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 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.