Shipping Supplies Overseas:
In response to the current outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China, and its spread globally, we are seeing and hearing accounts of many of our AMBC Members offering programs and subsidies for their clients to ship masks, gloves, and other medical supplies to their affected friends and families. We love this!
Please keep in mind, when shipping medical supplies to areas affected by this outbreak, that service may be disrupted and supplies may experience slight or significant delays as a result of local, regional, or national travel bans, quarantines, shut downs, and/or blockades. DHL has advised a number of areas of China which have extended lunar new year closures in response to the outbreak, and we expect more closures to continue.
Many AMBC Members have so far seen success in supply delivery. The masks they’ve sent have helped those who can’t otherwise get them due to a severe shortage in affected areas. We encourage those who are shipping medical supplies to call your preferred carrier ahead of shipment to make sure they’re servicing the area you hope to ship to, and that the commodities you’re sending won’t likely cause an issue in customs screening. Do whatever you can to help your clients, but also caution and advise them that delays could very well be possible.
Here’s an example of a program / client communication that may be helpful as a model for your own stores: https://unclemartysoffice.com/2020/01/27/subsidizing-shipments-of-medical-supplies-to-china/
Keeping Your Team Safe:
As more cases are being reported in the United States, we want to share a few ideas to help keep your team protected. These are just our lay suggestions as non-medical business owners like you, similar to practices you may already use during flu season:
- Wash your hands often. Studies consistently show this is one of the simplest, yet best forms of defense.
- Wipe door handles with disinfectant often. Don’t forget the bathroom door, cabinet pulls, drawer pulls, and especially the front door–both sides.
- Wipe keyboards, mice, phones, tape guns, tape measures, printer buttons, pay station key pads, and other oft-touched things with disinfectant often.
- Replace pens that both clients and you use often. We suggest keeping a bag of clean, disinfected pens, and also a bag of used pens that can be disinfected later for reuse.
- Keep an emergency kit with masks and gloves on hand, just in case.
- Closely monitor and comply fully with whatever your local authorities advise.
We want you to be wisely cautious, not alarmists or given to panic. Stay informed so you can educate your team and your clients. We suggest listening to the special edition episode on the novel coronavirus on Science Vs., as it gives a good overview of what we know so far, acknowledging that this is all still very new and information and statistics are updating daily. That episode is available here: https://gimletmedia.com/shows/science-vs/5whmvld/coronavirus-outbreak-how-scared-should
As always, the AMBC team is here for you. Ship safe … and stay safe.