BP reportedly looking to sell assets even if crude prices improve

first_img BP headquarters in London. (Credit: WhisperToMe/Wikipedia.org) BP is reportedly looking to divest a bulk of its oil and gas assets even if there is an improvement in crude prices as the company seems more inclined towards increasing its investment in the renewable energy sector.The UK oil and gas major is preparing to offload its stranded assets, reported Reuters citing three sources that are close to the company.The prices of crude oil have been impacted due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis which has left several players in the oil and gas industry to revisit their budgets for the current year.According to the sources mentioned by the publication, the strategy was discussed during a meeting of the company’s executives meeting held last month. Reuters further reported that $17.5bn worth of assets in BP’s portfolio are no longer viable economically after the company had cut its long-term oil price forecast to $55 a barrel.Even if there is a jump in the crude prices to $65-$70 a barrel, the oil and gas major is not expected to pursue exploration activities at the assets and will rather use the improved market conditions as an opportunity to divest them, said the sources.BP hit by a loss of nearly $17bn in Q2 2020Last week, BP reported a $16.8bn loss for the second quarter of 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic continued to adversely impact the global energy markets. This was in comparison to a profit of $1.8bn made by the company in the same period of last year.BP chief executive Bernard Looney had termed Q2 2020 to be among the toughest quarters faced by the company in its 110-year history.In February 2020, the company disclosed plans of pursuing a net-zero agenda and its ambition to become an “integrated energy company” in the next three decades.In the next 10 years, BP is targeting an increase by ten folds in its low-carbon investments to $5bn for developing 50GW of renewable energy capacity. At the same time, the company will aim at cutting down its oil and gas production by 40%, which is equivalent to nearly one million barrels of oil equivalent (mboe) per day – to about 1.5 mboe per day. BP is preparing to offload its stranded assets, reported Reuters citing three sources that are close to the companylast_img read more

Guided-Missile Cruiser USS Philippine Sea Visits Sevastopol

first_img View post tag: USS View post tag: Guided-missile Training & Education View post tag: sea The guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea arrived in Sevastopol, Oct. 21, for a regularly scheduled port visit to continue U.S. 6th Fleet efforts to build global maritime partnerships with European nations and enhance maritime safety and security.While in port, the crew will host a formal reception giving the officers and crew a chance to meet with national and local civil and military leaders. “These receptions are a way for the crew to thank the hosting country for the hospitality they show us every day we are in port,” said Capt. Herbert Hadley, Philippine Sea’s commanding officer. “They are essential in maintaining the bonds our countries have with one another.”Some members of the crew will spend their time inport giving back to the local community through a service project at a local maternity clinic.“It’s service to the community that really show humanity,” said Command Chaplain Lt. Jonathan Black. “It is important to lend a hand where a hand is needed. It’s a simple act of goodwill that Sailors can offer to the people that open their ports and allow us to enjoy what they have to offer.”Philippine Sea’s crew will have several chances to train and interact with their Ukrainian counterparts during the port visit. “This is a great opportunity for our two militaries,” said Command Master Chief Scott Kircher. “Both nations have the opportunity to learn valuable skills that when put into use will help maintain maritime security throughout the Black Sea Region.”Philippine Sea is conducting this port visit as part of a scheduled deployment to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.[mappress]Source: navy, October 25, 2011 View post tag: Cruiser View post tag: visits View post tag: Philippine Guided-Missile Cruiser USS Philippine Sea Visits Sevastopolcenter_img Back to overview,Home naval-today Guided-Missile Cruiser USS Philippine Sea Visits Sevastopol View post tag: Naval View post tag: News by topic October 25, 2011 View post tag: Navy View post tag: Sevastopol Share this articlelast_img read more

Swedish CG’s GeoSwath Multibeam Echosounder Ready for Operation

first_imgBack to overview,Home naval-today Swedish CG’s GeoSwath Multibeam Echosounder Ready for Operation View post tag: Defence View post tag: Defense View post tag: operation View post tag: GeoSwath Kongsberg GeoAcoustics has completed the prestigious Swedish Coast Guard (KBV) project with the installation and full acceptance of a 125 kHz GeoSwath Shallow Water Multibeam echosounder on the fourth and final new-build multipurpose vessel.These vessels, all under Swedish flag, are defined as multipurpose vessels with the possibility of oil recovery, conforming to class GL 100A5 DP0 Oil Recovery Vessel E2 HC-/2 and conforming to the Swedish Maritime Administration for traffic in international voyage service area ‘A’. The vessels are to serve as environmental protection and surveillance ships and will aid the Coast Guard in vessel traffic management, environmental monitoring, border security, fisheries, customs- and police checks at sea.The vessels, named KBV031 to 034, were built by P+S Werften in Wolgast, Germany and were part of a ‘Full Picture’ delivery which involved close collaboration between various departments within Kongsberg Maritime. This long-running project involved Kongsberg supplying the total package for each vessel including: K-Bridge Integrated Navigation system, K-Chief Integrated alarm, monitoring and control system, C-Pos Dynamic Positioning system and GeoSwath Plus Multibeam echosounder. The contract included basic and detailed design of each system, technical layout, delivery, start-up, testing and commissioning.[mappress]Press Release, October 1, 2013; Image: Kongsberg View post tag: Naval Swedish CG’s GeoSwath Multibeam Echosounder Ready for Operation View post tag: Navy View post tag: Multibeamcenter_img October 1, 2013 View post tag: Echosounder View post tag: Ready Industry news View post tag: Coastguard View post tag: News by topic View post tag: Swedish Share this articlelast_img read more

Press release: April 2018 Price Paid Data

first_img Follow us: Twitter @HMLandRegistry, our blog, LinkedIn and Facebook. Email [email protected] Press Office 2 were of residential properties in Greater Manchester for £1 million and over Semi-detached 19,362 22,040 20,725 Mobile (5:30pm to 8:30am weekdays, all weekend and public holidays) 07864 689 344 Price Paid Data is published at 11am on the 20th working day of each month. The next dataset will be published on Thursday 28 June 2018. Property type April 2018 March 2018 February 2018 Of the 78,408 sales received for registration in April 2018: Contact Total 78,408 90,284 85,249 11,758 were newly built, a 28.2% increase on April 2017 HM Land Registry is a government department created in 1862. It operates as an executive agency and a trading fund and its running costs are covered by the fees paid by the users of its services. Its ambition is to become the world’s leading land registry for speed, simplicity and an open approach to data. 363 were of residential properties in England and Wales for £1 million and over 213 were of residential properties in Greater London for £1 million and over 2 were of residential properties in Birmingham for £1 million and over The most expensive residential sale taking place in April 2018 was of a detached property in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London for £19,800,000. The cheapest residential sale in April 2018 was of a terraced property in Burnley, Lancashire for £17,500.The most expensive commercial sale taking place in April 2018 was in the City of Westminster, for £95,370,000. The cheapest commercial sale in April 2018 was in Bolton for £425.Access the full datasetNotes to editors Flat/maisonette 15,457 18,253 17,842 Other 6,147 6,811 6,046center_img For further information about HM Land Registry visit www.gov.uk/land-registry. The amount of time between the sale of a property and the registration of this information with HM Land Registry varies. It typically ranges between two weeks and two months. Data for the two most recent months is therefore incomplete and does not give an indication of final monthly volumes. Occasionally the interval between sale and registration is longer than two months. The small number of sales affected cannot be updated for publication until the sales are lodged for registration. HM Land Registry’s mission is to guarantee and protect property rights in England and Wales. In the dataset you can find the date of sale for each property, its full address and sale price, its category (residential or commercial) and type (detached, semi-detached, terraced, flat or maisonette and other), whether it is new build or not and whether it is freehold or leasehold.The number of sales received for registration by property type and month Price Paid Data can be downloaded in text, CSV format and in a machine readable format as linked data and is released under Open Government Licence (OGL). Under the OGL, HM Land Registry permits the use of Price Paid Data for commercial or non-commercial purposes. However, the OGL does not cover the use of third party rights, which HM Land Registry is not authorised to license. 57,657 were freehold, a 5.2% increase on April 2017 There is a time difference between the sale of a property and its registration at HM Land Registry.Of the 78,408 sales received for registration, 18,696 took place in April 2018 of which: Price Paid Data categories are either Category A (Standard entries) which includes single residential properties sold for full market value or Category B (Additional entries) for example sales to a company, buy-to-lets where they can be identified by a mortgage and repossessions. HM Land Registry safeguards land and property ownership worth in excess of £4 trillion, including around £1 trillion of mortgages. The Land Register contains more than 25 million titles showing evidence of ownership for some 85% of the land mass of England and Wales. Phone (Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5:30pm) 0300 006 3365 Terraced 20,714 23,036 21,462 Price Paid Data is property price data for all residential and commercial property sales in England and Wales that are lodged with HM Land Registry for registration in that month, subject to exclusions. Detached 16,728 20,144 19,174 Trafalgar House1 Bedford ParkCroydonCR0 2AQ This month’s Price Paid Data includes details of more than 78,400 sales of land and property in England and Wales that HM Land Registry received for registration in April 2018. HM Land Registry has been collecting information on Category A sales from January 1995 and on Category B sales from October 2013. The Price Paid Data report builder allows users to build bespoke reports using the data. Reports can be based on location, estate type, price paid or property type over a defined period of time.last_img read more

Texas sets another wind power record

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):The Electric Reliability Council of Texas set a new wind output record of 17,920 MW on Monday afternoon as a cold front was moving into the area with windy conditions.The new output wind record was set at 3:32 pm CST Monday and surpassed the previous record of 17,542 MW set in February, by more than 2%, according to ERCOT Wind Integration Report.High temperatures in Dallas reached the mid 40s degrees Monday, as much as 22 degrees below normal, while lows fell near the freezing point, as much as 15 degrees below normal, according to CustomWeather data.When Monday’s record was set, wind generation accounted for 40.49% of system-wide demand, which was 44,258 MW at the time, according to ERCOT data. The wind penetration record stands at 54.22%, reached October 27.Real-time prices in West Hub stayed below $10/MWh for three hours ending 6:15 am before the morning load ramp up, and stayed slightly above $10/MWh before falling below again around noon through 4:30 pm.More ($): ERCOT sets record wind output of 17,920 MW amid wintry weather Texas sets another wind power recordlast_img read more

Military World Games Might be Qualifying Event for Rio 2016 Olympics

first_imgBy Dialogo February 23, 2012 In order to give even more prominence and impact to the 6th Military World Games 2015 in Korea, CISM (for the International Military Sports Council’s French name) launched a large campaign towards the International Sports Federations to recognize the CISM World Summer Games 2015 as a qualifying event for the 2016 Rio Olympics. The best modern pentathletes in the world will be able to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics during the council’s 6th World Summer Games in Mungyeong in October 2015. The links between CISM and the Modern Pentathlon, a sport with deep military roots have always been excellent, but that MOU shall further strengthen the collaboration to develop the practice of Modern Pentathlon in the military sports clubs all over the world, according to the CISM. To the organizers: Gentlemen, please include CHESS within the military sports since it is considered to be a pastime or school subject in many military schools, as a military tool for strategic and tactical development. In addition, it helps with decision making.Thank you very much I think the idea of military athletes being able to access minimum marks as asked by the I.A.A.F. to be able to participate in Rio 2016 The International Association of Athletics Federations and Fencing International Federation are about to sign a similar convention with CISM. This success is another high incentive to see the best military athletes compete in Mungyeong in 2015. The first federation to grant to the CISM World Games 2015 that status is the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM for its French name), which signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the CISM president last November 12, on the occasion of its annual congress. last_img read more

Colombian Air Force Crucial For Fire Control

first_imgBy Lorena Baires / Diálogo December 06, 2019 Colombian pilots carry out fire extinguishing duties in one of the harshest drought seasons of the last 20 years.During 2019, the Colombian Air Force (FAC, in Spanish) worked tirelessly to extinguish and control fires. Pilots overflew the territory to extinguish fires that consumed 318,214 acres of vegetation due to strong winds, scarce rain, and high temperatures, in addition to fires created intentionally for agricultural purposes. This combination caused 2,217 fires; the highest number Colombia’s Unit for Disaster Risk Management (UNGRD, in Spanish) has recorded in two decades.FAC has a helicopter fleet with Bambi Bucket fire-control systems, with a 1,320-gallon capacity. For fires in large areas, FAC deploys a C-130 Hercules aircraft, equipped with a MAFFS II system that can drop a load of 3,698 gallons.“The complexity of these maneuvers requires planning and attention to aircraft performance. Special consideration must be paid to the high temperatures we face during drops,” said FAC Captain Fabián Grijalba, commander of the 412 Squadron and pilot of a Huey II helicopter. “Because this involves more physical exhaustion among crew members, we only conduct a maximum of six flight hours.”Members of the Colombian Air Force prepare a Bambi Bucket system, with a 1,320-gallon capacity. (Photo: Colombian Air Force)The most recent fires, which occurred in September, have affected forests in Tolima, Antioquia, Santander, and Valle del Cauca departments. In the latter, in the Yumbo municipality, the fire ravaged more than 791 acres. “In this area, there are cross winds, the terrain is very steep, and vegetation is abundant,” Miguel Perdomo, UNGRD coordinator in Yumbo, told Diálogo. “These characteristics and the distance from water prevent forest control groups from being more flexible.”In hard-to-reach areas, fire trucks cannot enter, only manual tools can be used. That’s where the FAC firefighters descend on ropes behind the combustion line to create firebreaks and release liquids over the fires. “Following the drops,  the flames are extinguished, leaving a safe perimeter for us to come closer,” Carlos Guzmán, a firefighter at the National Firefighting Directorate (DNB, in Spanish) in the municipality of Carmen de Apicalá, Tolima, told Diálogo. “After that, we remove any combustible material to make a path and prevent the fire from advancing through crops or wooded areas.”“Ninety-eight percent of the fires recorded in October were caused by people who try to prepare the soil for crops,” Captain Germán Miranda, head of DNB, told Diálogo. “There’s also the increase in temperature. In some cities and towns in the Caribbean or Andean regions [the temperatures] can reach up to 43 degrees Celsius [nearly 110 degress Farenheit].”To increase FAC’s operational capabilities, the U.S. government established in August the Regional Helicopter Training Center Program in Colombia, with the delivery of 60 TH-67 Creek training helicopters. These aircraft will be used to train Colombian pilots at the Helicopter School for the Armed Forces.“I’d like to thank our friends from the United States and its Army for their support to the Colombian people and Air Force,” said General Ramsés Rueda Rueda, FAC commander, during the delivery of the TH-67 Creek helicopters.last_img read more

Death or Glory: Jumping Without A ‘Chute

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Illustration by Jon MorenoA doorless brown van rolls slowly over the ground of an empty field, kicking up a cloud of dry dirt as it comes to a hault. I step in to see that all the rows of seats have been removed. Instead the whole interior is fitted with floor-to-ceiling brown and beige shag carpet.“Welcome to the Shaggin’ Wagon!” the driver calls out.For my brother Mark’s 18th birthday I thought there would be no better gift as a send off to college than jumping out of a plane 13,500 feet above Earth. After all, if you could jump out of a plane, you can do anything. It seemed like a perfect metaphor for beginning a new, unknown chapter.The Shaggin’ Wagon was our ride to glory.But first there are a few things to take care of—like signing our lives away in front of witnesses, staring into the lens of a tiny video camera held by a really perky blonde-haired girl, and reading from a prepared statement.“I understand that skydiving is a potentially dangerous activity that can result in injury or death. I, Jaclyn Gallucci, take final responsibility for my own safety.”About 10 others wait for their turn and giggle nervously. It’s about 8 in the morning. I didn’t eat anything because I didn’t want to get sick after the stunt plane fiasco. In groups of two, names were called. It takes a lot of time to risk your life and there were about a dozen people ahead of us waiting for their turn. One hour passed. Two hours passed.“Jaclyn and Mark?”Now it was our turn. We step into the Shaggin’ Wagon and drive across the field, get strapped into our harnesses and assigned a tandem partner—the person who will be strapped to your back during the jump. Not that I had any thoughts of doing so, but you can’t jump out of a plane by yourself the first time. It takes training and dozens of tandem jumps to get an A-license, which allows you to jump on your own. It takes even more training to become an instructor.As nice and sweet as it sounds, you also can’t jump through a cloud, without getting beaten to death by mother nature, I learned. But although a little hazy, the skies were generally clear and we were given the okay.We climb in a small plane, just the four of us, attached in twos, and the pilot. The engine revs up and we get higher. And higher. And higher—the kind of high where everything starts looking like a map.Mark is the first to jump.“Are you ready to jump out of a plane, Mark?” I hear his instructor ask.Why am I doing this to him? This is a stupid metaphor. Stupid! If we survive, my parents are going to kill me!“Absolutely!” Mark answers and they jump right out.I’m in shock. “Absolutely?!”This was my idea and now I’m the nervous one?I watch with my legs dangling outside of the plane and the deafening sound of the wind up there. I see Mark’s bright red chute open below. I look at my feet over the world. Then out of the corner of my eye I see something that looks like a red deflated balloon twisted up and moving erratically, speeding toward the ground, getting smaller and smaller.My heart stops and in that split second of panic all I could think was, “I just killed my brother.”Before I could even process the thought, my skydiving partner points to the left and I see a big white chute floating peacefully toward the ground.“They had to deploy the reserve chute,” he tells me. There must have been a problem, but don’t worry, that’s what the reserves are for!”Not only do the instructors have a reserve, but every jumper has one, too, so even if one back-up fails, there is still another.Later, watching the video, I saw the impressive MacGyver-like moves my brother’s instructor used to calmly deploy the back-up chute. While free-falling, this guy pulls out a pocket knife, cuts the failed chute off, holds the rip cord in his teeth, finagles something else and, as non-chalantly as if he just finished making a sandwich, a new chute appears like nothing. Wow.If you were questioning why you need a license to jump on your own, ladies and gentlemen, here is your answer.I inch closer to the edge of the plane, I’m halfway out. “Ready!?” my instructor yells out.“Yep!”We slide out. Free fall. I remember learning in physics that’s a speed of 9.8 m/s². It’s the feeling you get when you’re going downhill on the roller coaster and you get that chill in your stomach, except that feeling doesn’t go away. You just keep going down. Free fall lasts about 60 seconds.I feel a tap on my shoulder. That’s my cue to get into starfish position, arms and legs out as we plunge toward earth. Beautiful. The sky that wasn’t blue on the ground was blue up here and I was flying through it. Then a sudden jerk from the pull of the rip cord.We’re floating. I could stay up here forever. I’m not scared at all any more. I swung my feet up in front of me and saw them above the trees and houses again. The last time I did this I was in Disney World at Epcot, riding Soarin’, an aerial illusion trip in front of an 180-degree IMAX projection dome that makes you feel like you’re flying over some of the most beautiful places on Earth.This time I really was.My instructor tells me to give a thumbs-up to the tiny camera attached to his wrist as we float to the ground. As I get closer, I see my brother land gracefully on his feet, but more importantly, alive, in front of me. Now it’s my turn to stick the landing. The key is to keep your legs parallel to the ground and slowly lower them like a plane’s landing gear. I didn’t quite find that sweet spot, and I hit the ground in a blaze of glory like I was sliding into home in Game 7 of the World Series. My new metaphor? If you can jump out of a plane—and your chute fails—and you still make it out alive—you can do anything.last_img read more

ACIP endorses flu shots for 2-, 3-, and 4-year-olds

first_imgFeb 23, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – A federal advisory committee recommended yesterday that children aged 2 through 4 and their household contacts and caregivers get annual influenza shots, a move that increases the number of people included in official flu-immunization recommendations by more than 16 million.Since 2004 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended flu shots for children aged 6 to 23 months. Yesterday the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to recommend expanding this recommendation to include ages 24 through 59 months (2-, 3-, and 4-year-olds), the CDC announced. ACIP recommendations are routinely adopted by the CDC.The expanded recommendation will cover about 5.3 million children and 11.4 million household contacts and caregivers, the CDC said in a news release.”This new recommendation takes into consideration a broader view of the burden of illness than the earlier recommendation for vaccination of children, which was based upon the prevention of hospitalization among children 6 months to 23 months old,” the CDC said in a news release today.Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC’s National Immunization Program, commented in the release, “Vaccination of children 24 to 59 months old will likely reduce the risk of influenza-related complications for all children in this age group, not just those identified as those with the highest risk of complications from influenza.”CDC officials at a flu vaccine conference in Atlanta last month had said they expected a decision this year on recommending flu shots for 2- to 6-year-olds. But a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution described the ACIP vote as a “surprise move” that followed a little more than an hour of debate. The panel had planned to vote on whether to “encourage” flu shots for 2- to 5-year-olds, a move that would have no regulatory impact, the story said.The ACIP heard reports that children 24 to 59 months old with flu are nearly as likely to visit physicians and emergency rooms as children 6 to 23 months old, the CDC said. The committee was told that “rates of medical outpatient visits for influenza-related illnesses are high in all childhood ages.”The Journal-Constitution said the panel was told about unpublished research showing that 1 of every 1,000 children under age 5 is hospitalized for flu each year and another 60 to 164 per 1,000 visit an emergency department or clinic.The ACIP also seemed to be moved by emotional testimony from Families Fighting Flu, a group of young parents of children who died of the illness, the newspaper reported.The recommendation will become the standard of practice for physicians caring for young children and will signal insurance programs to pay for the vaccinations, the story noted.The ACIP continues to “strongly” recommend vaccination of children who have chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, kidney disease, or weakened immunity, the CDC said.The panel will continue to consider new flu vaccination strategies, “including the possibility of expanding routine influenza vaccination recommendations to the entire US population,” the agency said.The CDC said manufacturers have indicated that they plan to produce between 100 million and 120 million doses of flu vaccine for the 2006-07 season.Besides 6- to 23-month-old children, people for whom the CDC already recommends flu immunization because of an increase risk of flu complication include those aged 50 and older, those with certain chronic medical conditions, nursing home residents, children and adolescents on long-term aspirin therapy, and pregnant women. Immunization is also advised for healthcare workers and household contacts and caregivers of people at increased risk for flu complications.See also:Feb 23 CDC news releasehttp://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/r060223.htmCDC flu vaccination recommendations for current season (2005-06)http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5408a1.htmlast_img read more

How to keep the world working during the H1N1 pandemic: Key takeaway messages from CIDRAP’s 3rd national summit

first_img(CIDRAP Business Source Osterholm Briefing) – We face real uncertainty about the future of the H1N1 pandemic. No one knows today if the virus will mutate or reassort into a more effective killer or cause milder illness over the next 4 to 6 months. Even if the genetic makeup of the virus remains unchanged, the days ahead will not be easy. Globally, there will substantial increases in illness and even deaths among people younger than 60 years old, and that includes your workforce, as well as others you rely on to conduct business.What’s more, we know that healthcare systems around the world will face unprecedented challenges, particularly in providing intensive care. For some of the world, the H1N1 vaccine will have a positive impact. But the billion-dollar question is this: Will the vaccine be too little, too late for this new wave of illness in Northern Hemisphere countries like the United States?I may not have answers to questions about what the virus will do or the ultimate impact of the H1N1 vaccine. But I have discovered in no uncertain terms something quite remarkable after spending 2 days last week at CIDRAP’s third national summit. Given half a chance to learn from each other, planners from public and private sectors will not be deterred from finding effective and timely ways to respond to the current pandemic. And that’s good for business.The candor, collegiality, and quality of information exchange between some 250 participants and presenters from organizations of all sizes and ilk exceeded my expectations. I invite you to check out the wealth of summit resources now available on the CIDRAP Source Web site from Keeping the World Working During the H1N1 Pandemic: Protecting Employee Health, Critical Operations, and Customer Relations, which was held in Minneapolis Sep 22 and 23. You’ll find dozens of PowerPoint slides, handouts, tips, and tools to help you enhance and benchmark your efforts today.Meanwhile, let me address five key takeaway messages that emerged during the summit about the realities we face right now.1. As goes healthcare, so go our communitiesIf you want a bellwether of the impact of the H1N1 pandemic, look no further than our vulnerable healthcare systems. We are fortunate that to date the vast majority of people who become ill with H1N1 pandemic influenza recover just fine. But certain groups of people get very, very sick, so sick that the care they need is already pushing the limits of our intensive care capacity.It won’t take much to push this system to a breaking point. The tipping point will occur if we start losing patients who could have lived if they could have accessed our highest-tech medical care, including respiratory equipment that is in limited supply. And if that happens, we can expect 24/7 media coverage and a community response much different than what we’re seeing now. While I don’t believe we will fall into community chaos, I do think it’s likely that we’ll see fears about being in public places and becoming infected drive up absenteeism.2. Can you make it possible for sick workers to stay home?It sounds like a paradox, but keeping some workers from coming to work may be your best tactic for holding down overall absenteeism. Most employees who get H1N1 illness will get better in several days. And if it’s possible for them to stay home when they’re sick without being penalized, they’re less likely to infect other employees. Once they have been free of fever for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications (such as aspirin or acetaminophen) they can come back to work.Some summit participants said their organizations consider making extra sick days available a far better option than dealing with the headaches and costs of worker safety complaints and other legal or administrative issues. Also, it’s clear that expecting workers to document their illness is not reasonable. Now is the time to suspend (at least temporarily) policies that require employees to bring a physician’s note either to document the illness or prove they can come back to work. Such notes will be hard to come by in a seriously stretched healthcare system. And you’re likely to keep employees away from work much longer than necessary.3. A clarion call for flexibility, communicationYou don’t like it, and neither do your employees, but the fact remains that we cannot predict how this pandemic will continue to unfold. Uncertainty is simply a given right now. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that organizations plan for two contingencies: (1) the severity of the pandemic remains at a level like what we saw when it began in the spring and (2) the severity worsens, absenteeism rises, critical supply chains break down, and business continuity is threatened. Are you prepared to scale up your response? Are your employees? In scenario two, the CDC says it is prepared to call for travel restrictions and measures that limit close contact.Strong communication efforts take center stage as key to dealing with uncertainty. Keeping in close contact with local public health authorities will help your organization stay informed about any changes in pandemic severity, availability and access to vaccine and antivirals, and emergency actions (such as school closures) that affect your ability to operate. A recent poll pointed out the dismal numbers of employees who even know their organization has a plan. Presenters and participants emphasized the importance of “throwing information at fear,” making plans transparent, and communicating to families as well as employees. They also stressed using different formats (not just relying on Web sites) and accommodating cultural differences and multiple languages.4. When it comes to supply chains, ‘the government trumps all’Outsourcing may be an asset during nonpandemic times, but right now it clearly is a liability. International government actions, including border closings, that are completely out of your control could put parts if not all of your supply chains (and thus your operations) in jeopardy. Fortunately, the US government says it will not close borders, but other countries might, particularly in Asia. Will workers who make parts that your enterprise depends on have access to government-acquired vaccine in India or China? And what if absenteeism rises and government actions cause manufacture of items you need to be delayed or shut down? Unfortunately, your plans need to account for these possibilities.5. Uncertainties about vaccines and antiviral drugsIt’s one thing to make a vaccine that provides protection; it’s another to actually get the vaccine into the people who need it. It’s also been quite some time since our federal or state governments rolled out a massive campaign to vaccinate adults. Already, access to seasonal influenza vaccine is problematic. Expecting that (a) distribution of vaccine will go smoothly and (b) people will actually line up for it is questionable at best, folly at worst. And at this time there seems to be no coordinated national strategy to more effectively get antiviral drugs into the hands of persons at high risk for serious illness should they become infected (eg, pregnant women, obese persons, and people who have asthma).Bottom line for organizationsWe’re in the midst of a pandemic, and we have no idea what will happen next. We don’t even know what we don’t know yet. Still, many of us are learning through the execution of plans that we’ve worked hard to develop. Many excellent tools and resources have been developed, and it isn’t necessary to reinvent them if we share them.The good news is that the 2009 CIDRAP summit made possible valuable sharing, and the CIDRAP Business Source has captured and made these resources available to you. I encourage you to keep talking to and learning from each other. It’s the only way we can protect employee health, operations, and customer relations. And we’ll do our part to share with you what we learn and tools we develop or find that may help your response efforts. Stay tuned.last_img read more