Coronavirus – Time To Dust Off That Old Pandemic Plan

By Chris Manning, Directory of Information Security
RLR Management Consulting, Inc.

Thanks to the Coronavirus, it looks like it’s time to dust off that old Pandemic Plan and make some preparations!

Financial Institutions should be reviewing their entire plan to ensure it can be realistically implemented.  We recommend the following initial Plan Stages for Financial Institutions.  (Not to be confused with the World Health Organization Pandemic Phases).

We have already been in Stage One – Monitoring, Stage Two – Education and Training is here now!

Stage Two – Education and Training is triggered when the first case of deadly infection is reported in the United States.  Actions for Stage Two include:

  1. Begin Employee Training
  2. Reevaluate individual employee influenza risk by department and provide two Team Leaders for planning purposes
  3. Review and order Hygiene Supplies as needed (hand sanitizer, gloves, tissues, face masks, cleaning products)
  4. Review cleaning procedures and janitorial maintenance intervals
  5. Recovery Team Leaders continue to monitor each department’s completion of adequate cross training
  6. BCP Recovery Team will need to review records to evaluate which employees have internet/home computer access and job duties that would allow them to work from home.  IT would turn on Remote Access for all such identified employees and provide remote access training

Be prepared for Stage Three – Prevention is triggered when your State declares a Pandemic State of Emergency.  Actions for Stage Three include:

  1. Reinforce Employee training
  2. Begin regular Pandemic Team Meetings
  3. Increase cash levels by ordering additional cash supplies from the Federal Reserve to ensure customer’s needs are met
  4. Issue off-setting keys to Main Office key cabinet to key staff/officers
  5. Review access to keys and combinations to ensure there is sufficient backup
  6. Post notices in offices and on your website of current influenza situation
  7. Communicate with customers regarding service limitations in case of local pandemic outbreak and ways they can perform their banking remotely
  8. Begin customer communication plan to include email/mail communications encouraging customers to use online banking, telephone banking, courier service, remote deposit capture and night drop
  9. Communicate with identified critical service providers to determine if they expect you to be able to count on their services
  10. Initiate Social Distancing Measure to include but not limited to the following:
    • Customer service employees should wear facemasks and gloves at all times while providing services to the public
    • Employees handing cash should wash their hands and re-glove several times each day
    • All employees should wash their hands several times each day, particularly after touching any items which may have had contact with an infected person or the general public
    • During the Pandemic emergency, greeting activities such as handshaking, kissing, embracing or general touching are highly discouraged
    • Counters, desks and other areas of frequent touch or contact should be disinfected using spray disinfectant and paper towels at least twice daily
    • Used gloves, facemasks, and paper toweling should be placed in sealed plastic trashcan liners which are immediately removed for disposal (assuming refuse disposal services are available) or buried temporarily if disposal is not available
    • Employees who begin to evidence any symptom of the flu while at work should be immediately sent home and their areas of work thoroughly disinfected

Hope for the best and plan for the worst!

Should your Financial Institution need assistance with your Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Plans, we can assist. Please contact us at [email protected]