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Remember H1N1? Are you prepared for round 2? Cholera enters the U.S.

Health officials reported this week that the Cholera outbreak in Haiti has spread to the Dominican Republic and has now landed in the United States, with the first reported case in Florida. One short flight from Haiti to Miami and we are reminded that these epidemics arise suddenly. In 1991, the cholera epidemic resulted in years of transmission issues. What are you doing to prepare for a possible outbreak? Here are a few important suggestions from pandemic communication expert Dr. Robert Chandler:

1. Effective messaging – knowing what, when, and how to communicate to your employees, vendors, customers and others during an epidemic.

2. Communicate an honest, realistic assessment of the risks.

3. Provide specific action steps – for example, stay away from untreated water supply, uncooked foods, foods that have been brought into the country from affected areas, etc.

4. Assess your communication readiness and locate gaps in your response plan.

While the severity of a pandemic is never known until transmission is widespread, addressing your readiness now is a smart way to reduce your risks. Are you ready to get the word out?

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