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Are you prepared for a natural disaster?

Rod Stull

By: Rod Stull September 28 2017

Tags: Logistics for Clinical Trials

Natural Disaster

Having the right people and plans in place make for a smooth recovery

Natural disasters can strike when you least expect them. From hurricanes and tropical storms, to tornados, blizzards, and tsunamis, these unplanned events can have a profound impact on a business, especially those who may be ill-prepared to deal with the aftermath. Fortunately, the experts at Fisher Clinical Services were equipped to quickly respond to a similar unexpected event.

On Saturday, July 1st, severe weather rolled through Lehigh Valley, PA bringing more than 1.5” of rain and severe wind through the area. This lead to damaged homes and aircraft at the local airport as well as thousands of power outages across the valley. Following the storm, this weather-related event compromised the roof structure directly above the site utility room at our Schantz Road facility in Allentown, PA. This resulted in a broken sprinkler pipe, some water migration onto the plant floor, loss of power distribution to the site and an inability to generate steam and chilled water for our HVAC systems.

Immediately following the storm, appropriate personnel were dispatched and our business continuity plan was initiated. After confirming that all of our employees were safe, our clients and their patients became our top priority. While the facility was closed to allow time to assess the extent of the damage, contingency storage and production plans were immediately put into place, minimizing the impact to our client’s business. The contingency team came together to identify critical projects and, by partnering with other sites across our division, we were able to ensure medicines still reached those who needed it. We also realized, while we must work fast, we also must ensure that quality was paramount. Quality team members came together, including those from other division locations, to make sure quality standards were met in every step of the process – from site cleaning and rebuilding to product assessment and disposition.

Throughout the recovery process we remained committed to keeping our clients informed with regular communication of all recovery efforts. While the process was challenging, it’s reaffirmed to us the value of our shared purpose of delivering medicine to patients. Thanks to relentless, around-the-clock efforts by the Allentown team and global support of our Thermo Fisher Scientific colleagues, our facility is now fully operational with the resumption of primary packaging operations as of Wednesday, September 13, 2017!

While a severe weather event is unfortunate and unpredictable, we had the right people and plans in place to address the situation. We are grateful for the internal team for being there for us through this challenging period and for their resolve to get us back to serving our clients and their patients. We are also thankful for our clients for their steadfast support and loyalty to our partnerships.

Rod Stull