2. Planning Considerations
The Department’s pandemic influenza plan development effort encompassed a number of factors. The most prominent planning considerations are the Federal mandates and guidelines for pandemic influenza, Department-specific guidelines, and other Federal Department’s and Agency’s (D/A’s) pandemic influenza guidance and plans.
2.1 National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza
On November 1, 2005, the Homeland Security Council (HSC) issued the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza. The Strategy requires each Federal D/A develop and exercise preparedness and response plans that take into account the potential impact of a pandemic on the Federal workforce. The Strategy guides Federal Government preparedness and response to an influenza pandemic with the intent of:
- Stopping, slowing or otherwise limiting the spread of a pandemic to the United States
- Limiting the domestic spread of a pandemic, and mitigating disease, suffering and death
- Sustaining infrastructure and mitigating impact to the economy and the functioning of society.
2.2 National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza: Implementation Plan
The Implementation Plan for the National Strategy, released by the HSC on May 3, 2006, translates the Strategy into more than 300 actions for Federal D/A, provides a common frame of reference for understanding the pandemic threat, and summarizes key planning considerations for all partners. Those actions assigned to DOI are listed in Appendix N (DOI National Strategy Task List). The Implementation Plan also provides initial guidance for State, local, and Tribal entities, businesses, schools and universities, communities, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), on the development of their institutional plans, and for individuals and families on ways that they can prepare for a pandemic. Integrated planning across all levels of government and the private sector is essential to ensure response plans are comprehensive and compatible.
2.3 Human Capital Planning for Pandemic Influenza
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) was tasked with developing and updating guidance and to prepare and protect the Federal workforce should a pandemic influenza outbreak occur. To this end, OPM has prepared guidance and information on the programs and flexibilities available to Federal employees and managers to help deal with the effects of a potential pandemic outbreak. OPM’s guidance entitled Human Capital Planning for Pandemic Influenza and updates to the Guides entitled Telework: A Management Priority, A Guide for Managers, Supervisors, and Telework Coordinators , Telework 101 for Managers: Making Telework Work for You , and Telework 101 for Employees: Making Telework Work for You is reflected in DOI’s human capital planning efforts (see Appendix I).
2.4 Continuity of Operations (COOP) Guidance for Pandemic Influenza
On February 13, 2006, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) Office of National Continuity Programs (ONCP) released a memo entitled Interim Pandemic Influenza Guidance to assist Federal Departments and Agencies with incorporating pandemic planning considerations into COOP planning. This was followed by a memorandum from the Director, ONCP, FEMA entitled Continuity of Operations (COOP) Pandemic Influenza Guidance. For each of the 11 elements of a viable COOP capability as identified in National Security Presidential Directive 51/Homeland Security Presidential Directive 20, National Continuity Policy , ONCP recommended enhancements to traditional COOP planning that Federal Departments and Agencies, including DOI, should consider in preparing for a pandemic.
2.5 The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Pandemic Influenza Plan
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Pandemic Influenza Plan provides guidance to Federal, State, and local policy makers and health departments. The HHS Strategic Plan (Part 1 of the HHS Pandemic Influenza Plan) outlines Federal plans and preparation for public health and medical support in the event of a pandemic. It also identifies key roles of HHS including its agencies in a pandemic and provides planning assumptions for Federal, State and local governments and public health operations plans. In this respect, the HHS Pandemic Influenza Plan provides a baseline for DOI’s Pandemic Influenza Plan and presents guidelines for DOI’s planning effort.
2.6 Interim Pre-Pandemic Planning Guidance: Community Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Mitigation in the United States - Early, Targeted, Layered Use of Nonpharmaceutical Interventions
In the Interim Pre-Pandemic Planning Guidance: Community Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Mitigation in the United States - Early, Targeted, Layered Use of Nonpharmaceutical Interventions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides guidance for State, territorial, Tribal, and local communities focusing on early, targeted, layered application of multiple partially effective non-pharmaceutical measures that might be useful during an influenza pandemic to reduce its harm.
This interim guidance also introduces a Pandemic Severity Index to characterize the severity of a pandemic, provides planning recommendations for specific interventions that communities may use for a given level of pandemic severity, and suggests when these measures should be started and how long they should be used. The severity index is designed to enable better prediction of the impact of a pandemic, and to provide local decision-makers with recommendations that are matched to the severity of future influenza pandemics.
The CDC will update this interim guidance document as new information becomes available that better defines the epidemiology of influenza transmission, the effectiveness of control measures, and the social, ethical, economic, and logistical costs of mitigation strategies.
2.7 Interim Public Health Guidance for the Use of Facemasks and Respirators in Non-Occupational Community Settings during an Influenza Pandemic
In the Interim Public Health Guidance for the Use of Facemasks and Respirators in Non-Occupational Community Settings during an Influenza Pandemic, the CDC explains that influenza tends to be most infectious during the early stages of illness, especially just after the onset of coughing and sneezing. As a result, much influenza transmission during a pandemic is likely to occur in non-healthcare settings, such as schools, public gatherings, and households. Guidance for respirators and face masks for DOI employees is provided in Section 5.4.3 and Appendices F and H.
2.8 Interagency Playbook for Domestic Response to a Detection of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 in Birds
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), in coordination with DOI, HHS, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Defense (DoD), Department of State (DOS), Department of Labor (DOL), and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), created the Interagency Playbook for Domestic Detection and Response to a Detection of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 in Birds as summary of the U.S. Government’s interagency response to a domestic outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 in birds. The Interagency Playbook outlines the step-by-step actions initiated by the participating Federal agencies in response to six scenarios that are believed to be plausible events should HPAI H5N1 enter the United States. The document also clarifies the roles and responsibilities of the primary Federal responders and describes interagency surveillance, detection, and laboratory capabilities. The Federal functions described in the Interagency Playbook are closely aligned to the Federal roles and responsibilities outlined in the National Response Plan(NRP).
The Interagency Playbook is designed to be a “living document”, and will be updated periodically to help coordinate the domestic execution of response plans among the different participating Departments and Agencies.