PANDEMIC


Unlike regional events such as hurricanes, earthquakes, or terrorist attacks, a pandemic is a recurring global event with global implications. Thus, outbreaks of influenza A (H1N1), MERS-CoV, and Ebola for example, have underscored the critical importance of effective pandemic planning and response to minimize the potential for human morbidity and mortality, reduce social and economic disruptions, and mitigate against organizational risk exposures.

Unlike regional events such as hurricanes, earthquakes, or terrorist attacks, a pandemic is a recurring global event with global implications. Thus, outbreaks of influenza A (H1N1) and MERS-CoV, for example, have underscored the critical importance of effective pandemic planning and response to minimize the potential for human morbidity and mortality, reduce social and economic disruptions, and mitigate against organizational risk exposures.

Preparing for a Pandemic

Organizations are well advised to review their ability to respond to potential disruptions to their operations and protect the well-being of employees — whether caused by pandemic or other unforeseen events. Following are some of the many issues and actions that should be considered before a pandemic begins:

  • Treat a pandemic as a truly catastrophic event as opposed to a "manageable disruption."
  • Establish pandemic planning committees, supported by real budgets.
  • Prioritize critical products and services and prepare to protect those, even at the expense of other important elements of a business model.
  • Estimate and plan for post-pandemic changes, including shifts in demand patterns, in the availability and morale of staff, and in infrastructure, both locally and to vendors.

In the immediate term of any pandemic outbreak, Marsh recommends that organizations:   

  • Assess existing pandemic risk management plans and how the organization has performed to date in relation to past pandemic and epidemic outbreaks.
  • Ensure that corporate preparedness plans and their business continuity management (BCM) components include pandemic scenarios and exercise these plans where possible.
  • Review company policies on travel, hygiene, and anti-viral medications and health- care support to ensure they are consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, and similar organizations.
  • In highly populated areas, ensure that corporate preparedness and BCM plans allow for staff to work at home where appropriate.
  • Consider if there are any vital processes that must be maintained in a pandemic, such as call centers, health services, and services vital to those most vulnerable.
  • Decide what other core functions need to be kept running if the organization becomes short staffed.

The information in this center will be updated on a regular basis from subject matter experts from Marsh and other Marsh & McLennan Companies.

If you have any questions or concerns about pandemic preparedness, please do not hesitate to contact us. You should also seek guidance from health agencies and governmental entities for the most current information about a pandemic in your locality.

Marsh Risk Management Research
Ebola: Crisis Management and US Insurance Considerations
October 21, 2014  |  Views: 2326 |  Comments: 0 
Ebola: Crisis Management and US Insurance Considerations
Effective risk management and mitigation techniques — including updated and tested crisis management plans — can help minimize the potential damage of Ebola.  >>
Ebola: US Insurance and Risk Considerations for Health Care Providers
October 17, 2014  |  Views: 2337 |  Comments: 0 
Ebola: US Insurance and Risk Considerations for Health Care Providers
We cover multiple risk scenarios and insurance coverage issues health care providers need to understand when treating Ebola patients.  >>

Additional Thought Leadership
Ebola – Insurance and Risk Management Considerations for UK Businesses
October 16, 2014  |  Views: 3678 |  Comments: 0 
Ebola – Insurance and Risk Management Considerations for UK Businesses
Document explaining the UK insurance position regarding Ebola, and some risk management guidance.  >>
Ebola: Managing the Risks for the Education Industry
November 13, 2014  |  Views: 1168 |  Comments: 0 
Ebola: Managing the Risks for the Education Industry
The outbreak of Ebola in West Africa and its appearance in other parts of the world has prompted the education sector to consider whether their crisis management and insurance prog...  >>
Ebola Epidemic Raises Preparedness Concerns
November 12, 2014  |  Views: 23995 |  Comments: 0 
Ebola Epidemic Raises Preparedness Concerns
Authorities are concerned about West Africa’s ability to contain the virus.  >>
Ebola: Managing the Risks for Retail Companies
November 06, 2014  |  Views: 1831 |  Comments: 0 
Ebola: Managing the Risks for Retail Companies
Steps to take to help protect employees and customers.  >>
Ebola: Managing the Risks for Port and Terminal Operators
November 05, 2014  |  Views: 1965 |  Comments: 0 
Ebola: Managing the Risks for Port and Terminal Operators
How to handle labor, business disruptions, and insurance considerations.  >>
Ebola: Managing the Risks for the Transportation Industry
November 05, 2014  |  Views: 1172 |  Comments: 0 
Ebola: Managing the Risks for the Transportation Industry
The outbreak of Ebola in West Africa and its emergence in other parts of the world have prompted transportation companies to review crisis management and insurance programs.  >>
Ebola: Managing the Risks for Hospitality and Gaming Companies
November 03, 2014  |  Views: 2276 |  Comments: 0 
Ebola: Managing the Risks for Hospitality and Gaming Companies
Relevant risk management and insurance implications to help limit potential impacts to your business.  >>
Ebola: Managing the Risks for Marine Vessel Owners
November 03, 2014  |  Views: 1211 |  Comments: 0 
Ebola: Managing the Risks for Marine Vessel Owners
Companies active in the marine sector should check their crisis management and insurance programs to ensure they are prepared to manage any potential impacts from Ebola.  >>
Ebola: Managing the Risks for Multifamily Real Estate Organizations
October 30, 2014  |  Views: 2519 |  Comments: 0 
Ebola: Managing the Risks for Multifamily Real Estate Organizations
Review crisis management and insurance programs to help ensure you’re prepared.  >>
Seven Ways to Protect Employees from Ebola
October 28, 2014  |  Views: 2570 |  Comments: 0 
Seven Ways to Protect Employees from Ebola
Though the risk of a widespread outbreak in the US may be low, employers should be prepared to protect employees.  >>
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Pandemic Insurance Program Options
Views: 23022 |  Comments: 0 
Pandemic Insurance Program Options
Marsh's Property Specialized Risk Group, a division of the Property Practice, has produced an update to the document, "Pandemic Insurance Program Options," a brief one-page documen...  >>
Pandemic Preparedness and Response
Views: 49287 |  Comments: 0 
Pandemic Preparedness and Response
These new outbreaks present governments and health officials with unique challenges.  >>
Rapid Pandemic Preparedness Assessment
Views: 24125 |  Comments: 0 
Rapid Pandemic Preparedness Assessment
Unlike regional events such as hurricanes, earthquakes, or terrorist attacks, a pandemic is a recurring global event with global implications.  >>
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January 08, 2013  |  Views: 6716
World More at Risk from Markets and Mother Nature – Global Risks 2013 Report
The world is more at risk as persistent economic weakness saps our ability to tackle environmental challenges.  >>

Contacts
Tracy Knippenburg Gillis
Reputational Risk & Crisis Management Practice
New York, NY United States
212 345 3886
tracy.knippenburggillis@marsh.com