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Pandemic: Reduction of a Negative Impact Term Paper

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Updated: Sep 26th, 2021

Pandemics such as HIV/AIDS and Avian Flue become one of the main threats to modern society. A pandemic can be characterized as a unique crisis that should be carefully planned and managed. Simple but dynamic environments are more difficult to gauge and to model than complex but static ones. Yet, most intractable are those fields that are both complex and dynamic; they are rightly termed discontinuous or turbulent environments. The usual risks management strategies may fail to keep pace because of the turbulence. The predicament of tomorrow’s risk managers is further compounded that it is at best tainted with uncertainty and at worst enacted by, or is a figment of, perceptions and imagination.

Pandemics can be and should be planned and managed in order to reduce the negative impact on the event. the main approach applied to pandemics is risk reduction. It is impossible to introduce risk avoidance and risk transfer methods because of the unique nature of this threat. The overtime and objective–setting processes can work well together in the case of relatively mild environmental threats, operationalized by small steps in time (Posner, 2004). Risk management for pandemics can follow the same steps as traditional risk management: problem identification, planning, mapping out, framework identification, analysis, and mitigation. It is possible to say that pandemics cannot be predicted, but risk management can identify the main areas of threats such as viruses and their impact on the global community (Gerber, 2007).

Risk management should identify and safeguard valuable, useful, and legally required records in all media that are necessary to manage and protect successful risk management. Risk analysis should be seen as a strategic approach to program development that promotes its cost-effectiveness. The scope of a program is determined by a number of factors, including the type and degree of potential threats and risks to records and information. The vital records program team assesses the likelihood of various natural and manmade disasters, the probabilities of loss or damage, and the consequences of that damage or loss (Posner, 2004). Costs involved in a disaster plan may include planning, facility modifications for better environmental and security controls, services, equipment, supplies, backup systems, and record reproduction. The costs are simply an investment in the future and could become negligible when compared to losses in the absence of a risk management plan.

Risk analysis balances the costs of re-creation of records versus protection. It balances the costs of preservation through effective management of resources at the hottest period of time. Risk analysis also balances the costs of recovery in the form of pandemics. The case of influence pandemic shows that: “pandemic planning must be approached in a way that goes beyond functional areas to take into account the overall mission of the organization” (Holliday 2006, p. 7). The design begins with the recognition of environmental threats and their transformation into opportunities. The first pillar of wisdom is an awareness of the firm’s dependency on its environment. A second wise move would be to engage actively in environmental scanning, building competitive intelligence systems beyond internal management information systems. In their responses to environmental challenges, firms are hampered by a variety of response barriers, such as entry, exit, and inertia barriers. These require keeping track of competitors’ moves, resource requirements, and environmental opportunities. For instance,

the dominant strategy for seasonal influenza is to use vaccinations and antiviral therapy. In developed countries, governments now standardly recommend that high-risk populations receive vaccinations, and mass vaccination could be recommended in the event of a more severe outbreak. Antiviral therapy, although not as effective as vaccination, can be used for prophylaxis, alleviation of symptoms, and reduction of infectiousness” (Gostin 2004, p. 10).

The prevention and protection of the population is the development of practices and methods to reduce the probability and the consequences of risks. The risk management schedule should identify the population to be protected and the suggested methods of protection. The final determination of prevention and protection methods is based on an analysis of the risks and costs. The costs spent on prevention and protection should be weighed against the costs of recovery, re-creation. A combination of risk management strategies can be used to protect and preserve healthy populations in various regions (Gerber, 2007). Prevention efforts planed by risk management should identify hazards, risks, and security problems in all regions.

The risk management team should make recommendations to prevent or reduce pandemics, and prioritizes those recommendations for economic implementation. Prevention and protection procedures are established to ensure the appropriate use of resources in daily operations and to ensure that the plans will be available before the emergency situation, immediately after the crisis. Information technology should be used to forecast and plan pandemic risks. “Experts state that a serious avian flu outbreak could erupt in waves over several weeks or even months, with fluctuations in severity, which could significantly impact available human resources” (Holliday 2006, p. 7).

This forecasting provides information that initiates debate and dialogue leading to actionable recommendations. What the conventional approach to cases provides is a context of drama and realism, where the interplay between observation and debate may produce consensus. Yet, observations alone increase the likelihood of substantial misinterpretation. There are also risks and uncertainty in the implementation of recovery plans during pandemics. Traditionally, managers prefer to maintain the status quo rather than subject their agencies to the downside risk of failure. New information technology results resolutely from changes in strategy. Reducing resistance to change again requires investing in human, financial, and time resources (Gerber, 2007).

It is crucial and possible for a modern society to plan and prevent pandemics. For instance, “Influenza pandemics have occurred roughly two to three times per century” (Gostin 2004, p. 10). In contrast to other risk and emergency situations, it is possible to monitor and control pandemics. “A critical early prevention strategy is to control animal populations and avert the species jump. Close proximity of animal and human populations poses a high risk” (Gostin 2004, p. 10). Gostin calls this type of strategy preparedness for viruses proliferation and mutation.

Preparedness measures provide for a quick, rational response to actual emergency situations and for the prevention of escalation of the damages. The vital records schedule, a key document resource for the preparedness aspect of a program. Risk planning will include data and hot site facilities required to reduce and prevent the proliferation of a disease (Posner, 2004). The preparedness element of the risk program also details disaster condition operating and recovery procedures outline salvage methods and lists resources that may be necessary during and after the emergency. The responsibilities of employees and their duties should be clearly articulated and available at a moment’s notice, along with emergency numbers, floor plans, and recovery operations plans for each facility. The list of resources for pandemic and for prevention methods activities must be kept current. Many agencies secure agreements with governmental bodies in anticipation of any need.

Scheduled and unscheduled audits of the plans determine the plan’s feasibility and the level of preparedness for quality operations under extraordinary conditions. An audit will identify any inadequacies and any need to update controls and protection methods to keep up with changing needs and changing information systems and technologies (Posner, 2004). An audit may test the timely availability of records, and transfers of records into and out of vital records protection. A common test is to give the disaster team a set of information needs that the company would have after a disaster. Emergency agencies and personnel to be called immediately when a disaster occurs should be identified in the vital records plan. While the fire department or other emergency services are busy with the crisis situation, the vital records disaster team can begin identification of needed actions (Gerber, 2007).

In sum, pandemic planning is possible and desirable in order to reduce the negative impact of threats and crisis situations on a global population. The main difference is that it is possible to control and monitor pandemics and introduce preventive measures for a certain community. Risk management plans will have to devise ways to keep track of and model environmental changes through triggering events and trends. This must be done carefully, to ensure that the various changes considered are compatible. Because there is no guarantee that scenario components are compatible, managers and planners must screen both their basic assumptions and the compatibility of their scenarios. This distinction may explain the low correlations between objective and subjective indicators of environmental uncertainty. With empirical support that managers make choices using sources of information processing with simple rules of caution.


Gerber, B. J. (2007). Disaster Management in the United States: Examining Key Political and Policy Challenges. Policy Studies Journal, 35 (2), 227.

Gostin, L. O. (2004). Influenza Pandemic Preparedness: Legal and Ethical Dimensions. The Hastings Center Report, 34 (5), 10.

Holliday, K. K. (2006). Flu Pandemic Requires Distinct Preparations. ABA Banking Journal, 98 (10), 7.

Posner, R.A. (2004). Catastrophe: Risk and Response. Oxford University Press.

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