An influenza pandemic has a greater potential to cause rapid increases in death and illness than virtually any other natural health threat. Planning and preparedness before the next pandemic strikes—the inter-pandemic period—is critical for an effective response. This Plan describes a coordinated Departmental strategy to prepare for and respond to an influenza pandemic.
The Office of Law Enforcement, Security, and Emergency Management (OLESEM) is responsible for preparing the Department of the Interior (DOI) Pandemic Influenza Plan; however, all of DOI's Bureaus as well as specific Offices within the Office of the Secretary have specific roles in the development and execution of the plan.
The purpose of the DOI Pandemic Influenza Plan is to address how the Department will:
While the plan focuses specifically on a pandemic caused by influenza, it is also applicable to pandemics caused by other diseases that have a similar affect on operations. Additionally, the plan integrates planning and preparedness efforts being taken by DOI's Bureaus as well as Offices within the Office of the Secretary.
The DOI Pandemic Influenza Plan has been developed based on the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza and the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza: Implementation Plan, both issued by the White House. The National Strategy outlines responsibilities that individuals, industry, State and local governments, and the Federal Government have for preparing and responding to a pandemic. The Implementation Plan identifies the critical steps that must be taken immediately and over the coming months and years to address the threat of an influenza pandemic. Both documents provide the foundation for DOI's planning effort.
Within DOI, policies that govern the Department's Emergency Management program are found in Departmental Manual (DM) 900. Appendix B lists in table format, the entire set of directives and policy documents to which DOI's pandemic plan responds at both the Federal and Department levels.
The DOI Pandemic Influenza Plan provides guidance and direction for all DOI Bureaus and Offices. For the purpose of this plan, references to Bureaus pandemic influenza plans include pandemic influenza plans of the National Business Center (NBC), the Office of the Solicitor (SOL), and the Office of Inspector General (OIG).
Each Bureau Director has prepared and approved a pandemic influenza plan to ensure the health and safety of employees is protected; Mission Essential Functions are continued; Federal, State and local responses are supported; and communication with stakeholders is sustained during a pandemic. This pandemic influenza plan details Departmental operations during a pandemic and integrates DOI's Bureaus, NBC, SOL, and OIG pandemic influenza plans, which are maintained separately from this Departmental pandemic influenza plan. It also takes into account the concept of operations from DOI's Continuity of Operations (COOP) plan.
Influenza causes seasonal epidemics of disease resulting in an average of 36,000 deaths each year. A pandemic—or global epidemic—occurs when there is a major change in the influenza virus, and as a result most or all of the world's population has never been exposed previously and is vulnerable to the virus. Defining the potential magnitude of a pandemic is difficult because of the unpredictability of the severity of infections and the virulence of the influenza viruses. Appendix C contains further background information.
The Federal Government's and DOI's pandemic planning is based on the following assumptions:
DM 900 delegates the approval authority for emergency plans to the Assistant Secretary – Policy, Management and Budget. The approving signature, the effective date, and the printed name and title of the approving authority appear in the transmittal letter in the front of this plan. The Secretary of the Interior has certified to the Homeland Security Council (HSC) that this plan addresses applicable elements for pandemic planning set forth in the Key Elements of Departmental Pandemic Influenza Operational Plans (i.e., Final Metachecklist).
This plan is updated as needed. Changes to the DOI Pandemic Influenza Plan are issued by the Departmental Emergency Coordinator, and are recorded in the “Record of Changes” at the front of this plan. An annual review of this plan will take place in conjunction with the DOI COOP Plan update. Individual holders of the DOI Pandemic Influenza Plan are responsible for ensuring their copies of the plan remain current.
This plan shall be distributed to all Bureaus and Offices, and receive broad distribution to DOI employees.