This Coffee Break Bulletin highlights Ready.gov’s Youth Emergency Preparedness Curriculum, an educational program for teaching children how to prepare for disasters and emergencies.
Emergencies and disasters can happen at any time and often without any warning. Children make up about 25 percent of our population so disaster planning, response and recovery efforts must take into account their unique needs.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers the free Youth Emergency Preparedness Curriculum to help educators teach kids what to do before, during and after an emergency. Created for grades one through 12, it incorporates age-appropriate problem-solving, teamwork, creativity, leadership and communication skills. Fire safety educators may also find some ideas to enhance their safety lessons on disaster planning, response and recovery.
Each age-specific section is divided into three lessons of inquiry-driven, project-based, and learning activities aligned to core subject standards. Students can check their emergency know-how with knowledge tests throughout the lessons.
Grades one and two
Students learn about emergencies and how to prepare for them. From fire safety to natural disasters, they will exercise their investigative, creative and communication skills, working both individually and in teams.
The Youth Emergency Preparedness Curriculum includes a lesson to show first and second graders how to make a home fire escape plan.
Grades three through five
Students work individually and in teams to research emergencies that can impact their local community and the nation. They will apply creativity and literacy skills to demonstrate their understanding of emergency preparedness.
Grades six through eight
Students develop a graphic novel to show their understanding of emergency preparedness. They’ll gain knowledge through research, games, simulations, discussions, debates and other inquiry-driven activities.
Grades nine through 12
Students engage in discussions, multimedia research, surveys and interviews to develop their own communication campaigns aimed at raising awareness and motivating others to be prepared for emergencies.
Action step for teaching kids about emergency preparedness
Students are motivated to learn and understand more when they can connect a topic to their lives. We encourage you to let teachers know this curriculum is available at Ready.gov/kids and to use some of the activities yourself to promote disaster preparedness.