Monday, September 14, 2009

CIDRAP Summit represents last chance to get H1N1-ready

Computerworld Blogs
September 10, 2009 - 9:35 A.M.

Contrary to what you might think from the press, I do not believe the second wave of swine flu/H1N1(2009) is here yet. Sure, we are seeing another spike in cases, and new deaths, but it is too early to tell if this is the end of the first wave or the beginning of the second wave.

One thing is for sure: A second wave is coming, and it threatens to wash over the United States like a tsunami. It will make the spring and summer look mild in comparison. It does not have to mutate to do this; all it has to do is do its stuff.

And still, businesses, corporations and governments are not fully prepared to deal with the multitude of issues that this pandemic will present. You can never be too well-briefed, or over-briefed on this emerging phenomenon, and opportunities are very rare to attend conferences aimed at getting business, industry and government ready.

So the upcoming CIDRAP Summit is fortuitously-timed. CIDRAP stands for the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. Its director is the world-famous Dr. Michael Osterholm. Dr. Osterholm advises everyone from the White House to Oprah on infectious disease, and Dr. Mike is also an expert on bioterrorism.

The upcoming summit is titled "Keeping the World Working During the H1N1 Pandemic -- protecting employee health, critical operations and customer relations." Its focus is on those final steps that corporations, businesses and governments need to take to ensure they do not implode when the second and third waves of H1N1 traverse the globe.

The Summit is September 22 and 23, 2009, in Minneapolis.

I need to disclose that I am both a friend of Dr. Osterholm and a presenter at the Summit. I am presenting (twice) on the topic of final IT preps for the pandemic. As you know, I have been pounding this message of IT pandemic preparation since 2006, on my own site, I have been preaching on this since 2008 here at Computerworld. I have been doing this because I do not wish to see any IT failures associated with this pandemic. I also have a rather uncanny ability to predict what future events will be causing IT professionals grief, which I hope to somehow parlay into picking six winning numbers someday.

But I digress. Please go up onto the Summit's Website and try to attend this event. Or try and send people to this conference. Think "Last Chance for Gas" just before you drive through the desert.

This conference truly is the Last Chance for Preps before Wave 2 hits.

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