Emergencies are unexpected, unpredictable and can take many forms. Emergencies can vary in severity and whether they directly or indirectly impact students and their schools. Emergencies can happen before, during or after school and either on or off campus. There are many examples of emergencies which are a serious concern for a school. Here are some examples of community emergencies which can have a major impact on our school: Natural disasters, such as earthquakes, fires, floods and severe thunderstorms can strike a community with little or no advanced warning. Other emergencies, such as a chemical or hazardous material release in an adjoining community, may pose a threat to our school and may continue to escalate over the course of several hours or days. Medical emergencies involving students or school staff can have a tremendous impact on the entire school community. Catastrophic events including acts of terror or war, bomb threats and school shootings are extremely traumatic events for all children. The impact of media reporting for these catastrophic events on children’s understanding is profound. As communities across our country work to increase safety and security, we need to remember the needs of children to feel safe, secure and protected by their families, school staff and other adults in their lives.
Emergency response plans need to address a range of events and hazards created by nature and/or people. Each of us who works at Newbury Elementary School and in the Town of Newbury Police, Fire and Emergency Management Departments needs to prepare for the possibility of an emergency well in advance of an actual emergency.