In the Southeast United States, preparing for a hurricane is as common and necessary as stocking up on sunscreen in the summer. Although lead times for getting enough water and batteries may always seem short, it’s important to plan ahead as much as possible, especially when a storm arrives during your fertility care. We pride ourselves on putting our patients first no matter the weather – and we’d like to share some FAQs to ease your mind.
Will Brown Fertility practices close due to inclement weather?
The short answer – no. In most situations, the majority of our locations are able to remain open for several reasons. Firstly, we are independently operated so we are able to stay open when other hospital-owned fertility centers might close.
Secondly, our facilities are designed to withstand hurricane-force winds and weather. Back-up power generators are also tested regularly throughout the year. Additionally, all staff and providers work together to ensure Brown Fertility facilities are staffed safely with the necessary personnel to ensure patients are cared for and all equipment is functioning properly.
How do you keep eggs, embryos and sperm safe and preserved during hurricanes and other severe weather events?
Brown Fertility closely monitors our laboratories every minute of every day – literally – and hurricane season is no different. Preservation tanks are digitally monitored for temperature control and checked manually around the clock by our laboratory team.
Brown Fertility centers are also stocked with an abundance of liquid nitrogen, which is used to keep the preservation containers at the appropriate temperature, at all times. Given how eggs, embryos and sperm are monitored day to day, patients can feel assured we are committed to providing the highest levels of safety in laboratory procedures.
If a patient must evacuate and will be gone during their scheduled procedure, what should they do?
As mentioned previously, we are fortunate to be independent providers so that we can keep our facilities open in most scenarios. If a procedure needs to be postponed, eggs, embryos and sperm will be safely preserved via cryofreezing until the patient is able to complete their procedure. If a patient knows they will be evacuating ahead of their procedure or if they need to evacuate quickly, they can call us at (877) 260-0352 to let us know so that we can work together to plan accordingly.
For those who may be displaced or their fertility center closes, we are also here to help you. We understand that working with a new care team may not be ideal, but Brown Fertility guarantees that the standard of care and compassion is consistent throughout all of our practices.
Ultimately, Brown Fertility is here to help each patient through their fertility journey, no matter what storm approaches. Every staff member, clinician and facility is ready and equipped to accommodate patients’ needs so that they can focus on staying safe. We encourage our patients to stay connected with us on socials as we continuously provide real-time office updates.
Additionally, we understand the mental toll and added stress that can be caused by preparing for severe weather. If a patient is experiencing enhanced symptoms of stress, anxiety or panic during these times, we strongly encourage you to meet with our mental health counselor, Dr. Thais Varzoni. Call (877) 260-0352 to make an appointment.