What's the Plan, Stan? has suggestions for teaching and learning programmes for students in years 4–8, focusing on emergency events and the impacts they could have on your community.


Stan with hazard signStudents in years 4–8 explore emergency events in a local context, covering the local and historical impact, the science behind the phenomenon, and preparation strategies and tips. At this level, students will have progressed from the understandings in the years 1–3 resource and will be able to look at emergency preparedness in more depth. 

 While the content of this resource is more advanced, the anxiety that students feel about the subject matter could well be the same. Advice on ways to help students overcome this anxiety can be found in the effective pedagogy section of this resource.

Local and historical impacts of emergency events

Home learning - historic emergency events

Home learning

Students discuss historic emergency events with their families and complete a summary sheet that explores questions like: 

    • What can we learn from these historic emergency events and experiences? 
    • What would we do differently or the same?
    • How could we prepare for it (or another disaster) happening again? 

Explaining emergency events

Emergency events and your local area

Interactive map image.Assign one emergency event (earthquakes, tsunami, volcanic eruptions, landslides, floods and storms) to small groups. Ask the groups to investigate and report on: 

      • What causes the event? (look at the relevant emergency event pages)
      • What features in the landscape or climate of your local area means it could happen? 
      • How could the event affect you and your local environment? (look at the IMPACTS pages)
      • Has it happened before in your area? (look at the interactive map)
      • What were the stories about it?


Groups share the results of their investigation and their ideas on a shared class chart or graphic organiser. List the possible dangers and damage identified, for example, houses coming off their foundations, blocked roads, people trapped in buildings, power lines coming down, or burst water pipes. 


Students can create digital 3D models of what an emergency event might look like in your area. Try using a tool like Mapme or Sketchfab.


Let's get ready - be prepared

Home learning – emergency plan

Home learning.

Students can create a home emergency plan with their families. Students could share their plans of how to deal with all seven impacts with the class. 

Household emergency plan from Getthru provides more information.   



Students can visit EQC Fix. Fasten. Don’t Forget. and list the ways they can quake safe their home. They then talk with their parents about what action they have taken so far, and what further action they can take. The PDF Easy Ways To Quake Safe Your Home  provides more information.