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Teachers given the tools to help kids cope with disaster

As Aussie kids head back to the classroom, Red Cross is urging schools to teach youngsters the skills they need to deal with a disaster.

Thursday January 29, 2015

When we teach kids how to prepare they're better equipped to respond and recover from an emergency.

To help teachers give kids the smarts they need to cope with emergencies, Australian Red Cross has developed a series of free lessons plans that will help students develop the emotional and practical skills to prepare, respond and recover in times of emergency.

The lesson plans have been created for kids from early childhood right up to year 12 and feature informative and engaging age-appropriate activities supported by videos, picture cards and worksheets. All the lesson plans and supporting materials can be downloaded for free from

The plans, endorsed by the Australian Psychological Society and the Australian Child & Adolescent Trauma, Loss and Grief Network, have been developed by teachers, with advice from Red Cross emergency experts and a psychologist experienced in emergency recovery counselling.

"Natural disasters like bushfires, floods, severe storms and cyclones are a fact of life in rural and urban Australia, and can strike at any time," says John Richardson, Australian Red Cross' Emergency Services National Preparedness Coordinator. "Dealing with such a disaster can be terrifying and traumatic, particularly for children who don't always have the experience to know they can recover. This is about helping children work through their fears, and to reduce anxiety by giving them important tools to prepare, respond and recover from disasters.

"When we teach kids how to prepare they're better equipped to respond and recover from an emergency. What's also great is that kids love to share what they learn with their families and friends, and this means these tools and crucial information gets out to the whole community."

For more information on the lesson plans visit or email