I became interested in bringing emergency preparedness information to ESL students because of 2 articles I read in the Seattle Times. The first article titled "Ready for disaster? Not yet" talks about the former program from City of Seattle called SDART (today's program is called SNAP-Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare). These programs create neighborhood groups of citizen volunteers who organize their neighbors so that they are prepared to help each other in times of disaster. The article shows that most of these citizen groups are in affluent, non-immigrant neighborhoods and not in neighborhoods where many low-income, immigrants live, like The International District or Beacon Hill. The second article titled "With so many still in dark, another threat emerges" is about the windstorm of 2006. It talks about the high percentage of people taken to the hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning were immigrants. Cooking and heating with wood and charcoal inside the house is common practice in many cultures and countries but is deadly in the US where windows and doors are tightly sealed. These articles opened my eyes to the facts that information about being prepared was not getting to the immigrant community fast enough and that the target population was sitting my classroom. I felt the need to connect the immigrant community with the information.
These activities and lessons are for students and teachers to use for their classes and for learning English around the topic of emergency preparedness. I made them interactive for the classroom and sometimes independent for someone studying in a lab or alone. There are 6 modules: An Introduction to Emergency Preparedness, Learning about Local Hazards, Building a Supply Kit, Earthquake, Emergency Contact Information, Making a Family Plan. Plus I've included an on-line video from the City of Seattle's Office of Emergency Management with questions and exercises. Check out the special sections for teachers and students below. You can start anywhere you'd like or start with The Introduction module. Just click on the links below.