Disasters and emergencies

Consider the impact of disasters and emergencies and help young people prepare for and cope with a crisis.

Explore the topic of disasters and emergencies with our free lesson plans and teaching materials, which are ideal for Citizenship, PSHE and Geography teachers.

Get primary and secondary teaching ideas about:


  • natural disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes and typhoons
  • emergencies such as terrorist attacks or transport accidents
  • extreme weather like droughts or flooding.
Group of young teenagers holding a discussion in a circle.

Age: 11-19

Type: Lesson plan

Subjects: Citizenship, PSHE

Support young people to discuss and explore their emotions following news of a major emergency.

  • Disasters and emergencies
People in Haiti use a handmade ladder after a bridge has been destroyed by Hurricane Matthew.

Age: 11-19

Type: Lesson plan, photos

Subjects: Geography, PSHE

Explore the impact of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti one year on, and the importance of building resilience.

  • Disasters and emergencies
Family members inspect their home covered in mud following the mudslides in Montecito.

Age: 11-16

Type: Lesson plan

Subjects: PSHE

Discuss the mudslides in California and consider how you could help support someone who has been through a devastating event.

  • Disasters and emergencies
Schoolchildren during an earthquake drill.

Age: 5-11

Type: Lesson plan

Subjects: PSHE, Geography

Introduce young learners to the concept of emergencies and being prepared.

  • Disasters and emergencies
A boy holding an aid parcel.

Age: 7-19

Type: Teacher briefing

Subjects: Cross-curricular

A handy glossary of some of the words that commonly appear in our online teaching resources.

  • Conflict
  • Disasters and emergencies
  • First aid and the bystander effect
A traffic jam in the snow.

Age: 11-19

Type: Lesson plan

Subjects: PSHE

Consider how to be prepared for a journey disrupted by winter weather.

  • Disasters and emergencies
  • Newsthink
Teaching Resources - Photo quiz 2017

Age: 11-19

Type: Lesson plan, photos, quiz

Subjects: PSHE, Citizenship

Look back over the news events of 2017 with this topical photo quiz.

  • Refugees and migration
  • Disasters and emergencies
  • Conflict
Talking with children about a major emergency

Age: 5-11

Type: Lesson plan

Subjects: PSHE

A guide for primary teachers about how to support and talk to children about distressing events they hear about in the news.

  • Disasters and emergencies
Teaching-Resources-Pillowcase-Project

Age: 7-11

Type: Teaching package, images, videos

Subjects: Geography, PSHE

Help children understand, cope with and respond to weather-related emergencies that could take place in their community.

  • Disasters and emergencies
Disasters Emergency Committee

Age: 11-19

Type: Teacher briefing, quick activity

Subjects: Citizenship, PSHE

Learn about what the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) is and how it helps in times of crisis.

  • Disasters and emergencies