Hurricane Gustav dissipated barely a week ago, but Gulf coast residents are already preparing for the next round of storms. If your veterinary practice is anywhere near the coast, make sure you're ready to face the storms this busy hurricane season.
Dr. Ernest Ward Jr., a Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member and owner of Seaside Animal Care in Calabash, N.C., recently braced to deal with Hurricane Hannah, and says client reassurance was one of his biggest priorities. "We've had a lot of calls from worried clients," he says. "They want to hear us being calm. You can't undervalue your role as a professional during any type of crisis."
When clients asked for tips on preparing for the storm and how to care for their pets, Ward and his staff did their best to convey pertinent information in a calm manner. They communicated with clients by phone and e-mail, making an effort to keep in close contact with their clients throughout Hannah's duration.
Ward says some coastal residents become accustomed to minor storms and are caught off guard when a big one hits. When that time comes, be sure your practice is prepared. Stock up on supplies, prepare your facility to handle the elements, and teach your staff disaster procedures. For a more detailed plan, click here to download a copy of Seaside Animal Care's inclement weather hospital checklist.