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Lesson Plans
Be Prepared With Emergency Supplies

Being prepared is key to staying safe during any kind of emergency. Help young children know the importance of being prepared in case of an emergency by determining what’s needed in an Emergency Supplies Kit.


To help students determine what needs to be in a Family Emergency Supplies Kit.


  • Large box
  • Items, or pictures of items, needed in case of an emergency—non-perishable foods, water, first aid kit, blankets, medicines, or special needs, such as diapers, pet food, etc.
  • Items, or pictures of items, that are not needed in an emergency

Teaching note: find pictures and descriptions of these items at American Red Cross Masters of Disaster


Gather items and/or print out pictures of items from the Red Cross site. Label the large box: Emergency Supplies Kit.


Talk about a storm that has come through a community. There is no electricity, no running water, and all the stores are closed. It looks like none of these services will be restored for about 3 days.

Have students talk about the things their family would need if such an emergency occurred in their community. As students talk, write all their ideas on the chalkboard.

Next, go over the class list and decide if some of the items are not needed. For example: a cheese sandwich would go bad; there’s no electricity to play a computer game; glass bottles can break.

Then, consider whether all needed items are listed—water for drinking and washing; games, books, crayons, and paper for entertainment; first aid kit, medications, and special items; enough non-perishable food items for the whole family.

In the front of the classroom, place the needed and unneeded items, or pictures, you have gathered. Have students choose an item and decide whether it should go in the Emergency Supplies Kit or not. If so, have them place it in the box. Have students explain their decisions. Discuss the concept of “wants” versus “needs.”

Optional Procedure: Make copies of the Red Cross Masters of Disaster Supplies Kit items for each student. Have them cut out and color the items and glue them on two sheets of paper, separated as “needed” and “not needed.” Have students take these home to share with family, along with a note discussing the need to be prepared in case of an emergency.

Include the related Family article (Emergency Preparedness for the Family) in the note to help parents work with children to create their own Family Disaster Supplies Kit.

Related Family Article: Emergency Preparedness for the Family


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Updated on 4/5/2013