Is your company prepare for a disease epidemic?

Ebola outbreak increases business continuity concerns

Technology isn't the only consideration in business continuity planning, and more companies are becoming concerned by the Ebola pandemic affecting West Africa as the situation worsens. Illness, especially a major outbreak, should be just another situation that businesses prepare for in their disaster recovery and continuity of operations efforts.

"Companies need to look at the current Ebola outbreak and what risks it poses to them and their employees, and put protocols in place now," said Tracey Linnell, general manager of Advisory Services at ContinuitySA, according to ITWeb. "At the same time, they should make sure their overall approach to pandemics is in place."

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reported the risk of the Ebola outbreak spreading to the United States as being very low, they have raised their alert level to 1 – the highest level of emergency response at the CDC. This event should highlight the continuity risks of any pandemic. Businesses should consider how well prepared they are for a rash of worker illness, and enhance their strategies if they seem weak.

Linell also highlighted the importance of supply chain dependencies in these instances, the news source reported. Firms should consider the impact on general operations and their supply chain as a whole, whether the outbreak is near their offices or in a distant land. Furthermore, what would happen if a critical border in the supply chain were closed due to a pandemic? These are considerations that need to be made to optimize continuity.

Companies should bring on a disaster recovery consulting firm that can help them analyze all of the potential risks they face in business continuity and preparation. The right experts will simplify planning and ensure that every contingency is planned for, be it a disease outbreak or a natural disaster.