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Preparing for an emergency – Stage 2

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Bush fire safety

Introduction

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

Geography

Environment strand

  • ENS2.5 – describes places in the local area and other parts of Australia and explains their significance.

Personal Development, Health and Physical Education

Personal Health strand

  • PHS2.12 – discusses the factors influencing personal health choices.

Safe Living strand

  • SLS2.13 – discusses how safe practices promote personal wellbeing.

English

  • EN2-11D – responds to and composes a range of texts that express viewpoints of the world similar to and different from their own.

Learning outcomes

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

  • Students will identify items that they want to take with them if they have to leave their home due to 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.

Resources

Lesson steps

Students to brainstorm things that they prepare for (such as tests, oral presentations, 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 a box?
  • When would you take a box like this with you? For what reason/s?

Ask students to discuss how the video made them feel. Allow time to share feelings.

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 or you and your family may be in danger from the fire. Ask students if anyone has a bushfire survival plan. Does it include discussion about triggers for when to leave? If not, suggest that they speak to their families about it.

Amy and Trev prepared some boxes of items that were important to them, and they wanted to keep safe in the event of a bushfire. Ask students to think about what they would include in their ‘box’. Record responses on the board. Explain that there are no wrong answers, as what may be important to one person, might not be of equal importance to another.

Students to complete the ‘What Should I Pack?’ activity sheet to indicate what items they think are important and not important, and items that they are unsure of.
Once completed, students to share 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?


Briefly explain to students that the items that they are considering in this lesson are those of sentimental value. 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.

  • Using card and tape, students to construct their own box.
  • Discuss what materials an emergency kit should be made out of. Students to design their own ‘fire resistant’ kit.
  • Students to record what important items members of their family may choose to place in their box.
  • 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