Natural disasters have been dominating the headlines this spring. We’ve witnessed everything from earthquakes to flooding to tornadoes occurring around the world. Whether it happens in Japan or in our own backyard, what are your ideas about how citizens might behave responsibly before, during, and after natural disasters?
There are many sites that provide information on disaster preparedness, and being informed is definitely a critical first step. In fact, Ready.gov tells us to “Prepare. Plan. Stay informed.” But I’m wondering today if that Is where responsibility ends or begins?
In a shrinking world, we not only have immediate access to images of the aftermath of a natural disaster, but we may also watch surreal scenes unfold in realtime. Our hearts go out to those affected, but there can be a feeling of disconnectedness and unreality. After a natural disaster, whether I’m personally affected or not, what actions could I potentially take as a responsible citizen? How might one student or one classroom make a difference? This is not a day I have answers; it’s day when I have questions for us to ponder.
⁃Home Safety Council: http://www.homesafetycouncil.org/index.asp
⁃National Disaster Education Coalition: http://www.disastereducation.org/
⁃FEMA for Kids: http://www.fema.gov/kids/
⁃Children, Stress and Natural Disasters: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/disaster/teacher/teacher.html
⁃USGS (Earthquakes) http://earthquake.usgs.gov/
⁃Discovery TV Stormchasers: http://dsc.discovery.com/tv/storm-chasers/
Debbie Perkins is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center.