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.
Lava covers the road.

Age: 11–19

Type: Lesson plan, Newsthink

Subjects: PSHE, Tutor time

Secondary PSHE activities considering how to prepare for a natural disaster and living with the reality that this could happen.

  • Disasters and emergencies
  • Newsthink
A health worker vaccinates a man against Ebola.

Age: 11-19

Type: Lesson plan, Newsthink

Subjects: PSHE, Tutor time

Discussion activities looking at the Ebola outbreak in DR Congo and the new vaccine.

  • Disasters and emergencies
  • Newsthink
safe learning environment

Age: 5-19

Type: Teacher briefing

Subjects: PSHE, Citizenship

Create a safe and inclusive learning environment that support your pupils to explore sensitive or challenging content in engaging and safe ways.

  • Conflict
  • Disasters and emergencies
  • First aid and the bystander effect
Young people working together at school

Age: 7-14

Type: Quick activity

Subjects: PSHE

A quick and fun PSHE activity to help learners gain awareness of the key aspects of emergencies.

  • Disasters and emergencies
Cape Town Water Shortage

Age: 11-16

Type: Lesson plan, photo

Subjects: Geography, PSHE

Secondary PSHE teaching resource looking at the water shortage in Cape Town and how people cope with and adapt to drought.

  • Disasters and emergencies
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
The alert sent in error

Age: 11-16

Type: Quick activity

Subjects: Citizenship, PSHE

Discuss how people reacted following incorrect news of a ballistic missile attack.

  • 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
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