The dynamic nature of a pandemic influenza requires that the scope of Federal government Continuity of Operations (COOP) planning takes a non-traditional approach to continuity planning and readiness. Planning and preparing for a catastrophic event that is not geographically or temporally bounded calls for a creative and dynamic approach. The Office of National Security Coordination which is part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Department of Homeland Security, in conjunction with the Interagency Pandemic Influenza Working Group, developed guidance to assist the Federal Executive Branch departments and agencies in identifying those considerations which may have a substantial impact on the continuity of their organizations during a pandemic. NOAA used this guidance to develop a NOAA Pandemic Influenza Annex to the NOAA Continuity of Operations Plan. This Annex serves to provide key policy, advice and specific activities to prepare and respond to the different phases of a Pandemic.
You can prepare for an influenza pandemic now. You should know both the magnitude of what can happen during a pandemic outbreak and what actions you can take to help lessen the impact of an influenza pandemic on you and your family. This checklist, developed by the Department of Health and Human Services, will help you gather the information and resources you may need in case of a flu pandemic: http://www.flu.gov/professional/pdf/individuals.pdf
Situation Update for 2009 H1N1 Flu
The U.S. Public Health Emergency for 2009 H1N1 Influenza expired on June 23, 2010. On August 10, 2010, the World Health Organization (WHO) International Health Regulations (IHR) Emergency committee declared an end to the 2009 H1N1 pandemic globally. Internationally, 2009 H1N1 viruses and seasonal influenza viruses are co-circulating in many parts of the world and it is likely that the 2009 H1N1 virus will continue to spread for years to come, like a regular seasonal influenza virus.
Most experts agree that there is a growing and significant threat of a flu pandemic. Right now no one knows when the next pandemic will occur or how severe it may be. However, we do know that many of the things the Federal Government is doing to plan and prepare for a pandemic will help the Nation be prepared for all hazards.
For further information on pandemic flu; www.pandemicflu.gov
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