What Will You Do When A Disaster Strikes?

A Curriculum Designed To Help Keep You And Your Food Safe
  flood hurricanE Earthquake tornado fire  

Curriculum Overview



When a natural or man-made disaster, such as like a tornado, flood, bioterrorism or fire strikes in the community,  there is an increased risk of getting a foodborne illness.  For example, power outages make it hard to keep food cold and make it difficult to properly heat food.  Flood waters may contaminate food in the home, or environmentally toxic substances may make the food harmful to eat. There may also be a major food recall.


Safe food, drinkable water and electricity may not be available for days or weeks. Having an ample supply of food and water for the entire family set aside in case of an emergency is a top priority when a disaster strikes.  This supply of food and water is referred to as an “emergency food kit”.  Having a communication plan along with the emergency food kit, in addition to following safe food handling practices, are valuable strategies for helping survive an emergency or disaster.


Following the food safety procedures and recommendations in this curriculum will lay the foundation for keeping food safe during an emergency or disaster.




This educational curriculum will explain how to prepare for and keep food safe during and after a disaster.


What Will You Do When A Disaster Strikes? - A Quick Reference Guide To Help Keep You And Your Food Safe is a series of 8 lessons designed to educate consumers on how to keep themselves and their food safe before, during, and after a disaster.  Each lesson is listed below:

  • Lesson 1 - Developing A Communication Plan

  • Lesson 2 - Preparing An Emergency Food Kit

  • Lesson 3 - Keeping Food Safe When The Lights Go Out

  • Lesson 4 - Water Is High And The Food Is Not Dry

  • Lesson 5 - Making Water Safe To Drink

  • Lesson 6 - Precautions With Airborne Toxins And Fires

  • Lesson 7 - Managing Food Recalls And Tampering

  • Lesson 8 - Steps To Preventing A Foodborne Illness


Format of the Curricula


Each lesson is designed to support an educational approach that is in-depth, interactive, and flexible to the needs of the educational setting. Educators using the materials should familiarize themselves with each lesson prior to its use. 


Each lesson contains the following components:

  • Educators Guide - includes approximate time needed to present the lesson, desired learning outcomes, lesson outline, resources and materials, a brief overview, and vocabulary.

  • Process - instructional guidelines detailing how each lesson is to be conducted.

  • Activities - procedure for each activity designed to reinforce the lesson.

  • Presentation - a script to be used by the educator following the slide presentation.

  • Handouts - includes all handouts designed for each lesson.

  • Booklet- a take home reference for participants in the program.  There are two different types of booklets available:

    • Complete booklet covering the information in all 8 lessons.  Complete booklet covering the information in all 8 lessons.  The complete booklet can be found on the disc provided, in the section entitled Complete Booklet For Printing.

    • Subsection of booklet only containing the information from the lesson.  Subsections of the booklet can be found on the disc provided, in the handouts section for each lesson.


(All resources listed above are provided on disk.)


Using the Curricula


The What Will You Do When A Disaster Strikes? - A Quick Reference Guide To Help Keep You And Your Food Safe curriculum is designed to meet the needs of educators and others who require flexibility in their content materials.  It can be taught:

  • With different size groups.

  • In a variety of locations.

  • With or without electronic media.

  • During different time frames.


Each lesson can be independently taught or in combination with other lessons in the curriculum.  It is recommended that lessons 1 and 2 be taught first in your educational program, either on separate days or the same day.  Each individual should adapt the curriculum to the needs of his or her particular group or audience.  For example, although we did not include videos, you have the option to incorporate your own videos or internet videos into your presentation.


The lessons may be applied to a variety of educational settings.  Some examples may be: 

  • A local community center where you are holding workshops.

  • A promotional booth at a regional fair.

  • A classroom style setting where a conference is held for agency professionals.

  • A home where a few interested listeners are gathered.

Activities are included with each lesson, along with handouts that are intended to be copied and distributed to the participants.


Before You Begin


If you are not already familiar with general food safety recommendations, read Lesson 8 before teaching any of the lessons in this curriculum. There are also resources listed on the next page that can be reviewed.  It is also recommended that you read through the entire booklet entitled “What Will You Do When A Disaster Strikes”




Evaluations are included with each lesson and are located in the handout section.  They are tailored to measure the impact of the content of each lesson.




Several items that you may find useful are included in the appendix.  These items include:

  • References - list of references used to create the curriculum.

  • Additional Reading Materials - additional reading materials for more information on each lesson.

  • Glo Germ Product Information - includes a brief description of the Glo Germ product as well as ordering information.

  • Evaluation Answer Keys - answers to the knowledge based evaluations included in lessons 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8.

  • Activity Learning Outcomes - specific learning outcomes for each suggested activity.




Disasters or emergencies can strike at any time, and it is important to be prepared.  Keeping food safe as well as having an emergency food kit is often overlooked during these times.  It is our hope that this program will provide essential information to members of the community, so they can survive a disaster with an ample food supply and be free from foodborne illness.


Curriculum Notes
  • Items in brackets [ ], located in the presentation section, are not to be read out loud.  They serve as reminders for the educator.

  • Each lesson has the option of being taught by using slides and an LCD projector, slide handouts, the entire booklet, or pages from the booklet that pertain to each lesson.



Recommended Reading List

  • http://www.fightbac.org

  • http://www.foodsafety.gov

  • http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/foodwater/

  • http://www.fema.gov/plan/index.shtm



      Back To Home