Chris's Home Page
Emergency Preparedness Home
Introduction to Emergency Preparedness
Learning about Local Hazards

Emergency Contact Information

This lesson is for students to understand personal communication after a disaster, to fill out an emergency contact card so that they will have important numbers with them in times of emergency, and to have an out-of-state contact.

            Emergency      Telephone     Number           Family
            Contact             School             Work               Out
            Earthquake      State              Home               Name


Lesson Ideas

  1. PowerPoint:  Slide 1:  Ask questions about the picture:  What is this?  What happened?  Have you ever…?  What do you do?  Can you call home?  Slide 2: Explain that phones may not work to call locally but might work to call out-of-state.  Look at the 3 women in the picture:  One doesn’t have a phone, one can’t call home, and one called out of state.  What can they do?  Slide 3:  You may be at work.  Your spouse may be at school.  Your kids may be at home or on the bus.   Call out of state to say “I’m Ok.”  Slide 4: Practice dialogue.

  2. Watch on-line video or DVD:  The 10:30 mark in video talks about out-of-area contact.  Stop at various parts like the US map visual and point out information.  This topic ends at the 11:18 mark.   For more intermediate/advanced students, have them take notes on the video.  When done watching, ask them what they remember.  For lower levels, watch in English first and then their first language.  What did they get out of each version?  How much did they know from the English version?  Comprehension Questions Worksheet 5 (answers) and Cloze Exercise 10 (answers).

  3. Telephone dialogue practice for lower levels:  Have students get into groups of 4.  One person lives in another state and the other 3 are family who live together in Seattle.  Each person from Seattle needs to call the out-of-state person and report that they are OK.   For a more realistic effect, have students all sit back to back so they can’t see each other’s faces.  Tell them an earthquake just happened and they need to call out-of-state.  Try the sample dialogue or make one up as a class for everyone to practice.  For literacy or Level 1, simplify the dialogue and role cards.

  4. Reading:  Go to City of Seattle Office of Emergency Management’s site and have students read about family communications. Use common reading strategies like skimming and scanning to start. Ask some questions when done reading.  Students can take 10 new vocabulary words and use them. You may choose to use the prepared worksheet.  Or try a reading at FEMA.

  5. Fill out simple cards:  Demonstrate by filling in one yourself.  For lower levels, provide one card in English and one card in students’ first language to take home.  Put into pocket or backpack.  Look a #7 below.

  6. Simple Kit and Family Plan for beginning levels:  The City of Seattle and Seattle Red Cross have a great, simple worksheet which includes some basic emergency contact information. Worksheets are in English, Oromo, Russian, simple Chinese, traditional Chinese, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Thai, Tigrinya, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian, Amharic, and Korean. Try filling out page 1 in English first and then give students the sheet in their first languages.

  7. Fill out emergency contact information and make a small packet for purse or backpack:  Have the students fill out more extended information about family members, telephone numbers for work, school, daycare, cell phones, etc.  Put this sheet along with a family photo and out of area contact card in a small zip-lock bag. Then put this zip-lock bag into purse or backpack, where it is always with you.  There are a variety of contact information pages.  Here are a few:

    1. Detailed 28-page Family Emergency Preparedness Plan in PDF format from State of Washington and Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound. For contact information go to page 25.  Print for students.

    2. Information forms from the State of Washington.

    3. Simplified version for low levels from City of Seattle from #6 above.

    4. FEMA’s information sheet.  One caution:  it asks for Social Security numbers.  These are not a good thing to carry around in purse or backpack.  Either skip that part or tell students to leave this form at home along with other valuables.

  8. Scenario 3—After the... (windstorm):  Students discuss what to do after a disaster.

  9. Homework:  Have students take card home and tell their family about this card.  The family should fill them out too.  Have enough cards for them to take home to family members.

  10. What’s next?  Ask students what they want to learn next.  Do they need more information or are they curious or confused about something?