At the elementary level, I do not think kids are really ready to delve into the details of storm history. Instead, we will discuss how to keep history from repeating and the need to be prepared for disasters that could strike our area.
The first thing to do is to learn about the types of disasters that your area is subject to. Obviously, those who live way inland are not likely to experience a hurricane and those who do not live near mountains are not likely to experience volcanic activity or an avelanche. However, basic preparedness is pretty much the same: have your vehicle ready for an evacuation, have money readily available, and have enough food/water/supplies on hand to last several days, both at home and in the vehicle. So how do you turn these into lessons for the kids?
- This is a good time to teach some minor vehicle maintainence to the kids. Show them how to check tire pressure and how to know what the pressure should be (older kids can also learn how to add air). This is also a good time to clean out the vehicle and teach the importance of keeping it clean. Together, brainstorm what sorts of things you should keep in the vehicle at all times and then work on gathering/buying those items and putting them there.
- As for the money aspect, discuss what you may need money for should a disaster occur and how much you may need for each thing (gas, tolls, lodging, etc). Think of a safe place where the money could be stored (banks may be closed and ATMs not working).
- Work on putting together 72 hour kits for each member of the family. Pack them in backpacks that can be easily grabbed in an evacuation. Discuss what you would need in each kit (clothes, food, water, medications,etc) and also in a family kit (birth certificates, tools, first aid supplies, etc). Gather them up and put them in a central location.
For more great lesson plans and games the kids can play check out the FEMA website.