Small Business Pandemic Plan - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Small Business Pandemic Plan

Posted by Dave Dykema - email

SMALL BUSINESS PANDEMIC PLANNING TOOL KIT

DAILY WEBSITE CHECK:

http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/

This website has daily updates from the CDC, and has links to the latest "guidance" from the experts that can be essential to specific businesses. Most importantly, this is where the CDC tells public health officials if schools or daycares should be closed once cases of H1N1 are confimed. This also tells how long sick patients could be contagious, which tells a business owner how long an employee could be absent from work if he/she or a family member becomes ill.

http://www.pandemicflu.gov/

This website also has daily updates from both CDC and the U.S. Department of Health and Human services. This website has links to other public health websites with helpful information for families and businesses, especially the WORKPLACE link.

LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT

Your local county health department will post updates as necessary regarding the latest information regarding infections locally.

SCHOOL WEBSITES

Check the websites for the school districts in which you live and in which your employees, customers, and vendors live. If you think the list is too long, decide which school districts would have the most impact on your employees, customers, and vendors.

OTHER HELPFUL WEBSITES

http://www.pandemicflu.gov/plan/workplaceplanning/businesschecklist.html

This is the official workplace planning checklist provided by pandemic flu experts. While this list is very general and not as specific as the Small Business Pandemic Planning Tool Kit, it is still helpful. This checklist will likely be updated by experts as the pandemic progresses.

http://www.osha.gov/Publications/influenza_pandemic.html

A very useful website from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This website covers everything from infection control to risk management to business continuity planning. It is geared towards large businesses, however, small businesses can still benefit from the information here.

WORKFORCE CHECKLIST

When evaluating this workforce checklist, consider the variables that could affect the answers: What if schools and daycares close? What if schools and daycares close, but the length of time that a person remains contagious changes?

1. How many employees do you have?

2. How many employees have children in childcare or grade school?

3. Where are all of the daycares and school districts that serve your employees?

4. What is your current absentee policy?

5. What is your current policy for paid time off?

6. In the event of a pandemic, do you have employees that would have to receive full or partial wages while missing work for either sick family members or lack of daycare?

7. Which employees could be available if schools and daycares close, but their children or other family members are not sick?

8. Do your employees have significant others, partners, or spouses involved in healthcare, public health, or emergency response and would be working overtime during the height of a pandemic?

9. Can your employees work from home?

10. Are your employees cross-trained for essential functions?

11. Are your employees willing or available if your hours change during a pandemic?

12. How and when will you communicate any pandemic-specific policies to your employees?

CUSTOMERS CHECKLIST

When evaluating this workforce checklist, consider the variables that could affect the answers: What if schools and daycares close? What if schools and daycares close, but the length of time that a person remains contagious changes?

1. Make a list of all of your customers

2. Determine which customers use which goods/services

3. Rank all of your customers according to their use of your goods/services both overall and by category

4. Determine which customers will increase use of your goods/services in the height of a pandemic

5. Determine which customers will decrease use of your goods/services in the height of a pandemic

6. Determine if there is an opportunity to increase your customer base in the height of a pandemic because your competitors are either closed down or functioning at a limited capacity

7. Determine which customers will either close down or function at a limited capacity

8. Determine which customers you could potentially lose short term or long term as a result of a pandemic

9. Determine which customers you will be able to serve and which customers you will be unable to serve if you are functioning at a limited capacity.

10. Establish how you will communicate with your customers during the height of a pandemic

11. Establish how you will communicate your response plan with customers before the pandemic reaches its height

12. Establish what variables will affect your ability to serve your customers?

SERVICES CHECKLIST

When evaluating this workforce checklist, consider the variables that could affect the answers: What if schools and daycares close? What if schools and daycares close, but the length of time that a person remains contagious changes?

1. List all of the goods and services your company provides.

2. Do you think a pandemic will affect the demand of these services? Answer for each good/service listed. Will demand increase or decrease?

3. If demand will increase, will you have the inventory and staff available to meet the demand increase?

4. If the demand will increase significantly, will you have the inventory and staff available to meet the demand of another good/service which could have a decreasing demand?

5. If the demand will decrease, will you have the inventory and staff available to meet the demand decrease?

6. If the demand will decrease significantly, will providing that good/service prevent you from providing a good/service which could have an increasing demand?

7. Are there goods/services that will be essential to your customers during a pandemic?

8. Are there goods/services that you will absolutely not be able to provide to you during a pandemic?

9. Are there goods/services that you could eliminate temporarily from your business during a pandemic that could have limited effect on your business?

10. Are there goods/services that, if eliminated, could have lasting financial impact on you, your business, or your customer base?

11. Are there other businesses with which you could partner to provide essential goods/services in the event of a pandemic?

12. What variables could affect your ability to provide goods/services in the height of a pandemic?

INVESTORY CHECKLIST

When evaluating this workforce checklist, consider the variables that could affect the answers: What if schools and daycares close? What if schools and daycares close, but the length of time that a person remains contagious changes?

1. Make a list of all of your vendors.

2. Do you know if your vendors have a pandemic response plan?

3. Will your vendors be open during the height of a pandemic?

4. Will you be able to reach key vendor contacts during the height of a pandemic?

5. Will your vendors be limiting the goods/services provided during the height of a pandemic?

6. Will your needs as a customer be a priority for your vendor during the height of a pandemic?

7. Will a pandemic likely increase or decrease the demand of your vendor's goods/services?

8. Are there other vendors you can turn to if your vendor is unable or unwilling to provide goods/services during the height of a pandemic?

9. Are there vendors who you will not need in the height of a pandemic?

10. Are there vendors whose goods/services will be essential during the height of a pandemic?

11. How and when will you communicate your plan and your needs to your vendors?

12. What are the variables that could affect your needs?

FINANCE CHECKLIST

When evaluating this workforce checklist, consider the variables that could affect the answers: What if schools and daycares close? What if schools and daycares close, but the length of time that a person remains contagious changes?

1. What are the business's fixed costs?

2. What variable costs will be affected during a pandemic?

3. Will there be changes in payroll?

4. Is there potential to lose customers short-term?

5. Is there potential to lose customers in the long-term?

6. Is there potential for employee turnover?

7. Is there potential to lose vendors short-term?

8. Is there potential to lose vendors long-term?

9. Is there enough capitol to meet obligations (costs and debts) short term if there is no revenue or a decrease in revenue during the height of a pandemic?

10. Will changes in revenue during the height of a pandemic affect the company's ability to meet short term and long term obligations (debt)?

11. Will there be obligations that cannot be met if there is no revenue or a decrease in revenue during the height of a pandemic?

12. Is it better to close or operate at a limited level during the height of a pandemic?

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