Feds Ask for Help Preparing for Possible Flu Pandemic
The U.S. departments of Health and Human Services, Commerce and Homeland Security have asked NAHB and other trades associations to ensure that the nation’s employers have the best tools and information at their disposal about a possible outbreak of influenza virus (H5N1) ), commonly known as the “bird flu,” so that businesses can protect employees and maintain business operations.
NAHB has been asked to help inform its member companies about the new Web site: www.pandemicflu.gov, and to share the Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist. The dedicated Web site posts the latest information about the bird flu and includes updates on federal planning initiatives, vaccine and other research, state and local activities, and health and safety guidance.
The federal government stressed that this is a precautionary measure and noted that bird flue has not mutated to transmit from human-to-human.
Congress has allocated $7 billion for preparedness planning that involves 20 federal departments and agencies. Further, plans are progressing for summits in all 50 states that are being coordinated by each state governor’s office.
The first summit was held on Dec. 14 in Minnesota, with more planned after the first of the year.
Business and trade associations are encouraged to participate in the state summits, evaluate their preparedness using the Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist and visit www.pandemicflu.gov for frequent updates. NAHB will link to this information on www.nahb.org.