Master of Disaster - Module 1

Personal preparedness: Know the risks, make a kit

Suggested lesson time: 30 minutes | Practice: 20 minutes


The first module in PreparedBC’s Master of Disaster learning resources is designed to help educators lead students on their own path to personal preparedness by giving them the tools to identify key concepts and activities needed to become prepared.

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, students will be able to…

  • Identify hazards their community faces and link these hazards to their warning signs
  • Define key concepts such as: preparedness, emergency plan and emergency kit
  • Explain what it means to be prepared for an emergency
  • Differentiate between what should and should not be included in an emergency kit and explain why
  • List items that should be included in an emergency kit and explain why


The steps in this portion of the journey include knowing the risks and making a kit. Use the PreparedBC website and the accompanying Master of Disaster key concept sheets to refresh your knowledge of these topics before delivering this lesson. Encourage students to use this website to familiarize themselves with major hazards in British Columbia.

Before teaching this module, be sure to send students home with Letter 1, explaining to parents what you will be discussing in the upcoming days or weeks. 

Master of Disaster learning resources and supporting documents are also available in French

This module aligns with Provincial Curriculum Content and Big Ideas as outlined in the following table:

Subject Area Big Ideas Curriculum Content Competencies
Physical and Health Education We experience many changes in our lives that influence how we see ourselves and others
  • Sources of health information
  • Basic principles for responding to emergencies



Personal Awareness and Responsibility
Science Earth and its climate have changed over geological time (Gr 7)
  • Experience and interpret the local environment
  • Transfer and apply learning to new situations
Social Studies Media sources can both positively and negatively affect our understanding of important events and issues
  • Media technologies and coverage of current events

Suggested instructional approaches

Create a discussion. Start by asking students if they can define the word hazard. Listen to their responses and encourage them to discuss what the word hazard means. Then, ask students to write on the board some possible natural hazards and person-caused hazards. As a group, work with this list to identify what may be the most probable hazards for B.C. as a whole, and then for your region. From here, ask students if they know any warning signs or signals that would tell them that particular hazards are about to occur. As a class, explore the PreparedBC Know the Risks page, discussing the risks most common to your region. Spend time discussing the most common hazards in your region using the PreparedBC hazards map and hand out the appropriate hazard worksheets or put them on a projector and work through them as a class.

Use a similar approach with the concept of becoming prepared. Ask students what they think that means, move onto the subject of having a plan and a kit, and have students list on the board what should be in both a plan and a kit and why. Use the PreparedBC Build an Emergency Kit page to cross-check the class’ list with PreparedBC’s suggested list.

Research, then discuss. Tell students that you will be discussing natural hazards, person-caused hazards and preparedness today and give them 15 to 20 minutes with a partner to do some preliminary research on the topic (using PreparedBC and other websites). After their research session, have them work with their partner to write down lists of natural hazards, person-caused hazards, emergency kit essentials and emergency plan components. Give them the hazard worksheets that are specific to your region and have them do independent research to fill them out. Share with the larger group and discuss where gaps may exist.

Lead the lesson your way! As their teacher, you are the expert on how your students learn best. Feel free to use the supporting resources to teach this lesson your way, combining methods or choosing your own style altogether. Just be sure your students leave the session having achieved the learning outcomes.

Suggested Assignments and Activities

Active hazard naming activity. Using the Know the risks: Hazard and preparedness cards, have students do a “pull, call-out, match!” exercise. This can be done as a class or in teams as a race. This is a fun way to engage students in identifying hazards in their region and knowing what the warning signs and causes are.

Homework – Letter to parents and emergency kit list. Students fill out Letter 2 to the best of their abilities, then take the remainder home to their parents outlining hazards common to their region and what unique considerations their family may need to make in the kit/plan. Students can ask their parents to help them fill out and sign the letter. They will then use the unique considerations in Module 2.

Evaluation and assessment

Teachers can download a template rubric to support your evaluation of this module. 

Resources and materials

Module 2: Prepare your household: make a plan >

Module 3: In it together: neighbourhood and community preparedness >>