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.
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
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
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 hold placards as they take part in a vigil for the victims of an attack on concert-goers at Manchester Arena on 23 May 2017.

Age: 11-19

Type: Lesson plan, Photo

Subjects: PSHE, Tutor time

Help young people talk about the attack on Manchester Arena in May 2017 and explore the roles of practical help and emotional support.

  • Disasters and emergencies
  • Humanitarianism and the Red Cross
  • Newsthink
Children standing in the aftermath of an earthquake

Age: 11-19

Type: Teaching package, images, videos, case studies

Subjects: Geography

Explore how individuals and communities prepare for and respond to life-changing natural disasters and learn how the Red Cross helps communities recover and build resilience.

  • 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
Child drawing

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
A group of young people talking seriously in a classroom.

Age: 11-16

Type: Lesson plan

Subjects: PSHE

Help learners to develop their resilience as they consider how to act in different situations.

  • Disasters and emergencies
Helicopter landing

Age: 7-19

Type: Quick activity

Subjects: PSHE

Teaching ideas which help learners explore the phonetic alphabet, as used by the International Civil Aviation Authority.

  • Disasters and emergencies
Talking with children_web

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