September is National Preparedness Month: Has Your Practice ‘Preparedness Kit’ Been Updated?

Parleys Canyon Fire, UT

Last month we were evacuated from our home, in Park City, UT, due to the Parleys Canyon Fire raging toward our mountain homes.  The smoke plume expanded quickly, directly behind our neighborhood.

In 2021, Utah has experienced one of the worst droughts in history.

The fire started at 1:30 PM on a Saturday. By 2:30 PM we were receiving possible evacuation text and email notices. At 4:30 PM we were told to evacuate, quickly!

We called friends that lived out of harm’s way to seek refuge, which they did with open arms. 

As we packed the essentials: cloths, computers, work files, passports, bikes, ski / snowboard equipment, and a few cherished photos, we planned the logistics of moving 3 vehicles. One being a 1967 Camaro fondly named “the mistress”.  Within an hour, we left our home, not knowing what we would return to.  Hoping for the best possible outcome.

As we exited the neighborhood, we laughed at the number of cars we saw with bikes and skis included in their evacuation essentials…living up to the true Park City life reputation!

The first responders had amazing systems in place and they were executed flawlessly.  The symbols in the upper right photo are indicating no occupancy on first and second knock on our front door. 

As we drove around the neighborhood the following week we could see varying hieroglyphics on driveways indicating the occupancy status. 

Mother nature came through with a horrific thunderstorm that swept through the area after 3 days of battling the fire with 0% containment. Within 24 hours the fire was 40%, then 80% contained. The bonus was the double rainbow, ending in our neighborhood.

We feel very fortunate and are so grateful and appreciative of the heroic efforts of our community responders and neighbors.

September is National Preparedness Month and the 2021 theme is “Prepare to Protect.”

COVID-19 has had a similar crisis pattern on dentistry.

Practices were forced evacuate. Upon re-opening, we needed to evaluate and restructure our recovery plan in order to protect our practice and team.

When we experience traumatic events personally, it forces us to evaluate our reactions, protocols, communications, and systems.

This sparked my curiosity and I wanted to explore the steps you may have taken since your evacuation to structure your practice differently?

TEN ideas to pack into your Preparedness Kit as a future safety net for your practice.

  1. Have you upgraded your technology and trained all team members in more efficient / effective communication strategies?
  2. Do you use text messaging to engage with your patients and team members more frequently?
  3. If you lost team players, what are you doing differently to attract and retain new team members?
  4. Has your team revisited your annual goals and made adjustments?
  5. How are you expressing appreciation to your current team members?
  6. What did you execute really well during your shut down?
  7. What could you have done better?
  8. Are you working to create an emotionally safe environment?
  9. What have you done to attract and retain new and loyal patients?
  10. How do you and your team step away from dentistry and have a little FUN?

Preparation and planning are the pathways to practice success.

Leave a Reply