Businesses Not Prepared For Pandemics and Other Disasters, SLU Study Finds

Released: 2/21/2013 10:00 AM EST
Source Newsroom: Saint Louis University Medical Center
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Newswise — ST. LOUIS – A recent study by Saint Louis University researchers found that majority of businesses are not adequately prepared for many types of disasters, especially biological events such as a pandemic.

Findings from this study are particularly timely given that the U.S. is currently in the midst of an influenza outbreak, one of the worst in the decade.

Terri Rebmann, Ph.D., associate professor at SLU College for Public Health and Social Justice was the principal investigator of the study that examined how often U.S. businesses, both healthcare and non-healthcare companies, prepare for disasters and biological events.

Rebmann said businesses need to improve their disaster plans for biological events so that they are able to minimize the impact of disasters and continue daily operations.
“One of the key findings from the study was that about 60 percent businesses reported they have a policy that encourages their ill staff to stay home, but about 40 percent responded that the business has a culture that encourages staff to work when they are sick,” said Rebmann. “There’s a disconnect between written policies versus what the business culture encourages. This can contribute to disease spread in the business setting, especially among healthcare agencies.”

Watch the video to hear more about the findings of the study from Rebmann.


Accredited since 1991, Saint Louis University School of Public Health is the only accredited school of public health in Missouri. It is one of 47 fully accredited public health schools in the U.S. and the only accredited Jesuit or Catholic school in the nation.


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