The Federal Executive Boards in New York City and Northern New Jersey in partnership with FEMA Region II, The Department of Health and Human Services Region II, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and the Clearing House Association are sponsoring a two year series of pandemic influenza continuity exercises – tabletop exercise 2013 (complete), full scale exercise 2014 – to increase readiness for a pandemic event amongst Federal Executive Departments and Agencies, US Court, State, tribal, local jurisdictional and private sector continuity.
Pandemic influenza is a global outbreak of disease that occurs when a new influenza virus appears or “emerges” in the human population causing serious illness, as it spreads from person to person worldwide. History teaches us that the impact of a pandemic can be far-reaching. The 1918 “Spanish Flu” influenza killed approximately 30,000 people in NYC, 500,000 in the United States and as many as 50 -100 million worldwide. Furthermore, it leads to widespread social disruption and economic loss.
Pandemic influenza is unique in that, unlike many other catastrophic events, it will not directly affect physical infrastructure. While a pandemic will not damage power lines, banks, or computer networks, it will ultimately threaten all critical infrastructures by its impact on an organization’s human resources causing a loss of essential personnel from the workplace for weeks or months –National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Implementation Plan (May 2006).
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