The Center for Disease Control responded to the Ebola outbreak in Africa by raising the activation level of its Emergency Operations Center to Level  1, the highest state of alert in the U.S. Although Ebola has been confined to a few nations in Africa, the situation should serve as a reminder to financial advisors of the need for business continuity planning in anticipation of pandemics.

A pandemic is an epidemic occurring over a wide geographic area, potentially impacting millions of people. In June of 2009, the World Health Organization labeled the H1N1 influenza outbreak (“swine flu”) a pandemic by raising it to the highest alert level, Phase 6. Ebola has not yet been raised beyond WHO Phase 3 in any country, due to its geographic confinement.

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