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Business Planning for a Flu Pandemic

May 4, 2009

By Bill Conerly, Businomics, Conerly Consulting LLC

A couple of years ago I developed a set of materials regarding business contingency planning for a flu pandemic.  The concern back then was Avian Flu (called H5N1 by the in crowd).  Today’s swine flu (A/H1N1) is a different bug with similar implications.  Here are a few highlights:

1. The riskiest bugs hit young healthy people worst, rather than children and the elderly.  This has huge workforce implications.

2. The macroeconomic effects would be like a severe recession, along the lines of 1980-82.  The flu’s impacts in the midst of a recession would be lessened, but still additive to the pre-existing recession.

3. Businesses should not over-react, but there are a set of reasonably easy steps that can be taken now that will be tremendously useful if the epidemic worsens significantly.

Call me if you’d like a presentation on this subject.


Bill Conerly is principal of Conerly Consulting LLC, chief economist of, and was previously Senior Vice President at First Interstate Bank. Bill Conerly writes up-to-date comments on the economy on his blog called “Businomics” and produces a monthly audio magazine available on CD. Conerly is author of “Businomics™: From the Headlines to Your Bottom Line: How to Profit in Any Economic Cycle”, which connects the dots between the economic news and business decisions.

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Discuss this article

John May 4, 2009

Planning ahead is always wise.

Ben May 4, 2009

Do not overreact. Just like the media, Joe Biden and others during this recent bout.

Oregon Biz Report » Business Planning for a Flu Pandemic « Business News June 16, 2009

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