Friday, May 09, 2008

May 8 Flu Update

The Safe America Foundation is going to train corporate leaders on planning for natural disasters like a pandemic.

Local churches in Carthage, MO talk to a pandemic planning committee.


At 6:08 PM, Blogger Wulfgang said...


I have no affiliation whatsoever with the Marietta, Georgia based “Safe American Foundation”, but they are a very impressive results-oriented NGO type organization.
Their board of Directors includes a host of notable heavy weight representatives from a vast array of leaders in industry, such as: Motorola, Booz Allen Hamilton, Wal-Mart, Allstate, Campbell’s Soup, NBC News, Pepsi-Cola, Loyola University, UPS, GlaxoSmithKline, Raytheon, Publix Super Markets, Morehouse School of Medicine and Coldwell Banker, just to name a few. The mission and focus of this Foundation in a nutshell is “to address emerging health and safety issues to promote a safer America and help prepare for a national catastrophe, whether manmade or natural”

What is really quite interesting to me is that FEMA has provided them with this $ 360K grant to train other US corporate leaders in natural disaster planning, in particular, influenza pandemic preparedness and planning. If any messenger can get the word out to entire industrial level and US infrastructure, this Foundation can. Their “reach” into industry goes way beyond the companies listed above. My understanding is that they have been actively participating in international pandemic summit preparation meetings in Paris, London, Switzerland and the US for over a year now, and they really have their act together, impressively so.

In my view, the Safe America Foundation is probably better “equipped and represented” to educate corporate America about pandemic preparation and the impacts of global inter connectedness of the world economy, than FEMA could ever be. However, they should also give some serious thought about including the leaders from top 20 largest religious organization (Baptists, Methodists, Catholics, Islamic, etc), the major charitable elements (such as the Salvation Army and the Red Cross), and key medical and health care organizations (there are several hundred) in the US also. By including these groups, they could pick up critical social and health representation elements, and a direct conduit to nearly 2/3rd of the entire US population of 300M people, as well.

My point is this: organizations like the Safe America Foundation are performing a wonderful public service by preparing the leaders of industry, but religious, charitable, medical and health care organizations, will be where the rubber-hits-the-road in the US, during a pandemic emergency. A convenient way must be found to include them. FEMA should concentrate solely on the true emergency preparedness aspects within its charter: overseeing regional and national emergency preparation and guidance, first responder emergency operations, supply logistics and planning, and horizontal coordination of emergency activities across all the state and federal government agencies.

Somehow, we need to break through existing federal and social bureaucracies and be more inclusive, innovative and focused in our national pandemic planning approach if we want to be reasonable well prepared. This is a gigantic step in the right direction.



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