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 Treasury, Private Sector Release Initial Results of Flu Pandemic Exercise Nearly All Participants Find Critical Gaps in Plans


10/24/2007

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Washington - The Treasury Department, the Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council for Critical Infrastructure Protection and Homeland Security, and the Securities Industry and Financial Management Association today released the preliminary results of the industry-wide pandemic flu exercise.  

- The Treasury Department, the Financial Services Sector Coordinating Council for Critical Infrastructure Protection and Homeland Security, and the Securities Industry and Financial Management Association today released the preliminary results of the industry-wide pandemic flu exercise.  

"The strong public-private coordination on this exercise allowed us to reach more institutions than we ever expected," said Valerie Abend, Treasury's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Critical Infrastructure Protection. "And by allowing almost all participants to find critical gaps in their planning, this exercise was an unquestionable success in helping the industry prepare for such a crisis."

 

More than 2,700 organizations registered to participate anonymously in the online financial services industry exercise, which began in September and ran for three weeks. While banks made up the majority of participants, insurance companies, securities firms and exchanges and state and federal regulators also took part in the exercise.

The exercise simulated a pandemic wave with a peak absenteeism rate of 49 percent. The exercise examined a number of issues including human resources, continuity of operations, and dependencies on other sectors such as transportation, energy and telecommunications.

The results released today offer a basic first look at the potential impact of a pandemic flu outbreak. More detailed results on the pandemic's impact and the industry's response will be released in the coming months, as data is analyzed.

President Bush directed Treasury in May 2006 to coordinate with the banking and finance sector to better prepare its response to a pandemic crisis.

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