A crash course in changing the world.
There are a wide range of scenarios in which the only resource one can count on having more of during the progress of a pandemic is survivors. In a severe pandemic flu scenario, the survivors must be rapidly promoted into the front line of response in all areas, from critical infrastructure and vaccine research through to peacekeeping and quarantine duties. However, chains of command of whatever kind that are not exclusively staffed with survivors are extremely vulnerable, and the cross-jurisdictional, do-the-right-thing nature of extreme crisis is poorly suited to most conventional command-and-control institutions. The Survivor Reserve must be an institution designed to work in tight international cooperation at all times and, given the global nature of the threat, with decentralized command and control functions, probably localized at the population-center / city level. Laying the template for this organization early is essential, including design of training materials in many world languages, and provisioning of necessary infrastructures ahead of the actual staffing up of the Survivor Reserve.
I helped to set up a web-site whereby flu survivors could register, identifying their location and what skills they had to offer. This site allowed authorities and aid organizations to allocate these individuals to key roles that had been or could have been affected by a loss of manpower due to die-off or quarantine during the outbreak. These people continued to operate vital infrastructure since they were no longer at risk of infection.
This site had been set up months prior to the pandemic, when the spread was viewed as a potential risk, and kept in reserve until things got worse. All it took then was publicity to encourage survivors to come forward and make themselves known.
Although the effects of the pandemic were and still are keenly felt, the Survivors Network played a major role in preventing a bad situation from getting much worse.