Area business leaders will be briefed on pandemic preparedness strategies at a pair of community meetings Thursday in Early.

Robert Warren, a full-time volunteer for the Brown County Chapter of the American Red Cross, said the sessions will explain the facts about a pandemic, which most likely would be Avian flu.

“This meeting is primarily for businesses, and we will discuss planning for Avian flu in particular,” Warren said Tuesday. “But it’s a plan that could be easily modified for any health problem.”

The two programs, scheduled for 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., will be held at the Small Business Incubator Facility, 104 E. Industrial Dr., in Early. The Early Chamber of Commerce will host the meetings, according to Wanda Furgason, community development coordinator. Those planning to attend are asked to call 649-9300.

The instruction will feature information on how to plan ahead and create a response list for the outbreak of a disease that can make large numbers of employees sick. Employers will be briefed on how to educate their workers on ways to avoid becoming infected by and limit spreading the disease.

Employers may choose to loosen their family leave policies while limiting travel, encouraging the use of e-mail and hand-washing and exploring the possibility of telecommuting.

Warren said the programs will expand on information presented recently at a breakfast meeting of members of the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce.

All interested business operators and managers are invited.