Public Health Preparedness

The threat of public health disasters is increasing and there is an ever increasing scrutiny on businesses to be prepared for emergencies of all types. While still somewhat controversial, many scientists agree that global warming is responsible for more frequent and damaging floods, droughts, wildfires, heat waves and hurricanes. Natural disasters are expected to increase both in magnitude and in destruction to human property as global temperatures and ocean levels rise, placing coastal areas at particularly high risk.

Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, it has become clear that global terrorist networks continue to plot devastating attacks on American interests. The greatest fear is that terrorists will strike with a biological, chemical or nuclear weapon. A successful attack with a weapon of mass destruction will not only cause extensive fatalities and injuries, but tremendous economic damage as well.

There also is a great deal of concern about avian influenza or "bird flu", which has devastated poultry flocks in Asia and has since spread into parts of Africa and Europe. Currently, avian influenza does not easily infect humans. However, if the virus undergoes a mutation whereby person-to-person transmission readily occurs, a global influenza pandemic may develop.

All of these scenarios can wreak havoc on individuals, businesses, schools, health care centers and governments. The best time to deal with a crisis is before it occurs because during and immediately after a disaster, personnel, critical infrastructure and resources may not be available. Therefore, public health preparedness is extremely important in limiting the damage from a variety of disasters.

What EHA can do to help your business prepare for a public health disaster

EHA Consulting Group, Inc. has over 35 years of experience in foodborne disease outbreak investigations, food safety consulting and crisis management. Recently, EHA developed the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness and Guidance Program to assist companies in planning for the impact of an influenza pandemic on their business. EHA has the expertise to adapt preparedness plans to a number of public health disasters. EHA can assist businesses in the following areas:

  • Plan for the impact of a public health crisis on your business so that your goods and services are able to meet the demands of the marketplace.
  • Plan for the impact of a public health crisis on your employees and customers.
  • Establish policies to be implemented during a public health crisis.
  • Allocate resources to protect your employees and customers.
  • Communicate with and educate your employees and customers on effective strategies to deal with a particular type of public health crisis.
  • Coordinate with external organizations and help your community.
  • Facilitate tabletop exercises to assist in the training of staff, and to develop dialogs between various business and/or community agencies who may be involved in pubic health emergencies.

EHA can help your business develop a public health preparedness plan, assist in its implementation, and also perform drills to test your company's readiness for a disaster. Now is the time to prepare -- contact EHA Consulting Group and we will be happy to assist you before a crisis disrupts your business.