Pandemic Emergency Plan
Susquehanna University initiated planning for the 2009-10 H1N1 pandemic in the spring of 2009 as soon as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began issuing alerts. Relying on the structure of its crisis management plan, which has been in place for about two years, the university assembled a 16-person pandemic planning team that represents critical functions across the institution. The team, chaired by Executive Vice President Sara Kirkland, worked throughout the summer of 2009 considering how to react to a variety of potential scenarios.
The planning team convened two special subgroups: one to develop community health communications—including a strong preventative care message—and another to map out essential personnel duties and how to respond to and track absenteeism. In addition, a smaller steering group, composed of members of the pandemic planning team, met regularly.
All department heads were asked to develop alternative plans to respond to the loss of critical functions. Loss of information technology, limited access to the campus and high absenteeism of staff are examples.