Marty Jablow, DMD, lost power for four days at his general practice in Woodbridge, NJ, and now has sailboats washed up against his vacation townhouse in Sea Bright.
The front of Dr. Jablow's townhouse in Sea Bright NJ. The parking area is now full of boats. Image courtesy of Marty Jablow, DMD.
Even so, he feels luckier than others in the area, he told DrBicuspid.com. "I just lost power, but we're all safe," he said. "It's an inconvenience more than anything compared to many people who've lost everything."
Dr. Jablow noted that Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright, where another dentist's office had been located, was decimated and now has as much as 10 feet of sand piled up.
"Ocean Avenue is just sand; there's nothing left," he explained, comparing it to the devastation after Hurricane Katrina in 2005
"I'm lucky. My life goes on without a problem, but the people who live next to me live there full time and will have to relocate," he said. "A lot of people will have to relocate, and some might not come back because they'll have to raze lots of buildings and start from scratch."
Josh Poupore, a spokesman for the New York State Dental Association (NYSDA), said he doesn't yet know how many members have sustained damage but estimated that half of the group's members are in areas that were damaged by the storm. He estimated that 6,000 to 7,000 dentists in the Long Island, New York City, and Hudson Valley areas sustained damage.
“A lot of offices were at least flooded or more severely damaged.”
— Josh Poupore, New York State Dental
"A lot of offices were at least flooded or more severely damaged," he told DrBicuspid.com. "We haven't heard about anything catastrophic yet, mostly flooding. Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and the south shore of Long Island areas were hit the worst."
Many dentists in Nassau or Suffolk counties on Long Island are still without electricity, Poupore said.
Dental supplier Acteon in Mt. Laurel, NJ, reopened November 1 following the power outage, but Henry Schein, also located in Mt. Laurel, is still without power.
The NYSDA has posted a resource page on its website with information about ADA disaster assistance grants, Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance, and tips on how to deal with water damage to patient records and if dentists are legally responsible for paying employees if the office is closed.
"The problem is so many in the New York metro area have no electricity so their cellphones and computers are running out of power, and they're trying to get their basements pumped out and getting services back," Poupore explained. "It's going to be an ongoing sustained effort, and we'll continue to do our very best to provide members with the information they need."
As of November 1, the New Jersey Dental Association headquarters in North Brunswick remained closed due to the storm and its aftereffects.
In the meantime, the ADA is advising members to check with their state dental associations regarding disaster recovery. Information is also available at ADA.org/disasterrecovery.aspx or by calling 312-440-2500. Dentists or organizations who lost property in the storm may apply for ADA disaster assistance grants.
In addition, Henry Schein's disaster relief hotline is open for dentists, physicians, and veterinarians who experience operational, logistical, or financial issues as a result of the storm, the company announced. The toll-free number for Schein customers is 800-999-9729 and operates from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET.
"It is of the utmost importance to us to be a valuable business partner to our customers, and we are always ready to stand by them when assistance is needed," said CEO Stanley Bergman in a press release. "We encourage our customers affected by the storm to call our disaster relief hotline if there are issues that we might be able to help address."