Hurricane season begins June 1st for the Atlantic region and May 15th for the Eastern Pacific region. Many local and state government agencies have already begun their programs to educate the public about hurricane preparedness and evacuation. Teachers can assist in this procedure by educating students about hurricanes – how hurricanes form, the damage they are capable of producing, how to prepare for a hurricane and when to evacuate. Teachers can also combine hurricane preparedness lessons with National Preparedness Month, which is September (when many schools begin for the new school year). There are many online resources for teachers to develop hurricane preparedness lesson plans.
Weather Wiz Kids is an interactive site that has hurricane lesson plans, safety tips, and a hurricane supply checklist. The site provides valuable information for teachers for their hurricane preparedness lesson plans such as evacuation tips and a hurricane tracker. The site also provides facts and figures about hurricanes, explains how hurricanes form and defines the terms associated with hurricanes.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a website dedicated to hurricanes that is just for children. Teachers will find valuable information about the history of hurricanes, why hurricanes are formed and why they cause so much damage. When teachers are putting together their lessons plans for hurricane preparedness, they can include FEMA’s Kids Activity Survival Kit to encourage children to be ready to leave their home in an emergency. In addition, a special section teaches about the necessity of having a Family Disaster Plan in place in case you need to evacuate because of a hurricane.
For older children, middle and high school, the Houston Teachers Institute has a hurricane lesson plans online, which include hurricane preparedness lessons. This is the most extensive and detailed information and lesson plans that I have seen thus far for older students. The information provided includes a detailed and comprehensive discussion of hurricanes and their destructive power. Topics covered in this material include hurricane preparedness, what to expect during the storm and what to expect after the storm.
The U. S. Department of Homeland Security’s website Ready Kids provides a wealth of information for teachers to use in lesson plans for all types of disasters including hurricanes. Games, activities, information about emergency meals, interactive online activities and videos provide an abundant source of materials for teachers to use in the classroom. You can even print the words to Get Prepared! — a children’s National Preparedness Month song to use in the classroom with your hurricane lessons. A link is provided to the Sesame Street site for Let’s Get Ready! Planning Together for Emergency an interactive site with games and activities to teach children how to prepare for emergencies.