Hurricane Preparedness Tips for Dental Offices

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Hurricane season in North America runs from June 1st to November 30th. While known as a concern for the southern Atlantic coast and Gulf areas, 40 of the 50 U.S. states have experienced hurricanes or tropical storms since 1866, according to FEMA. With that in mind, we recommend the following tips and resources to help you and your organization prepare for hurricanes and tropical storms.

Here are some of the key tips to remember:

  • Have an emergency response plan in place that includes options for evacuation, operating offsite, and sheltering in place
  • Establish a plan for communicating with your employees, patients, and other key stakeholders – both from your existing location and from potential offsite locations
    • PATIENT TEMPLATE- “As a precaution, we will be closed on Friday August 24th, 2017 due to the potential dangers associated with Hurricane Harvey. Due to this unforeseen event, we will make every effort to reschedule your appointment once the weather danger has passed. For any dental emergencies please call our doctor at xxx-xxx-xxxx.”
  • Prior to any storm, inspect and take action to fully seal your building envelope (roof, flashing, windows, exterior walls, and doors)
  • Ensure proper water drainage from roofs and ground areas
  • Lift any appliances, electronics, and computer equipment off the floor (in case of flooding) and secure plastic tarps over all computer equipment and other valuables that are susceptible to water damage
  • Roll any rugs and get them off the floor
  • Ensure sump pumps are fully operational and their batteries are charged (if applicable)
  • Secure emergency generators from third party suppliers well ahead of a storm
  • Prior to leaving the building, shut off electrical service to the main breaker, if the electrical system and outlets could be under water. However, if you need electrical service for other emergency purposes, it may be best to leave your electrical service on
  • Remove any debris or items that could become airborne and damage property
  • Secure all windows and exterior doors
  • Practice and drill for weather emergencies
  • Secure tarps and plywood, as well as identify a water remediation vendor ahead of time
  • Following a major storm, quickly assess damage (when safe to do so) and coordinate efforts with your insurance agent or Dentist Secure, our recommended dental insurance advisor.

Flood Insurance, Windstorm Insurance, and Business Interruption coverage provide essential coverage for your practice. Dentist Secure provides dental specific coverage tailored to dental offices.

Resources:

FEMA Hurricane Preparedness: How to Prepare for a Hurricane

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