Surviving the New England ice storm

One veterinary practice is back in business after a three-day power outage.
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Dec 15, 2008
By dvm360.com staff

The team at Merrimac Valley Animal Hospital in Amesbury, Mass., braced for a winter storm Friday. But Christina McMahon, CVT, a technician at the practice, said she and her veterinary team members didn't expect the weather to be as severe as it was.

Merrimac Valley was one of 350,000 Massachusetts electric customers—and one of more than 1.25 million homes and businesses in a seven-state area—that lost power as a result of the weekend ice storm. Without electricity, the paperless practice was forced to cancel it's Friday appointments and close for the day.

Even still, McMahon says the pets and people of Merrimac Valley fared relatively well. "We didn't have any sick animals in the hospital and we don't do boarding, so we got lucky" she said. Despite the loss of electricity, the two clinic cats stayed in the building. "We had somebody checking on them to make sure they were warm," McMahon says.

Power was restored to the practice over the weekend, so it's business as usual today. To make up for lost time, the practice is double-booking appointments. Many of the surrounding towns are still without power, and McMahon says the phones are ringing frequently as a result. She and her team members are also handling a larger-than-normal volume of walk-in clients looking to buy food and medicine.

To learn more about how to prepare for weather-related disasters, click on the related links below.