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In the event of a serious pandemic influenza outbreak, businesses must play a key role in protecting employees' health and safety. With regard to pandemic influenza mitigation recommendations requiring social distancing, we examined whether some US employees would disproportionately fail to comply because of job insecurity and financial problems associated with missing work. We used the 2006 Harvard School of Public Health Pandemic Influenza Survey and multivariable logistic regression to determine whether employment characteristics such as inability to work from home, lack of pay when absent from work, and self-employment would be associated with less ability to comply with recommendations. We found that inability to work from home, lack of paid sick leave, and income are associated with working adults’ ability to comply and should be major targets for workplace interventions in the event of a serious outbreak.
Evacuation Payments During a Pandemic Health Crisis Description
An Executive agency (as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105) may provide evacuation payments to its employees who are ordered to evacuate their regular worksites and work from home (or an alternative location mutually agreeable to the agency and the employee) during a pandemic health crisis without regard to whether the agency and the employee have a telework agreement in place at the time the order to evacuate is issued. The head of an agency may delegate authority to one or more designated officials to order the evacuation of agency employees, employees assigned to certain geographic areas, or employees in certain components/divisions of the agency.
In this unique situation, the agency may designate an employee's home (or an alternative location mutually agreeable to the agency and the employee), including a location under quarantine or confinement, as a safe haven during the period of evacuation. A policy to evacuate to a safe haven promotes the "social distancing" of employees and protects them from being exposed to additional viruses or mutations of a pandemic virus. An agency may order an evacuation upon an official announcement by Federal, State, or local officials, public health authorities, and/or tribal governments, of a pandemic health crisis affecting certain geographic areas. Consistent with 5 U.S.C. 5522 and 5523 and the Department of State Standardized Regulations, responsibility for ordering an evacuation in overseas locations rests with the Department of State.
Contracts: FEMA to contract Amtrak for emergency evacuations By Louis Chunovic, Senior Editor Published March 31st, 2008 The Federal Emergency Management Agency plans to award a contract to Amtrak, the national passenger rail carrier, to provide for possible emergency evacuation by rail of a minimum of 9,000 evacuees within a 48-hour time period from the city of New Orleans. The contract could be expanded to include other urban centers with large mass-transit dependent populations along the Gulf and south Atlantic coasts. Operation of evacuation trains would commence within 24 hours of receiving notice of the need for evacuation services. The initial period of the contract covers from award date through December 30, with four one-year options.
TextOct 15, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The Rand Corp., responding to a request from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), recently unveiled a set of proposed standards for cities to use as they establish plans to distribute antibiotics to the public in the event of a bioterrorist attack or other public health emergency. The 133-page technical report, which appears on Rand's Web site, covers four main topics: the number and location of points of dispensing (PODs), internal POD operations, staffing, and security. PODs are places where members of the public would go to receive antibiotics or other countermeasures in an emergency. The Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act of 2006 requires HHS to develop performance standards for public health preparedness, and the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) asked Rand to develop the proposed standards, according to the report. The standards are geared toward 72 cities that take part in the federal government's Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI), a program launched by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2004 to prepare major cities and metropolitan areas to distribute antibiotics from the Strategic National Stockpile within 48 hours of a federal order to release them.