Disaster-Drill Guide

Social Studies

Students will create a disaster-drill guide that will help them know what to do in the event of an emergency at school.

What You Need

What to Do

  1. Brainstorm with students a list of emergencies that could happen as a result of a disaster such as a flood, an earthquake, a tornado, a hurricane, or an explosion. Then discuss what emergency drills are and why they are necessary.
  2. Divide the class into small groups and explain that each group will make a disaster-drill guide that will focus on the emergencies discussed. (Encourage each group to focus on a different disaster.)
  3. Suggest the following ways for students to gather information for the guide:
    • Interview members of the school staff (principal, teachers, secretaries, librarian, custodians, nurse). Find out what role each of them plays in conducting a drill and preparing for a possible disaster. Encourage groups to write interview questions (in advance) that explore the staff members' responsibilities in preparation for and during an emergency drill. Some students may find it easier to tape-record their interviews.
    • Invite a local firefighter and/or a police officer to class to talk about the different kinds of emergency drills that students might need to know about. Again, students should prepare some questions in advance.
    • Read what others have done to prepare for different kinds of disasters. Some good sources are age-appropriate student magazines such as National Geographic World, newspapers, and nonfiction books.
  4. Have students choose a format for the guide. They may wish to create the guide in the form of a large poster or make a booklet complete with pictures and a map that shows escape routes.
  5. Encourage students to make copies of the guide and pass it out to other classes. They may need to explain the guide to younger students. Students may also wish to take home a copy of the guide.

Teaching Options