Store Owner Turning Closed Sign In Shop Doorway

Emergency Preparedness for Your Dental Office

Only 46% of small businesses have a plan that covers business operations in bad weather, according to a survey from Traveler’s Insurance. When severe weather hits, it can be a logistical nightmare for any dentist office.

Know what to do in the advent of inclement weather — and set proper expectations with your staff and patients. Consider the following:


Staff and patient safety is the priority. During bad weather, assess whether your staff can commute to work and if your patients can make it to their appointments. The status of the roads will determine if your business needs to start late, end early or close for the day.


Determine who will be contacting patients to inform them of office closures. Patients should be contacted as soon as you determine closure.


Canceled appointments will need to be rescheduled in a timely manner. This may mean temporarily extending office hours to accommodate canceled appointments. Determine what’s best for your business and your patients.


Dental emergencies don’t take a hiatus during bad weather. If staffing allows, have someone on-call to provide dental advice and emergency resources to inquiring patients.

Pay attention to local weather forecasts and road conditions to be prepared for South Dakota winter weather.