∑Assign key staff with the authority to develop,
maintain and act upon an influenza pandemic preparedness and response
∑Determine the potential impact of a pandemic on your
organizationís usual activities and services. Plan for situations likely
to require increasing, decreasing or altering the services your
∑Determine the potential impact of a pandemic on
outside resources that your organization depends on to deliver its
services (e.g., supplies, travel, etc.)
∑Outline what the organizational structure will be
during an emergency and revise periodically. The outline should identify
key contacts with multiple back-ups, role and responsibilities, and who
is supposed to report to whom.
∑Identify and train essential staff (including
full-time, part-time and unpaid or volunteer staff) needed to carry on
your organizationís work during a pandemic. Include back up plans,
cross-train staff in other jobs so that if staff are sick, others are
ready to come in to carry on the work.
∑Test your response and preparedness plan using an
exercise or drill, and review and revise your plan as needed.
∑Find up-to-date, reliable pandemic information and
other public health advisories from state and local health departments,
emergency management agencies, and CDC. Make this information available
to your organization and others.
∑Distribute materials with basic information about
pandemic influenza: signs and symptoms, how it is spread, ways to protect
yourself and your family (e.g., respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette),
family preparedness plans, and how to care for ill persons at home.
∑When appropriate, include basic information about
pandemic influenza in public meetings (e.g. sermons, classes, trainings,
small group meetings and announcements).
∑Share information about your pandemic preparedness
and response plan with staff, members, and persons in the communities
that you serve.
∑Develop tools to communicate information about
pandemic status and your organizationís actions. This might include
websites, flyers, local newspaper announcements, pre-recorded widely
distributed phone messages, etc.
∑Consider your organizationís unique contribution to
addressing rumors, misinformation, fear and anxiety.
∑Advise staff, members, and persons in the
communities you serve to follow information provided by public health
authorities--state and local health departments, emergency management
agencies, and CDC.
∑Ensure that what you communicate is appropriate for
the cultures, languages and reading levels of your staff, members, and
persons in the communities that you serve.
∑Plan for staff absences during a pandemic due to
personal and/or family illnesses, quarantines, and school, business, and
public transportation closures. Staff may include full-time, part-time
and volunteer personnel.
∑Work with local health authorities to encourage
yearly influenza vaccination for staff, members, and persons in the
communities that you serve.
∑Evaluate access to mental health and social services
during a pandemic for your staff, members, and persons in the communities
that you serve; improve access to these services as needed.
∑Identify persons with special needs (e.g. elderly,
disabled, limited English speakers) and be sure to include their needs in
your response and preparedness plan. Establish relationships with them in
advance so they will expect and trust your presence during a crisis.
∑Set up policies for non-penalized staff leave for
personal illness or care for sick family members during a pandemic.
∑Set up mandatory sick-leave policies for staff
suspected to be ill, or who become ill at the worksite. Employees should
remain at home until their symptoms resolve and they are physically ready
to return to duty (Know how to check up-to-date CDC recommendations).
∑Set up policies for flexible work hours and working
∑Evaluate your organizationís usual activities and
services (including rites and religious practices if applicable) to
identify those that may facilitate virus spread from person to person.
Set up policies to modify these activities to prevent the spread of
pandemic influenza (e.g. guidance for respiratory hygiene and cough
etiquette, and instructions for persons with influenza symptoms to stay
home rather than visit in person.)
∑Follow CDC travel recommendations during an
influenza pandemic. Recommendations may include restricting travel to
affected domestic and international sites, recalling non-essential staff
working in or near an affected site when an outbreak begins, and
distributing health information to persons who are returning from
∑Set procedures for activating your organizationís
response plan when an influenza pandemic is declared by public health
authorities and altering your organizationís operations accordingly.
∑Understand the roles of federal, state, and local
public health agencies and emergency responders and what to expect and
what not to expect from each in the event of a pandemic.
∑Work with local and/or state public health agencies,
emergency responders, local healthcare facilities and insurers to
understand their plans and what they can provide, share about your
preparedness and response plan and what your organization is able to
contribute, and take part in their planning. Assign a point of contact to
maximize communication between your organization and your state and local
public health systems.
∑Coordinate with emergency responders and local
healthcare facilities to improve availability of medical advice and
timely/urgent healthcare services and treatment for your staff, members,
and persons in the communities that you serve.
∑Share what youíve learned from developing your
preparedness and response plan with other Faith- Based and Community
Organizations to improve community response efforts.
∑Work together with other Faith-Based and Community
Organizations in your local area and through networks (e.g.
denominations, associations, etc) to help your communities prepare for
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services