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Survey finds U.S. companies are taking flu preparation seriously, amid concerns


WASHINGTON Business Roundtable’s Partnership for Disaster Response Wednesday morning released the findings of its 2009 Flu Season Survey, which provides insights on how companies are preparing for H1N1 influenza, flu season and their top concerns about the potential effects on employees, customers and business operations.

“The results of our 2009 Flu Season Survey show that U.S. companies are taking the flu very seriously and making great efforts to prepare appropriately,” stated Michael Dan, chairman, president and CEO of The Brink’s Company and chair of Business Roundtable’s Partnership for Disaster Response “Additionally, we’re seeing that companies are using creative channels to communicate key information and updates to their employees, consulting trusted resources such as the CDC and WHO.”

While the survey found that companies are making flu preparation efforts a top priority, many still had a number of concerns, specifically a desire for more information and clarity on the H1N1 vaccine, definitions of severity as they relate to the flu and the government’s plans should the flu become more widespread.

During a conference call Wednesday morning, John Castellani, president of Business Roundtable said, “The top-line findings discussed today are a reminder of how it is incumbent on the business community to work together with the government and other key parties to protect the health and well-being of our employees, fellow citizens and the communities in which we live and work.”

Other key findings of the survey included:

  • 95% of companies have business continuity and crisis plans in place that specifically address flu-related issues;
  • 89% of the companies with business continuity and crisis plans either activated or updated the flu plans since April 2009 because of the H1N1 Influenza outbreak;
  • Two-thirds of member companies said their number-one concern is the H1N1 Influenza vaccine; and
  • 35% of respondents expressed a basic need for information about and clarity on the severity of a H1N1 outbreak as compared with seasonal flu.

Following the outbreak of H1N1 Influenza in April, Business Roundtable’s Partnership for Disaster Response fielded a survey among its member companies – which represent nearly 10 million employees and one-third of the U.S. economy – to provide the federal government with a snapshot of the private sector’s level of preparedness.

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