Friday, October 12, 2007

October 12 Flu Update

An avian outbreak in Russia has resulted in a major cull.

Thailand is building a drug plant to help fight bird flu.

Vietnam says to expect bird flu back during cooler weather in November.

More bird flu training in the Philippines

Revere blogs a recent research study--warning: heavy science content.

The Financial Industry finished its pandemic prep. Here's a report.

More on this from The Economist.

Retail institutions came under greater strain than wholesale ones because their work is less automated, they have more customer contact and their employees are more likely to be affected by school closures.
As for the risk of a “dash for cash”, Chris Keeling, a business-continuity specialist, reckons that there may be an initial spurt of withdrawals but that it will not last long. There will not be much to spend money on and no one will want to stand in queues.

Gloucester MA is doing pandemic prep with the right idea--that prep for bird flu helps prep for everything.

Roche reports, now that the stockpiling is over.


At 8:34 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


Running late today – a couple of comments about your economist model article.

I think it’s absolutely great that 2,725 financial institutions are conducting a simulated pandemic exercise, if done in a serious and thoughtful manner, it should highlight some of the weaknesses in their continuity plans.

However, as usual, just reading the article, one has to wonder if they are just “going through the motions”, or they truly are going to assemble a lessons learned and develop some serious contingencies for the real thing.

Those of us that live in hurricane country, know the importance of automatic teller machines during an emergency. I suspect the banks should concentrate on keep these machines running 24/7 during a pandemic. The “dash for cash” will initially be huge, then it will level off – they are correct in that assumption. Also, they do need to be prepared to shift their staff from sales and product development to assisting the customers and keeping the cash flowing.

As far “markets recovering much more quickly than bereaved employees”, this sounds pretty optimistic to me. Not that I think we’ll be thrown back to the stone age (or even the 1800’s), however, everybody is banking on the next pandemic being more like a severe seasonal epidemic… which is quite faulty in my opinion.

The difference between an epidemic and pandemic is like comparing a summer thunderstorm, to a series of Cat 4/5 hurricanes all in succession. There’s a big difference.

Anybody ever consider the fact that money may be pretty worthless if a pandemic has rages in waves for a year or two ? For example, a case of beanie weanies and 10 rolls of toilet paper would be worth a heck of a lot more to me than five one-hundred dollar bills, so that I didn’t have to go out in public and get infected and die, during a severe pandemic.

Think I’m kidding ? I have had to endure five major hurricane evacuations during my lifetime. They are quite challenging, but I have it down to a science. One of the major lessons I learned from those experiences is that if you can’t get gasoline, you’re screwed. If you don’t have an emergency supply of food and electricity, you’re also screwed. And if you don’t have the means to protect your property and family from looters, then you may be permanently screwed.

Just a little tip to the readers, based on real life experience from five major emergencies.



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