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Information Guide for Private Sector Pandemic Planning


What It Is

As with any emergency, citizens, governments, and businesses each have responsibilities for pandemic preparedness.  Citizens are responsible for preparing themselves and their families, provincial and territorial governments prepare and provide regional support to municipalities and first-responders, while the federal government prepares the federal response in support of provincial and territorial governments and the nation in general.  Private sector businesses are responsible for the safety of their critical assets and the availability of their goods and services.  

The Information Guide for Private Sector Pandemic Planning is a beginner guide for Canadian private sector organizations preparing for a pandemic.  The Guide provides an overview of the human and animal health aspects of pandemic influenza as well as basic information for private sector pandemic planning including some information about absenteeism, anti-virals, business continuity planning and so on.  Pandemic preparedness is a broad field served by many private and public sector organizations.  Much information is also publicly available in the form of documents, research papers, guides, etc.  Businesses are encouraged to seek out additional information and expertise as part of their ongoing preparations and tailor the information available to meet the particular needs of their businesses.

The Guide was developed at the request of the Government of Canada’s Private Sector Working Group on Pandemic Influenza Planning (PSWG).  The PSWG is one of six working groups directed by the federal government to enhance Canada’s federal avian and pandemic influenza planning and specifically formed in recognition of the important role to be played by the private sector in pandemic preparedness.  The objective of the PSWG is to promote a shared approach to pandemic influenza planning and preparedness through increased awareness and partnerships with private sector organizations and associations from the ten federal critical infrastructure sectors.

How It Works

The Guide is made up of different documents that are available online, primarily through the Government of Canada’s pandemic influenza portal.  The documents are listed as a Table of Contents on page iv, which you can view, print and bind as you see fit.  Just follow the steps:

  1. Click on and print each of the 13 documents listed on page iv.
  2. Print out this document for your cover and table of contents.
  3. Separate each document with a coloured piece of paper or tab.
  4. Collect all the documents in a folder, or, hole-punch the documents and place them in a binder.

When all documents are printed, the Guide totals about 50 pages.

Sources of Information

Almost all of the information in the Guide can be found through the Government of Canada’s one-stop portal for pandemic, avian and seasonal influenza. You can also find additional information through the Public Safety Canada websiteExternal Link and the Public Health Agency of Canada website.

Additional Resources

The Guide is intended to provide private sector organizations with a basic understanding of pandemic influenza and private sector preparedness. The documents listed in the Table of Contents on page iv are largely summary accounts or fact sheets. Readers who are interested in investigating pandemic influenza and preparedness in more detail in order to meet their particular purposes are encouraged to study the information documents listed below. Please note that some documents are over 100 pages long.

  1. Canadian Pandemic Influenza Plan for the Health Sector
  2. North American Plan for Avian and Pandemic Influenza
  3. The Economic Impact of an Influenza PandemicExternal Link
  4. Human Health Issues related to Avian Influenza in Canada
  5. FEMA Independent Study Program: IS-120 An Orientation to Community Disaster ExercisesExternal Link
  6. FEMA Independent Study Program: IS-139 Exercise DesignExternal Link


The information in this document is for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every situation that may apply to an individual or business. Details, which may be relevant to a user’s particular circumstance, may have been omitted. Users are advised to seek professional advice before applying any information contained in this document to their own particular circumstances. Users should always obtain appropriate professional advice on the medical issues involved.

The Government of Canada accepts no liability or responsibility for any acts or errors, omissions, misuse, and/or misinterpretation resulting from reliance, in whole or in part, on the documents referred to in this guide. The Government of Canada disclaims all responsibility or liability to any person, whether in contract, equity or tort, or on any other basis, for any direct or indirect losses, illness or injury, or damage of any kind, arising from use of these documents.

The Government of Canada is not responsible for the contents or reliability of any non Government of Canada websites mentioned in this document, and does not necessarily endorse the views expressed in them. There is no guarantee that the links will work all the time, and the Government of Canada does not necessarily control the availability of the linked pages.

Table of Contents

Human Health

  1. Highlights from the Canadian Pandemic Influenza Plan for the Health Sector
  2. Preparing for an Influenza Pandemic – It's Your HealthExternal Link
  3. Frequently Asked Questions – Pandemic Influenza
  4. Ten Things You Need To Know About Pandemic InfluenzaExternal Link(PDF document, pp 428-431)
  5. Pandemic Flu Planning Checklist

Animal Health

  1. Current Avian influenza (H5N1) affected areas
  2. Overview of Avian Influenza Prevention, Preparedness and ResponseExternal Link

Private Sector Preparedness

  1. A guide to business continuity planningExternal Link
  2. Business Continuity Planning and Checklists for the Private Sector
  3. Frequently Asked Questions for Business
  4. Absenteeism (from the Canadian Pandemic Influenza Plan for the Health Sector)(Background, Section 2.4)