As the fight against the spread of the Coronavirus continues, XcelHR encourages all its partners and clients to design an effective Emergency Response Plan. As of date, the American authorities have reported a total of 423 cases nationwide, with 12 fatalities. Should the situation worsen, and the government decides to shut down all public and private establishments, –or should your workplace become infected, this emergency response plan will help your team react quickly and effectively without experiencing any service disruption.

To effectively implement this Emergency Response Planning Policy for your organization, here are a few tips we recommend:

  • Create a Response Plan Team: The Pandemic Response Plan leadership will be identified as a small team which will oversee the creation and updates of the plan. The leadership will also be responsible for developing internal expertise on the transmission of diseases and other areas such as the second wave phenomenon to guide planning and response efforts. However, as with any other critical position, the leadership must have trained alternates that can execute the plan should the leadership become unavailable due to illness.
  • Design a communications plan: The creation of a communications plan before and during an outbreak that accounts for congested telecommunications services.
  • Build an alert system: Building an alert system based on monitoring of CDC and other local sources of information on the risk of a pandemic disease outbreak.
  • Set emergency policies: A predefined set of emergency policies that will preempt normal company policies for the duration of a declared pandemic. These policies are to be organized into different levels of response that match the level of business disruption expected from a possible pandemic disease outbreak within the community. These policies should address all tasks critical to the continuation of the company, including:
    • How people will be paid
    • Where they will work – staying home with or bringing kids to work
    • How they will accomplish their tasks if they cannot get to the office
  • Design response indicators: A set of indicators to management that will aid them in selecting an appropriate level of response, bringing into effect the related policies discussed in section 4—for the organization.
  • Train your employees: An employee training process covering personal protection including:
    • Identifying symptoms of exposure
    • Disease clusters in day cares, schools or other gathering places
    • Basic prevention – covering your cough, hand washing
    • When to stay home
    • Avoiding travel to areas with high infection rates
  • Determine which employees may be impacted: A process for the identification of employees with first responders or medical personnel in their household. These people, along with single parents, have a higher likelihood of unavailability due to illness or child care issues.
  • Identify key personnel: A process to identify key personnel for each critical business function and transition their duties to others in the event they become ill.
  • Design a list of emergency supplies: A list of supplies to be kept on hand or pre-contracted for supply, such as face masks, hand sanitizer, fuel, food and water.
  • Determine the IT related issues:
    • Ensure enterprise architects have a pandemic contingency plan
    • Verification of the ability for significantly increased telecommuting including bandwidth, VPN concentrator capacity/licensing, ability to offer voice over IP and laptop/remote desktop availability
    • Increased use of virtual meeting tools, like video conferencing
    • Identify what tasks cannot be done remotely
    • Plan for how customers will interact with the organization
  • The creation of exercises to test the plan: Once the plan has been created, please set a time period when you can test it with several departments or key employments from various teams or departments. This process will show you if your plan is effective and realistic.
  • Design Plan management updates: The process and frequency of plan updates should be completed annually.
  • Create a guidance plan for auditors: Create a guidance plan for auditors indicating that any review of the business continuity plan or enterprise architecture should assess whether they appropriately address your companies Pandemic Response Plan.

If you need further assistance on how to design an emergency response plan, please contact our team at Moreover, if you need additional information regarding the Coronavirus, please visit the website of the World Health Organization at or the Centers for Disease Control at In the meantime, our team will continue to monitor the situation and provide updated information when warranted. We are here to help you xcelerate the growth of your business.