Business ignoring pandemic risk ... planning apathy highlighted in latest study

All organisations in the public and private should have created plans to curb the effects and mitigate the impact of the disruption caused by a Pandemic yet our study shows 73% do not have proper plans to protect the business or its employees.

This stark finding comes after the National Risk Register produced by the Cabinet Office highlighted the threat of a pandemic as the most serious threat to the UK.

With over 90% of organisations not calculating the possible financial impact of a pandemic on their operations few realise how expensive it could be and falsely judge the risks to the organisations as being not relevant or unmanageable.

Russell Price of the Continuity Forum said “there is a sense of paralysis amongst businesses when it comes the pandemic planning, and such paralysis is exactly what they are exposing themselves to. As the economy slows, it is surprising and worrying to see so many willingly leaving themselves open to such serious financial risk. Even those who had developed plans confessed to a lack of confidence in over two thirds of respondents with many stating a lack of executive support as the main issue (75%).

When looking at how senior managers see the threat over 80% feel the threat as minimal yet this contrasts with experts from the Healthcare and Emergency management sectors who see the threat as real and very likely in the same proportion.

Of the business that claim they are prepared, over two thirds admit that their plans will not be complete for a t least a year and half that they have not tested them. Russell Price adds “The threat of a pandemic is real, yet our finding show that most businesses are ignoring the threat, often considering it to be vastly overhyped despite the evidence from the last century when the three pandemics killed many tens of millions.

Despite the advances of modern medicine it’ll months before a vaccine will be able to be produced and the fact is we need to be prepared” Preparation is vital and a range of simple measures from good hygiene and health practices, alterations to working practices and the use of Antivirals are key components in mitigating the effects.

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