Today's Veterinary Business

JUN 2018

Today’s Veterinary Business provides information and resources designed to help veterinarians and office management improve the financial performance of their practices, allowing them to increase the level of patient care and client service.

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24 Today's Veterinary Business Business Business PROTECT & DEFEND Protect & Defend columnist Dr. Ed Branam is veterinary and animal services program manager for Safehold Special Risk Inc., a division of USI Insurance. He serves on the American Veterinary Medical Association's Legislative Advisory Committee. prevent a fire's spread might be of little benefit to a trapped animal. Earthquake If you are indoors: • Drop to the floor, take cover under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture, and hold on until the shaking stops. If you are in an open room, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in a corner. • Stay away from glass, win- dows, walls and anything that could fall, such as a lighting fixture or bookcase. • Use a doorway for shelter only if it is near you and if you know it is strongly supported and load-bearing. • Stay inside until the shaking stops and you determine that going outside is a safe option. Research has shown that most earthquake injuries occur when people inside a building attempt to move to a different room or try to escape. • Be aware that the electricity might go out or the sprinkler system or fire alarms might activate. • Do not use any elevators. If you are outdoors: • Stay there. • Move away from buildings, streetlights and utility lines. • Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits and alongside exterior walls. Many of the 120 people killed in a 1933 earthquake in Long Beach, California, were struck by falling debris when they ran outside. Ground movement is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. If you are trapped under debris: • Do not light a match. • Do not move about or kick up dust. • Cover your mouth with a handkerchief or clothing. • Tap on a pipe or wall so rescu- ers can locate you. Shout only as a last resort. Shouting can cause you to inhale danger- ous amounts of dust. Tornado Move to an underground shelter, basement or safe room. If none is available, a small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building is the safest alternative spot. Hurricane Beforehand: • Back up computer data. • Fill fuel tanks supplying emer- gency generators. • Raise critical medical and computer equipment off the floor. • Remove loose items from the roof and secure equip- ment doors and covers. Make repairs to coverings and flashing as time allows. • Confirm that roof drains, storm drains and catch basins are clear of trash and other obstructions. • Confirm that sump or dewatering pumps are operable. • Remove loose outdoor equipment. • Turn off the water supply and non-essential electrical systems. The Aftermath The management team should: • Provide first aid when appro- priate. • Do not move seriously injured people unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Call for help. • Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear hissing, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside valve if you can and call the gas company. • Look for electrical system damage. If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. Do not step in water to get to the shutoffs. • Check for damage to sewage lines and water lines. If you suspect a sewage break, don't use the toilet and call a plumber. If a water pipe is damaged, stop the flow until repairs can be made. Other staff members should: • Open cabinets cautiously. Beware of objects that can fall off shelves. • Stay away from damaged areas. • Clean up spilled medicines, bleaches and flammable liquids if you can do so safely. Leave the area if you smell natural gas or fumes from other chemicals. The overriding lesson: Be proactive. Immediately before or after an emergency is not the time to develop and implement an emergency action plan for your business.

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