
"Obviously, businesses are large amounts of people gathered together in one space, so employers need to be prepared for how to best handle the situation should it arise. Having the knowledge ahead of time as to how to prevent, and if necessary contain, a pandemic is valuable," Anderson said.
Discussion topics will include:
Identifying essential and other critical inputs, like raw materials and suppliers, needed to maintain business operations.
Determining the impact of a pandemic on business travel.
Establishing unique policies for pandemic situations.
Providing infection control supplies.
Presenting the program will be David Dinger, public health preparedness coordinator for the Northwest District of the Pennsylvania Department of Health; Todd Lake, director of Warren County Department of Public Safety; and Rex Rossey, executive director of the Warren County Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Rossey said, "No matter how large or small a business is, they need to plan for the impact a pandemic may have on their operations. From developing plans that identify essential employees and jobs, critical materials, products and services; to creating strategies that deals with the possible disruption of those items. They need to establish policies unique to a pandemic dealing with sick-leave, travel, and preventing the spread of the influenza at the worksite."
The program is open to chamber members. Interested participants should call Anderson at 723-3050.