Friday, August 17, 2007

N.Y. Regulator Expects All Insurers at Pandemic Flu Exercise

For several years, I've been receiving a weekly "Continuity e-Guide" from the Disaster Resource Guide. This week's post featured the title above, with an abstract of the article:

Call it a command performance: The New York State Insurance Department is holding a drill in September to evaluate how ready the nation’s financial services are to survive a flu pandemic, and it expects all state insurance companies to take part.

According to an article on the Insurance Journal website, the test has a bigger scope than any done so far in the United Sates. “Designed to simulate a global influenza outbreak, the exercise is being sponsored by the US Department of the Treasury and major financial services trade organizations,” the article says.

The simulation kicks off on September 24 and is expected to last three weeks. Participants will take part at their own locations by accessing a secure website to respond to such scenarios as transportation, communications and telecommunications disruptions.

"By participating, insurance companies will have an opportunity to review, test and update their pandemic plans against realistic scenarios that could cause massive absenteeism," NYSID Deputy Superintendent Louis W. Pietroluongo told the publication.

"Continuity plans typically focus on disruptions, like earthquakes, that are limited in time and place, but a flu pandemic could hit in waves over a protracted period of weeks or months," he added.

To read the full August 9 article from Insurance Journal, click here.

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