WESTERN SALISBURY COLUMN Hurricane Sandy affects school calendars
Students in the Salisbury Township School District missed four days due to Hurricane Sandy; it also kept most in the township without power. Even the Parkland and Bethlehem offices of The Press newspapers had no electricity.
I am hopeful that by the time everyone is reading this column your power has been restored and there has been no more major after-effects.
Although some are disturbed by their loss of power, I would like to thank PPL and all the men and women who worked hours upon hours diligently restoring electricity to our region.
As a member of Westfield Hospital's emergency preparedness team, I was able to experience an incredible amount of preparation by all medical facilities and the Eastern Pa. Regional Task Force on Emergency Preparedness. Four days before the storm even hit our area, conference calls and plans were created, organized and executed.
Twice a day conference calls for all area hospitals occurred daily. Hospitals are a priority and power is restored to them before households. Lehigh Valley Hospital in Salisbury Township and Allentown never lost power. Westfield Hospital in South Whitehall Township lost power for only 12 hours and of course was on generator. All hospitals worked together to help those in more dire circumstances.
Westfield's doors were open to anyone who needed to charge their phones and computers, use the WIFI, get warm or just enjoy hot coffee. Many staff members remained at work long past their shifts, and not just at Westfield but all the area hospitals.
Many shelters were opened by the American Red Cross, including an animal shelter. Neighbors, friends, family members opened their homes to others.
For three days, my family stayed with a friend in Whitehall. Once my neighborhood had power, we opened our doors to others to live in our home.
Events like Hurricane Sandy are humbling. The way we, as citizens, react to these events says a lot about our character. I am tremendously proud of our township, our region and our state for handling this weather emergency. My heart and prayers go out to all those who were effected in more tragic ways, especially to those who lost their lives.
Remember, as a nation, we will always prevail.
The American Red Cross has once again come to the aide of many. As of Nov. 3, "The Red Cross has provided more than 23,000 overnight shelter stays since Saturday to those communities in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast suffering from widespread power outages, wind damage and significant flooding from Superstorm Sandy."
To donate or to learn more about the American Red Cross' efforts, please go to www.redcross.org.
As always, our churches have come together to help others.
At St. Thomas More Church, in Salisbury Township, Msgr. John P. Murphy announced an opportunity to contribute to a fund that will be used exclusively for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
The first marking period at St. Thomas More School will be extended to Nov. 7. The new marking period will begin Nov. 8. Report cards will still be issued Nov. 12. The school's seventh and eighth grade honors' assembly will be held Nov. 14. According to www.stmschoolpa.com, "After missing five school days, we are looking at our calendar in order to begin making adjustments. It is highly probable that our open holiday of May 24 will be used as a school day. We await word from the Governor, the Diocese and how the winter is prior to making any final decisions."
Salisbury High School premieres their musical, "Little Shop of Horrors" 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9, again 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10 and a final performance 2 p.m. Nov. 11. Good Luck and "break a leg!"
Salisbury Music Association will hold a meeting 7 p.m. Nov. 13 in the Salisbury Middle School library.
Western Salisbury Elementary and Harry S Truman Elementary schools will open their doors for parent visitation day 1:30 to 3 p.m. Nov. 14.
SHS will hold their annual National Honor Society Induction ceremony 7 to 8 p.m. Nov. 15. Congratulations to all our inductees.
WSE will host a PTA meeting 7 p.m. Nov. 15.
The first day of winter athletic practices will be Nov. 16.
SMS will hold parent-teacher conferences Nov. 19 through 21. These days will be 12:15 p.m. early dismissals for both SMS and SHS students.
Schools will be closed for Thanksgiving Nov. 22, 23 and 26.