Being aware of hazards helps us prioritize them and prevent them or limit their effects. Several hazards could impact our program, ranging in risk from possible to extremely unlikely.
severe weather (snow, lightning)
utility disruption (heat, water, power)
Severe weather may be predicted several days in advance in the case of hurricanes and winter storms, or within a few hours or less for tornadoes and other wind, rain, or ice storms. First Circle Administration will monitor the National Weather Service through multiple sources and keep you posted on all severe weather watches, warnings, and travel advisories
A watch designation is used when the risk of a hazardous weather event has increased significantly, but its occurrence, location, and/or timing is still uncertain. It is intended to provide enough lead time for people to act.
A warning is issued when a hazardous weather event is occurring, is imminent, or has a high probability of occurring. It is used for conditions posing a threat to life or property.
An advisory highlights special weather conditions that are less serious than a warning. It is for events that may cause significant inconvenience and require caution to avoid situations that may threaten life and/or property.
Snow and ice storms
Our primary consideration when deciding whether to open is the safety of the children and our staff. We actively monitor weather to make the best decisions, and try to give families and staff advance warning, even if we sometimes need to change that decision at daybreak.
If we decide to close early, open late, or close for the entire day, we’ll update our Facebook page with the information, and notify you via Procare Engage.
If the course and impact of the storm are in question the evening before, we’ll delay our final decision about opening to the morning. If we change our opening hours, we’ll notify you by 6:00 a.m. [Consult the COMPENSATION SECTION for Snow Tier instructions]
For an overnight storm, we may delay opening the next morning, or open for a half-day.
If driving conditions are predicted to be dangerous the entire day, we will close for the day.
If the timing of a storm is later in the day, we open on time and may close early if conditions will be dangerous.
Every thunderstorm produces lightning. On average, lightning kills 300 people and injures 80 people each year in the United States. Lightning is unpredictable; it can strike as far as 10 miles from any rainfall. Other thunderstorm-related dangers are tornadoes, strong winds, hail, wildfire, and flash flooding. If thunderstorms are forecasted, we will limit or cancel outdoor activities.
If you hear thunder while on the playground, immediately take everyone indoors and shelter in place.
If indoors during a thunderstorm, secure outside doors.
Do not use electrical appliances.
Heavy precipitation can cause floods. Floods can build over several days or occur rapidly as flash floods. First Circle schools are not located in a flood zone. Should a flood warning be in effect in the area, we will heed evacuation orders from public safety officials.
Tornadoes are occurring more frequently in Massachusetts. Weather fronts that can produce tornadoes may also generate severe rain, wind, and hail that can cause serious damage.
Tornado watch means that a tornado is likely over a large area. A tornado warning means that a tornado has been sighted or is indicated on weather radar in a specific area.
When conditions outdoors pose an immediate and severe threat to the safety of staff and children, and town emergency personnel notify us to remain in the building, the administrator in charge will order a SHELTER IN PLACE [see Shelter in Place procedures].
Hurricane season lasts from June through November
Hurricanes generate winds from 74 to 160 miles per hour, bring heavy rainfall, and sometimes floods.
Hurricanes typically arrive with plenty of warning, so if danger is anticipated, First Circle would be closed.
These events come with little to no warning and can include things like fire, gas leaks, utility disruption, or other environmental threats. Administration will assess each situation as it arises. We will make every effort to keep the center open, while ensuring compliance with regulations. If the event requires that we close, First Circle will reopen as soon as the situation is resolved.
Utilities may be disrupted during a storm or a more localized incident. We must be able to meet regulations and requirements for water use, heat, and power to remain open in such circumstances.
We are usually prepared to operate without utilities for 2-5 hours. For instance, emergency lighting is inspected several times a year, and we keep extra water on hand for drinking and flushing toilets during an emergency. Our Framingham (FRA) location also has an emergency generator.
Emergency supplies are in Janice’s office (FRA) or on the top shelf in the snack area (Lexington) or the classroom (Stoughton) as well as the office.
Fire is the most common of all business disasters. More than 4,000 Americans die and more than 20,000 are injured by fire each year.
Fires can spread quickly and are dangerous not only because of the flames but also the heat, smoke, and poisonous gases emitted. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire-related deaths.
Cooking is the leading cause of fires in childcare centers, but fire can occur for many reasons, including damage from an earthquake, wind, or water to electrical equipment, etc.
In the event of a fire, follow the evacuation plan posted in each classroom, and evacuate the children to their designated spot as practiced in monthly drills.
If the fire is small and the building has been evacuated, administrators with proper training may use a fire extinguisher to put out the fire. At no time should staff attempt to fight the fire if there is an imminent threat to their safety.
A hazardous materials accident could occur in the form of a natural gas leak, spilling of a solvent, or on a roadway or factory or processor in the immediate area. In these cases, follow these procedures:
Notify an Administrator immediately of any suspected gas leaks or suspicious smells.
The Administrator will notify the gas company and fire department and follow their safety directions.
Be prepared to isolate the immediate area, evacuate, or take other precautions like sealing windows, doorways, shutting off air intake systems to provide protection from airborne hazardous materials.
If there is a temporary threat specific only to the premises, we will follow evacuation procedures, then follow the off-site evacuation procedures.
In the event of a major environmental hazard that necessitates a large evacuation – such as several neighborhoods – the local government agency will determine the mass shelter location. All educators must accompany their assigned children to the shelter and remain with them while the family/guardian/emergency contacts are notified, and arrangements are made for pickup.
<!—The website is up!! -- SlopesideTechnology.com -->