Business Planning for a Flu Pandemic

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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.

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Bill Conerly is principal of Conerly Consulting LLC, chief economist of abcInvesting.com, 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.