Pandemic Preparedness

Masked WomanThere is a lot of discussion these days about a possible pandemic hitting the world population.  Some scientists and health officials are sure that a pandemic is imminent. Some say such a worldwide health event is possibly or even likely, but not immediate. Others say it will never happen.

Being prepared is a strong characteristic of the Northern Michigan University community, so we are in the process of developing a formal pandemic emergency plan, though there are a wide variety of thoughts about the pandemic possibilities even on our campus.  This plan is being presented to the campus in fall 2007.

The plan was developed by an interdisciplinary committee that included students and staff.  NMU Police Department, charged with being the emergency planning division of the Northern campus, facilitated the group’s work.

Regardless of whether a pandemic comes soon, later or never, the exercise of developing a pandemic plan is a valuable one for the university because it puts in place a plan for dealing with a long-term emergency situation and the impact that would have on Northern. This long-range emergency plan could be used for any type of disaster that overtakes the campus for more than a month or so, which is the maximum time range most university on-campus emergency plans are geared to handle.

To learn more about pandemic information, go to these Web sites: