October 2009

Plan, don’t panic

TVA stays ahead of pandemic situation

How big of a threat is the H1N1, or swine flu, virus at this point? Medical officials don’t know for sure. But whatever evolves, TVA has a plan of action in place to protect employees and keep the lights on in the Tennessee Valley.


Scott Tiemeyer demonstrates washing hands with soap and water to prevent the spread of germs.

“TVA has been working on pandemic planning for years in an effort to stay ahead of an ever-changing health threat,” says Scott Tiemeyer, manager of Health Services and Pandemic Team lead. “These plans provide a framework for actions TVA may take in response. Protecting the workforce, mitigating disease spread and keeping the lights on in the Valley are the team’s goals.”

Tiemeyer says TVA activated the Pandemic Planning Team following events surrounding the H1N1 virus. The team includes a pandemic coordinator from each strategic business unit. The team is monitoring the situation, providing updates and recommendations to TVA leaders and employees and updating plans as the situation continues to evolve.

“Although the World Health Organization declared H1N1 a pandemic and upgraded its alert to Phase 6, its highest level, TVA remains in Phase 2 of our five-phase plan,” Tiemeyer says.

Phase 6 means WHO believes a global outbreak of the disease is under way and that among other factors, it is spreading human-to-human.

TVA’s Phase 2 recognizes human-to-human transmission. In the event TVA elevates to Phase 3, which calls for social distancing and possible visitor and travel restrictions, strategic business unit action plans will be implemented.

Meanwhile, Tiemeyer encourages employees to practice good hygiene at all times, push family members to do the same and to stay informed. “Visit TVA’s Pandemic Web site on InsideNet,” he says. “There’s information on planning team contacts, frequently asked questions, fact sheets and links to reliable sources for additional information.

“We should all plan and prepare for ourselves, our families and our workplace. It’s really important we all do our part.” n




What can you do?

Practice good health and hygiene.

Everyone, regardless of the current health situation, is encouraged to practice good health and hygiene habits, such as: