As a Public Service, One New Jersey Veterinarian Shares With The Rest of The Country How They Prepare for Severe Weather Events
MORRIS PLAINS, N.J., Feb. 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- When severe weather, such as a hurricane or snowstorm, is heading your way, you can be sure your veterinary clinic's phones will be ringing non-stop as your customers seek advice or make boarding arrangements. Planning for such events shouldn't be treated as an afterthought, because many preparations take significant time and money to put into place.
Our preparations for severe weather encompass our facilities, staff and patients.
Naturally, a clinic housing sick patients (human or animal) must be able to withstand harsh weather and cope with secondary problems, such as loss of electricity. A sudden loss of power could be catastrophic to any animals undergoing surgery or being electronically monitored. A sudden loss of light can also upset some of the animals. For this reason, we have purchased a very large propane-powered generator and installed it on our roof.
Our generator can supply electricity for much of the clinic. In the event of a power outage, we do not have to rely on gasoline powered, portable generators.
We have prioritized the electrician's task list so that, in the event of a power outage, our most critical areas would be covered. These areas include:
- -our well pump, so that we have an uninterrupted supply of water
- -our lab equipment
- -the refrigerators that have many of our drugs and vaccines
- -lighting in critical areas (like surgery)
- -our computer system
- -heating and AC
We also have on hand an adequate supply of emergency lighting, flashlights, batteries, candles, etc.
Another problem people may not think about is snow removal. In fact, during our last big snowstorm our plowing service made five separate appearances in order to keep us open and accessible.
Our clinic employs a veterinary technician who lives on premises so that someone is always on hand no matter what the conditions. Also, each of our staff members is explicitly told "we do not offer snow days." In the rare circumstances that predicted weather will be so severe that travel might be impossible, staff member spend the night at the hospital to be sure care will be available to our patients.
Adequate food, medications, equipment and personnel are always on hand so that even if we have a prolonged weather event, we are well-positioned to provide care to our patients, including more than 40 heated indoor runs.
If you are setting up or evaluating an animal clinic, make sure to ask the tough questions about emergency response as soon as possible, before the weather turns mean.
Be sure to visit our blog for more information on this and other pet care related topics: http://blog.animalclinicofmorrisplains.com
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SOURCE Animal Clinic of Morris Plains