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Where to begin?

A Guide to Help Dental Practices Recover from Natural Disasters

“Benco Dental extends sympathy and support to our customers impacted by natural disasters. Offering assistance to the communities and families we serve is our primary concern.


We understand what it takes to rebuild from a catastrophe: in 1972, Hurricane Agnes — at the time, the most costly natural disaster in U.S. history — destroyed the entire downtown of Wilkes-Barre, PA, including Benco’s headquarters. For a small, regional company without insurance, losing everything nearly meant going out of business. It was only through lots of hard work, some luck, the kindness of strangers, and the support of the federal government that we survived and thrived.


When a dental practice or laboratory is the victim of a flood, fire, or similar calamity, our job is to HELP. Job #1 is getting your practice back up and running as soon as possible.

As Chief Customer Advocate, I am the point person for customers who are impacted by natural disasters — and the best part is that I’m the most experienced guy in the dental business at surviving a disaster, because I’ve seen it from the perspective of both victim and advisor.”

Larry Cohen
Chairman and Chief Customer Advocate
Benco Dental

After a disaster, timing is everything.

As soon as you’re able, rely on us to help put the recovery of your business in motion. This outline provides dentists and their teams with guidance, knowledge, and links to advisors at Benco Dental and beyond who can support you in your path of progress.

First Steps: Put Your Recovery in Motion

  1. Contact your insurance company. When material damage to your practice occurs, this step is of primary importance.
  2. Photograph and document all damage. An independent record of what occurred will be invaluable. See below for details as to documenting the cost.
  3. Communicate. Your cell phone number can serve as your business number temporarily. Update your practice website with contact information and/or changes of venue.
  4. Apprise. Anticipate concerns shared by your patients and team members. Update your social media pages to keep them informed.
  5. Reach out to your bank, credit card companies, and other lenders (for equipment or practice financing). Ask about deferring payments, extended grace periods, and waivers of fees.
  6. Investigate options with suppliers. Discuss what you need to re-open, and what you can manage financially, particularly since you will likely have insurance claims pending.
  7. Find your vision. Think about using the rebuilding process to make improvements you’ve been considering.
  8. Utilize government offerings. Considerable resources can be found for small business owners via federal, state, and local governments.

Next up: Documenting the Dollars

Create an internal expense account to record the following items for tax and insurance purposes:

  • Reimbursable employee travel and lodging expenses associated with the event
  • Rental charges for office space, equipment, supplies, generators, and fuel
  • Additional communication costs, including off-site connections, VPN connections, etc.
  • Employee costs in excess of normal hours associated with the event
  • Any other cost incurred to minimize revenue loss or to keep operations functioning

Federal Resources


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