How to prepare students for an emergency or natural disaster
In the past we’ve written blogs and research papers about the many things schools must consider when it comes to preparing for an emergency or natural disaster. One stone left unturned (at least in great detail) is the necessity to continually prepare students for what they need to know and do in an emergency. This goes beyond crouching under desks or calmly filing out of a building. Students, particularly young ones, can benefit from understanding why they’re expected to behave in a certain way, instead of just blindly following an adult’s lead. I’m not suggesting providing them with gorey, unnecessary details, but some education on the subject can be helpful to everyone involved. So, without further ado, I present to you several resources you can use to prepare students for an emergency or natural disaster.
1. Preparedness 101: Zombie Pandemic (CDC)
You’ll get students’ attention right off the bat with a zombie pandemic – it’s an entertaining way to use a popular, hypothetical situation to educate students for a real-life event.
2. Youth Emergency Preparedness Curriculum – Ready Kids (FEMA)
Four different options for different grade levels allow you to tailor your emergency preparedness education efforts.
3. RiskRed.org activities for K-6
Admittedly, the packaging on this one isn’t as exciting as the previous options, but there are activities for grades K-6, as well as additional resources for schools and teachers.
4. Ready in 3 – Youth activities
Elementary, middle, and high school activities, broken out to fit students of every age.
5. Get Ready! A disaster preparedness activity book
Geared towards a younger audience, this book is filled with coloring, word finds, crossword puzzles, scavanger hunts, and more, all about disaster preparedness.
6. Get Set: An emergency preparedness project kit for high school students from APHA
Younger kids need not have all the fun. With this kit the older students can take part in activities that are more suited for their maturing learning tastes.
This is not an exhaustive list of resources, and a simple Google search is likely to return a plethora of additional materials you may find useful. But, these resources will get you started and help you think about the various ways students can be involved in emergency and disaster preparedness. Do you have other resources or methods at your school to educate students? Let us know in the comments section below.
For schools, the preparedness to do list can seem never-ending. One tool that can make responding to student emergencies easier is the Magnus Mobile app. Check out how one athletic trainer used Mobile to respond to five student health emergencies and hospitalizations in a single school year.