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Avian Flu Pandemic Plan
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Areas of Institutional Response:

•Academic Programs
•Health and Safety
•Student LIfe
•Administrative Services
•Transportation and Controlled Access

Avian Flu Plan: Appendices > Appendix F <- You Are Here

Appendix F: OIT Response Plan [PDF]

Essential services and systems

In the event of a campus shutdown for two to four weeks, the most essential information technology services and systems will need to be maintained remotely and/or with a very limited staff. The OIT Business Continuity Plan has identified those essential services, and the plan includes Avian Flu as a potential threat for purposes of risk assessment and mitigation; emergency operation procedures are being developed that will permit these services to continue.

•E-mail, www.umd.edu, administrative applications, telephony and networking, and the course management system are among the essential services.

•OIT staff with broadband connections at home will be identified to support each of these essential systems.

•A limited number of dial-up modems are maintained as a back-up for OIT staff use. Although not a high speed connection, these can provide a direct connection to the UMD network in the event that commodity internet connections are impaired.

•A remote "hot site" is under development. In the event of a campus closure, essential operations may be established at the remote site.

•Some on-site maintenance may be necessary even during a short closure. Essential staff members who need access to campus facilities will be identified in the essential staff database in PHR.


In any emergency, communications via many channels are essential.


•In addition to central e-mail services, OIT employees have designated personal accounts from other providers (e.g., gmail, yahoo, AOL) to be used as emergency alternatives. Other essential employees should be encouraged to establish similar alternatives.

•Listserv lists will be established for the UMD Incident Response Team, designated essential employees, and other subsets such as OIT essential staff.

Alternate Technologies

•Instant Messaging provides an alternate means for short communications. This may be useful for internal communication among office groups, as well as a way for faculty and students to communicate when class and office meetings are impossible. OIT does not provide this technology. Faculty and staff who wish to use IM will need to establish accounts with providers.

•Blogging provides a simple interface for publishing information to the Web. During the Katrina crisis, Tulane University used blog technology for posting crisis information to the community. OIT has licensed blog software (www.weblog.umd.edu) that could be deployed on the UMD home page or other sites hosted through OIT.

•RSS (�Real Simple Syndication�) is used to send alerts regarding newly published information in a blog or other Web pages. Currently OIT uses RSS on the OIT Help Desk Web site. During a crisis, this would be added to the UMD home page.

•Podcasts provide easy to download audio and video files that can be played on a computer or portable players such as iPods. The OIT Help Desk currently uses podcasts as audio newsletters. The technology could be used by faculty to provide recorded lectures to students. In addition to training and software for audio recording, OIT would provide Web storage within the course management online environment.

•Video-conferencing, including Access Grid, requires substantial infrastructure and support at both the broadcast and the receiving ends. These technologies should be considered in long-term contingency planning, but would need resources beyond current capability in order to be useful on a broad scale.

Faculty/Staff/Student Locator Service

Blog technology might serve as the basis for posting messages in a faculty/staff/student locator service. In addition, mapping technology such as the Google Maps demonstrated by OIT at Maryland Day might be adapted to allow faculty, staff and students to securely post their location and other status information. An enterprise version of Google Maps can be licensed from Google. This would require additional program development and administration.

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