Disaster Response

This task force gives students the responsibility of creating a recovery plan after a hypothetical earthquake leaves thousands in need of aid in New York.

Task Force: Disaster Response

Oh no!

Just last night, a disastrous earthquake measuring to be a 7.0 on the Richter scale has left thousands displaced in New York. You have been put in charge of handling the aftermath and helping the people and buildings recover from this tragic event. It is your job to consider how you will aid those impacted by this natural disaster.

Why Are We Doing This?:

Throughout history, there have been many natural disasters that have left areas in countries plagued with displacement. Those in poverty are always impacted most heavily and countries with low-to-middle incomes face the highest death tolls. You now need to take these factors into consideration and develop a recovery plan for New York! The goal is for you to think about various steps that need to be taken in order to allow the state to fully recover in a timely manner.


  1. Look up some natural disaster responses for any major natural disaster from the past 5-10 years. 
    1. What steps were taken after it occurred? What was done right and what would you do differently?
    2. What kinds of areas were affected most? Which areas were prioritized?
  2. Brainstorm specific guidelines for your recovery plan. 
    1. Which buildings will be reconstructed first? 
    2. Where will people who have been displaced find housing? 
    3. How will children attend school if their school buildings are destroyed?
    4. Do you plan to implement virtual learning? What about the students who cannot afford to have technology and will therefore not be able to participate?
  3. Think through the possible objections that someone could have and how you would answer them. Would someone prioritize differently than you? How will you argue for your approach as opposed to a different one?
  4. Think about how your plan can be compared to plans that have been implemented in the past. 
  5. Share with the group and see if you can convince them that your plan will allow New York to recover the fastest and most effectively.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • You do not have to come up with an exhaustive list of procedures for your plan. It’s better to come up with a few requirements that you feel confident with and spend time thinking through possible objections to it.
  • You don’t have to worry about answering all possible objections, but you should have some defense of why you think your procedures are more important.
  • Your disaster response plan should be something that governments could realistically implement.