Chicago-based Jones Lang LaSalle issued a paper today that provides strategies to help businesses and property owners prepare for a possible pandemic outbreak. “Preparing for a Pandemic: Strategies for Business Continuity When a Crisis Hits Home” provides comprehensive information on the H5N1 avian flu virus and outlines steps that should be taken to ensure business continuity, protect employees, and defend properties. With the potential for widespread human suffering and significant economic impact, Jones Lang LaSalle is addressing the critical need for pandemic contingency planning.
“With the possibility of an international pandemic crisis impacting the global business community, we feel that it is important to help our clients become informed and prepared,” says Lauralee E. Martin, chief operating and financial officer at Jones Lang LaSalle. “We created this paper to raise awareness of the potential risks a pandemic might pose to real estate owners and occupiers, and to assist our clients in formulating effective business continuity strategies.”
Critical steps in protecting properties include the reassessment of building operations and infrastructure from the standpoint of disease control. In particular, HVAC inspections and maintenance schedules should ensure that buildings have proper air filtration and site inspections should identify vulnerabilities for exposure.
The following steps can help to reduce exposure to germs and allay workplace concerns:
*Providing sanitation stations for hand disinfecting at entrance and exit points.
*Inspecting and maintaining HVAC systems to maximize filtration with fresh air by cleaning and replacing filters, drip pans, and malfunctioning equipment.
*Increasing the frequency of restroom cleaning.
*Practicing extreme caution in disposal of wet waste.
*Re-evaluating water elements in landscaping to reduce waterfowl attraction and exposure.
*Instituting more cautious landscape sanitation and maintenance procedures.
*Retail centers containing pet shops may require additional precautions or prohibitions.
Companies are advised to appoint pandemic crisis managers (either individuals or committees) and establish chains of command to control the flow of information and misinformation in the marketplace. They are also advised to formulate cohesive management succession plans to help keep critical infrastructure operations and services in place in the event that absenteeism reaches significant levels. Good relationships with vendors, knowledge of local markets, and arrangements with back-up suppliers of goods and services are also vital to effective plans.
“It’s impossible to know when or even if a pandemic will take place; however, history tells us that a global pandemic of some kind is likely,” says Michael Lee, senior vice president, Jones Lang LaSalle. “Given that we have the time and the resources to address this issue at an early stage, we highly recommend that companies conduct probing self-examinations and begin preparing for a crisis. Early planning and contingency preparation are the most powerful weapons in any firm’s defense.”
To receive a copy of Jones Lang LaSalle’s newest report, “Preparing for a Pandemic,” visit (www.joneslanglasalle.com) or call Craig Bloomfield at (312) 228-2774.
This information was reprinted with permission from Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE: JLL), an industry leader in property and corporate facility management services, with a portfolio of 927 million square feet worldwide. For more information, visit the company's website (www.joneslanglasalle.com).