The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have warned that there is a high risk of the H5N1 Avian Influenza virus becoming the next major human influenza pandemic.
Because most natural and man-made disasters tend to be site-specific, traditional emergency/disaster response and recovery plans focus on damage to property, equipment, and machinery. The greatest operational issue in a pandemic-type event will be the effects of absenteeism. The focus of the College Pandemic Plan is to prepare the Occidental campus to respond to a pandemic and a potential curtailment of activities, and return to normal operations as quickly as possible.
It is expected that a pandemic will have worldwide impact with an unpredictable timeline, comprising multiple events or waves and spreading quickly from one urban area to another. Major disruptions are likely for healthcare, transportation, infrastructure, education, suppliers, and other public services. Higher education will be among the industries most severely impacted because of risks resulting from international travel by students, faculty, and staff, and because our campuses are open and accessible to the local community at large.
Once a pandemic virus emerges, it is too late to begin planning or begin collaboration. While no organization will be immune from the effects of a global pandemic, we are presented with the opportunity to plan ahead and develop our response in a caring, compassionate and prudent manner, and continue the delivery of essential services that will allow Occidental to continue its mission of education. Download the complete College Pandemic Plan.