A member of the Community Emergency Response Team assists an injured woman
Main Content

New Teacher Resources for a New School Year

August 2021

Kick off a new school year with fun and engaging activities while learning about preparedness! FEMA’s updated Student Tools for Emergency Planning (STEP) curriculum and digital hazard lessons are perfect for teachers and after-school programs looking for modular, quick, and easy lessons to jumpstart student creativity.

The STEP program helps youth understand a variety of hazards, from tornadoes to pandemics, and how to stay safe. Designed for students in the fourth and fifth grade, you can also tailor STEP for older and younger students alike.

This free resource offers three core lessons that introduce emergency preparedness. These lessons walk students through creating an emergency kit and a family communication plan. STEP augments learning in a variety of areas. For example, short stories on thunderstorms and wildfires featuring kids, reinforce reading skills, while an interactive map that highlights where disasters will most likely occur across the U.S. helps boost learning in both science and geography.

For those familiar with the original STEP curriculum, the updated material offers a wealth of new options. This includes digital activities for completion at school or home. Five new digital hazard lessons provide engaging information and activities. An all-new companion activity book includes stories, puzzles, and journaling exercises to support the lessons. Teach each module in as little as 30 minutes. Each one is available in print and online.

In addition to STEP, FEMA offers more free resources for home or the classroom. The Prepare with Pedro: Disaster Preparedness Activity Book and Ready 2 Help card game offer rainy day recess fun. They are also great to have on hand if a substitute is teaching at school.

In the 28-page Prepare with Pedro, follow Pedro the penguin around the United States as he learns how to stay safe from disasters like thunderstorms and earthquakes. Kids learn about these topics through crossword puzzles, mazes, games, and more. The activity book is also now available in six languages. Ready 2 Help teaches kids ages 8 and up 5 simple steps to stay safe in an emergency. Players respond to examples of emergencies by working with their friends and using skills described on the cards.

Download the updated STEP curriculum at https://www.ready.gov/kids/student-tools-emergency-planning-step. Download Prepare with Pedro at www.ready.gov/kids/prepare-pedro. Ready 2 Help is available at https://www.ready.gov/kids/ready-2-help. All of these materials are available in hard copy from FEMA’s Publications Warehouse. Visit https://orders.gpo.gov/icpd/ICPD#YouthPreparedness to place your order.

This article first appeared in the monthly Individual and Community Preparedness Newsletter. Subscribe here

Disclaimer: The reader recognizes that the federal government provides links and informational data on various disaster preparedness resources and events and does not endorse any non-federal events, entities, organizations, services, or products. Please let us know about other events and services for individual and community preparedness that could be included in future newsletters by contacting FEMA-prepare@fema.dhs.gov