DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) - With the potential for widespread absences from the H1N1 flu virus employers are preparing for the possibility of losing a large portion of their workforce.
The city of Dothan is working on a plan to make sure city services don't come to halt.
"We've started to work down into the departments," said Dothan City Manager Mike West during the city commission meeting.
City officials are developing a continuity of operations plan, or a COOP plan.
"We're putting together a plan to build depth throughout every department of the city so that if we have key players get ill we can maintain operations," explains Dothan Fire Chief Larry Williams.
Recent reports say 40% of the workforce could affect by the flu. City leaders say it's unlikely for that many absences to happen all at one time, but having a well developed plan would prevent major interruptions in city services.
"This is a big concern for us but we're not in a panic mode by any mean, we're trying to be proactive develop a contingency plan that'll assist us in maintaining adequate services," adds Chief Williams.
Leaders are also stressing the importance of prevention techniques, like hand washing and hygiene etiquette.
The Alabama Department of Public Health has a list of good tips to help protect against spreading the flu at their website, www.adph.org