Pandemics and Pandemic Planning

Pandemics and Pandemic Planning

A pandemic is a sudden and in most cases severe outbreak of a disease or virus that spreads across regions and around the globe. Pandemic planning is an attempt to prepare and coordinate systems, resources and communications in an effort to ameliorate the impact of the spread of virulent disease. As a form of disaster management, pandemic planning should involve four stages: Prevention, Preparation, Response and Recovery. In any given context, pandemic planning may be undertaken by government, communities and service providers. One of the challenges to effective pandemic planning is the coordination of plans and responses amongst interconnected institutions, such as police, hospitals, health care and other service providers.

Pandemic planning is particularly challenging in the context of homelessness. In the event of a pandemic, it is not clear whether the infrastructures to address homelessness, public health or the health-care system in general will be prepared to adequately respond to the risks faced by those experiencing homelessness. For a number of reasons, people experiencing homelessness may be more vulnerable to the spread of infectious disease. At the same time, the configuration of homelessness services (the fact that people are often required to sleep, eat, rest and hang out in large group settings) may make the containment of infection challenging.

Further Reading