Late Friday, President Obama declared the H1N1 flu to be a national emergency. Thereafter, Tim Delaney, President and CEO of the National Council of Nonprofits, announced, "We are drawing attention to our free H1N1 Flu Preparedness Toolkit to encourage nonprofit leaders help prepare their employees, volunteers, and the communities they serve for this rapidly growing public health care challenge."
The toolkit is a one-stop shop for information about the H1N1 flu. It is designed to help busy nonprofit leaders easily identify ways for their nonprofit to help control the flu's spread by getting out information to their employees, clients, and volunteers. The website provides links to the most recent updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccination news and resources, sample communication tools for their employees and volunteers, and practical ideas to help nonprofits protect their operations in the wake of a severe flu outbreak.
"Nonprofit leaders, whether board members or executive directors/CEOs, have a responsibility to prepare the nonprofits they serve because a flu outbreak can threaten the nonprofit's ability to continue its operations and fulfill its mission," said Delaney in the wake of President Obama's declaration that the 2009 H1N1 flu constitutes a national emergency. "While the President's declaration does not signal a need for panic, it does underscore to those who care deeply about their communities that we all have a role to play in stopping the spread of the virus," added Delaney.
Rick Cohen, Director of Administration and Operations at the National Council of Nonprofits, emphasized that, "Nonprofits, like other businesses, rely on employees who may be unable to come to work, or may use up all their sick time taking care of themselves or family members afflicted by the flu. This will create practical challenges for all nonprofits, big and small. Therefore, nonprofits need to be prepared in two ways. First, nonprofits need to plan, such as immediately reviewing their sick leave and family leave policies and taking steps to ensure that business operations can continue in the event that key employees are not able to come to work for a period of days to avoid spreading this virus further. Second, nonprofits need to communicate with their employees to let them know about these policies and plans so they know they can and should stay at home if they are sick."
For more information, visit the flu toolkit at http://www.councilofnonprofits.org/flu.2009.toolkit.
The National Council of Nonprofits links more than 22,000 member nonprofit organizations across the country through state nonprofit associations, helping small and midsize community-based nonprofits manage and lead more effectively, collaborate and exchange innovative solutions, engage in critical policy issues affecting the sector, and achieve greater impact in their communities.