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Preparing for an emergency - Early stage 1 and stage 1

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Bush fire safety


The ‘Preparing for an Emergency’ safety message explores the importance of having a box or bag prepared with items of significant or emotional value in case of a bush fire threat. This pack does not have to contain emergency items, rather things such as photos, baby clothes and anything else of sentimental value to take with you if it is no longer safe to stay in your home.

It should be kept somewhere that is easy to access if you have to leave your home due to a bush fire threat. This lesson is also an excellent opportunity to discuss why it is important to leave early.

It is recommended that you view the background information for teachers before undertaking this lesson and that you complete the ‘Emergency Batteries’ lesson after this one.

Links to NSW Curriculum


Environment strand

  • ENES1 – Gathers information about the natural and built environments and communicates some of the ways in which they interact with, and can care for, these environments.
  • ENS1.5 – Compares and contrasts natural and built features in their local area and the ways in which people interact with these features.
  • ENS1.6 – Demonstrates an understanding of the relationship between environments and people

Personal Development, Health and Physical Education

Personal Health strand

  • PHS1.12 – Recognises that positive health choices can promote wellbeing.

Safe Living strand

  • SLES1.13 – Demonstrates an emerging awareness of the concepts of safe and unsafe living.
  • SLS1.13 – Recognises that their safety depends on the environment and the behavior of themselves and others.


  • ENe-11D – responds to and composes simple text about familiar aspects of the world and their own experiences.
  • EN1-11D - responds to and composes simple text about familiar aspects of the world and their own experiences

Learning outcomes

Participating in this lesson will help students to achieve the following learning outcomes:

  • Students will identify important items to take with them in case of a bushfire emergency.
  • Students will learn the importance of being prepared in a bushfire emergency.
  • Students will discuss why it is important to leave early.


Lesson steps

Students to brainstorm things they need to prepare for (such as morning talks, sports games, coming to school, etc). Ask students why preparing for these things is important. Emphasise that being organised and knowing what to do is essential for everyday tasks as well as in emergencies.

As a class, watch the ‘Preparing for an Emergency’ video. Discuss:

  • What did Trev call his box?
  • What did Trev pack in his box?
  • Why did the children have their ‘important stuff’ packed away?

In the video, Trev and Amy were getting prepared to leave ‘just in case’. What do students think they meant by this? Explain to students that there are times during emergencies (such as bushfires) that people must leave their homes. Leaving as early as possible is very important, as if you wait too long your escape route may be compromised by smoke, fire or strong winds.

Ask students if anyone has a bushfire survival plan. Does it include discussion or triggers around when to leave? If not, suggest that they speak to their families about it.

Explain to students that one of the tasks they can do to prepare for an emergency is to pack their special items so they can take them with them if they need to leave their house. Ask students to think about what they would include in their ‘pack’. Record responses on the board. Explain that what may be important to one person, may not be of equal importance to another and that is fine.

Brainstorm types of packs (other than a box) that they could use to put their items into. Responses may include a backpack, a suitcase, or something that is easy to take in a hurry. Explain that the packs need to be easy to store and quick to pick up in an emergency.

Students to complete the ‘My Emergency Pack’ activity sheet to indicate what items they think are important.

Once completed, share responses with the class. Were there items that every student thought were important? Were there items that students couldn’t decide whether or not to include in their pack? You may wish to create a graph to decide which items were most commonly included.

Briefly explain to students that the items that they are considering in this lesson are those of sentimental value or items that they wantto take along. These are different to the items that would be packed in an ‘Emergency Kit’ (which is designed to contain essentialitems for the days following a bushfire). It is suggested that you follow this lesson with the ‘Emergency Batteries’ lesson as this covers items to be included in an ‘Emergency Kit’.

Further activities

Here are some suggested extra activities to extend the students’ learning.

  • In addition to completing the activity sheet in this lesson, students could create a list of items (which may include more than they had room for on the sheet), that can be added to or subtracted from as they please.
  • Discuss what materials an emergency pack should be made out of.
  • Students to record what important items members of their family may need in their box. Discuss why these may be different to their own.
  • Invite someone from your local bushfire service to speak to the class about ways to prepare for bushfire season.

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Australiasian Fire and Emergency Services Council