For SARS press 1, For Bird Flu press 2...

by Bruce Stewart

111-sars_birdflu.gifI'm eager to point people to three new articles we're publishing on ETel today by Brian McConnell on using information technology to help prepare for a possible pandemic. Besides plenty of good general advice for businesses, schools, and organizations on how to think about and prepare for such a crisis, one of the articles provides some very specific and actionable instructions on how an organization can cheaply set up a large-scale teleconferencing system using open source tools (asterisk and gizmo). The ability for companies do affordably do this on their own is relatively new, and I haven't seen any other articles detailing it the way Brian does.

  1. For SARS Press 1, for Bird Flu Press 2...

  2. How to Implement Telecommuting in a Hurry

  3. Building Your Own Teleconference System with Asterisk and Gizmo

Brian has been thinking about these issues for a long time, and it shows. The information he provides here could be critically important if the widely-feared avian flu pandemic ever materializes, but is also very practical for companies wanting to set up these kind of systems regardless of the motivation. We've tried hard not to be too alarmist about the topic, but since all the experts agree it's not "if" but "when" we'll see another flu pandemic, Brian points out its a good idea to do some thinking and planning about this possible scenario now.

The Washington Post published an article just today, Business Plan for a Pandemic?, noting that most firms haven't prepared for the possibility of a global outbreak. Hopefully Brian's articles will help in this regard. I think this is very important information that should get circulated as widely as possible. If you agree please help spread the word about these articles.