It was just a mere 20 days ago that the world seemed as if it had been turned upside down.  On April 24 we started hearing about a fast moving respiratory illness in Mexico and before you could blink an eye, it has moved across the United States.  To date, H1N1 infected people in 44 states, made over 3,000 folks ill and caused three deaths.

Thankfully…luckily…it appears to be abating. For the next few weeks we wait and watch to see what happens in the South and then of course our test returns in the fall with the arrival of the flu season.

What did you learn?  Have you met as a team to assess your company and team performance?  The after-action meetings, follow-up action items and written reports are essential to improving your performance – not from just the perspective of your pandemic plan – but your overall incident management process within your organization.

Where should you begin?  Look first at your initial assessment process.

  1. How was the initial assessment conducted?  How was it reported?  Who was involved?  Rate your assessment process – was it prompt, adequate, and complete?
  2. What sources of information did you use?  Do you have access to a medical source of reliable information?
  3. Once you made an initial assessment, what was the communication process?  Who were the stakeholders?  What were the messages? Was it timely?
  4. Who was assigned to monitor the situation?  What were the triggers?

Now step back and look at the role of your Incident Management Team.

  1. Who was involved?  Which team members were participating in the process?
  2. Where did you meet (virtual or physical)?  Was it effective?
  3. How often did your Incident Management Team confer?  Was it adequate?
  4. Did you have the information you needed to make decisions?
  5. Are the team roles clearly defined?
  6. How were your decisions communicated?  Who did the communicating?  Was it timely?
  7. Did you develop formal written Incident Action Plans (IAP)?  If so, how were those used?  Who received them?
  8. How was Senior Management involved?  How often were they briefed and by whom?  Did they feel they were getting what they needed?

Take time now to carefully evaluate the Initial Assessment and Incident Management Team processes. This is one of the best exercises we have had in some time and we all got to do it together!

Next you need to carefully examine your pandemic plan…