Red Cross: Tools to help Aussie kids prepare for & 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.

‘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,’ John Richardson, Australian Red Cross’ Emergency Services National Preparedness Coordinator, said. ‘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.’

Red Cross has developed a series of free lessons plans for teachers to help them give their students the emotional and practical skills to support them to prepare for, respond to and recover from a disaster. The lesson plans can be downloaded from our website – www.redcross.org.au/schools.aspx

‘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,’ says Mr Richardson.

‘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.’

Red Cross’ interactive lesson plans – which include videos, picture cards and worksheets – are designed to help teachers of students from preschool to year 12. For more information on the lesson plans visit www.redcross.org.au/schools.aspx or email rediplan@redcross.org.au.

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

To support Red Cross’ ongoing disaster relief and recovery work with communities, visit www.redcross.org.au.

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Ryan Fritz

Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities with another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years of experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities.

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