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 Insurance Considerations
October 21, 2014  |  Views: 1342 |  Comments: 0 
Ebola: Crisis Management and Insurance Considerations
Effective risk management and mitigation techniques — including updated and tested crisis management plans — can help minimize the potential damage of Ebola.  >>
Ebola: Insurance and Risk Considerations for Health Care Providers
October 17, 2014  |  Views: 1498 |  Comments: 0 
Ebola: 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: 1112 |  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 Outbreak: Managing the Risks for Mining Companies
October 24, 2014  |  Views: 164 |  Comments: 0 
Ebola Outbreak: Managing the Risks for Mining Companies
The Ebola outbreak has prompted mining companies, their suppliers, partners, and customers to review crisis management and insurance programs.   >>
 Ebola: Managing the Risks for Construction Companies
October 24, 2014  |  Views: 162 |  Comments: 0 
Ebola: Managing the Risks for Construction Companies
Construction companies face a wide range of exposures, including project delays, workforce safety risks, and third-party exposures to Ebola.  >>
Ebola: Managing the Risks for Health Care Providers
October 24, 2014  |  Views: 102 |  Comments: 0 
Ebola: Managing the Risks for Health Care Providers
Health care companies should consider whether their crisis management and insurance programs can appropriately address potential impacts from the deadly virus.   >>
Ebola: 11 Questions to Ask to Gauge Preparedness
October 22, 2014  |  Views: 777 |  Comments: 0 
Ebola: 11 Questions to Ask to Gauge Preparedness
Is your organization prepared if Ebola were to become a crisis?  >>
Ebola: Six Types of Insurance Coverage Health Care Companies Should Review
October 21, 2014  |  Views: 1413 |  Comments: 0 
Ebola: Six Types of Insurance Coverage Health Care Companies Should Review
Several types of insurance could help protect health care organizations that treat Ebola patients.  >>
Five Lessons From SARS to Help You Prepare for Ebola
October 20, 2014  |  Views: 842 |  Comments: 0 
Five Lessons From SARS to Help You Prepare for Ebola
SARS experience is widely viewed as a game-changer in the way world health authorities and national governments react to infectious diseases  >>
Five Steps to Take to Limit the Impact of Ebola
October 17, 2014  |  Views: 1762 |  Comments: 0 
Five Steps to Take to Limit the Impact of Ebola
Monitoring health authorities, educating employees, and establishing clear policies in the event of illness are among the ways to protect your organization and its people.  >>
Ebola Epidemic Raises Preparedness Concerns
October 15, 2014  |  Views: 18840 |  Comments: 0 
Ebola Epidemic Raises Preparedness Concerns
Authorities are concerned about West Africa’s ability to contain the virus.  >>
Webcast: Insurance Market Update: Midyear 2013 (Replay)
July 17, 2013  |  Views: 12654 |  Comments: 0 
Webcast: Insurance Market Update: Midyear 2013 (Replay)
Our panel of experts discussed the state of the insurance markets at the halfway point of 2013.  >>
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Pandemic Insurance Program Options
Views: 21282 |  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: 47296 |  Comments: 0 
Pandemic Preparedness and Response
These new outbreaks present governments and health officials with unique challenges.  >>
Rapid Pandemic Preparedness Assessment
Views: 22416 |  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: 6424
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