Student Web Activity

Chapter 20 Lesson 3: Be Prepared for Natural Disasters


Preparing for natural disasters before they occur is the key to staying safe when one occurs. On the Web site below, you will have the chance to learn about eleven different kinds of natural disasters and how to prepare for them.

Link to explore: Center for Disease Control and Prevention:


  • Start at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Web site.
  • Click on and explore the “Earthquakes” and “Tornadoes” links.
  • Take notes as you read.
  • When you are done reading, answer the questions below.
  • Finally, using the information from the link, write a script for a public radio announcement that educates listeners about how to prepare for one of the disasters you studied.


  1. What is the most important thing that will keep you safe when a natural disaster occurs?
  1. What kinds of things can you do to prepare for a natural disaster?
  1. What can you do during an earthquake to stay safe?
  1. Why is it not a good idea to stay in a mobile home during a tornado?


  1. The most important thing to do is to prepare for a natural disaster before it occurs.
  1. You can gather emergency supplies, identify and reduce possible hazards in your home, and practice what to do during and after an emergency.
  1. During an earthquake you should:
    1. Take cover under a heavy desk or table.
    2. Stay away from windows, glass panels, bookcases, hanging objects, or furniture that could fall.
    3. Watch for falling objects.
    4. Use something to shield your head and face.
    5. Use a flashlight if the lights go out.
    6. Turn off any gas.
    7. Do not rush for the doorways if you are in a crowded public place.
    8. Move away from buildings and utility wires if you are outdoors.
    9. Stop as quickly and safely as possible if you are in a moving automobile and move over to the shoulder or curb, away from utility poles, overhead wires, and underpasses.
  1. Staying in a mobile home during a tornado is a bad idea because mobile homes can turn over during strong winds. Even mobile homes with a tie-down system cannot withstand the force of tornado winds.
Additional Resources for Teachers

Below are some additional Web sites that offer information on how to prepare for natural disasters. Ask students if their families have done anything to prepare and if so what? Make a comprehensive list with the students’ help of all the things that can be done to prepare for the type of natural disasters that are common in your area of the country.

  1. Quake Kare (Earthquakes):
  2. Anaheim Fire Department (Preparing for Fire):
  3. E-How (Tornado):
  4. Florida (Hurricanes):