This free, printable, unit study is a ministry of Heather Idoni, and Funschooling Units
Please feel free to share it with others.


by Karen Caroe

with input from the Funschooling Unit Study Discussion Loop.

A note from Heather Idoni:  I was initially expecting to revise and update this unit... but I am going to leave it as it is. We have so much to learn from those pre-2000 days of preparation and to change any of Karen's words would be the equivalent of revisionist history. Although I chuckle about the white plastic buckets of wheat we still have in our basement, I am thankful for many other things we acquired and learned in those anxious days. We love our woodburning stove which has saved us hundreds of dollars in fuel each winter; we have learned to live happily without a hot water heater. I also appreciate knowing that we won't ever be in a panic when the lights go off! I do thank God that nothing serious ever came of Y2K... and I pray you will be blessed as you adapt and apply all that is relevant to us today in this unit. Enjoy!!


As I have been researching the Y2K problem, I have become painfully aware of how inadequately prepared my family is to care for ourselves in the event of a serious emergency.
The Bible says "A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it." (NIV) The King James says the prudent man "hideth himself."
Because Y2K is a problem that carries the potential for emergency, and because it is a problem we can see coming, I believe we are being prudent to prepare for the days ahead. I do not advocate a literal hiding of my family by removing myself from society and moving to a remote location to take up homesteading. There is nothing wrong with doing that, it just isn't the route I think we should take. I believe we can hide from the effects of the danger by preparing to meet the emergency head-on.
Y2K or not, we need to know what to do in case of an emergency. Once we are prepared to care for ourselves and our families, we can prepare to help others, as well.


This unit is designed for maximum flexibility. Each study and activity is listed by academic subject area. Additionally, there are unit vocabulary words, projects, resources, etc. The best way to use the unit is to select the activities most applicable to your family and organize them into daily lesson plans. There is a link to a free printable unit study planner available on the Funschooling Homepage. Hit your back button or scroll to the link at the bottom of this printable page.
There are applied math lessons but you will need to continue with your selected math program.
I recommend beginning the unit with a discovery project. Have an "Emergency Day" to find out what life would be like as you are right now. Select your emergencies: no electric, no water, no communications, no transportation, no money. Then, try going through the day. Record your children's observations. Use the day as a place to see where you need to start preparing.
At the end of the unit, you will have another "Emergency Day". This time, you should be prepared. Also, make sure you don't warn your children that the emergencies are coming. That way you can adequately note the difference in being prepared or unprepared.


American Red Cross--A good place to start.

American Red Cross—Virtual Museum (history)

Y2K for Women -- The Year 2000 Computer Problem: What Every Woman Needs to Know

Springboard to the Web - Emergency and Safety Links - cooking / recipes / garde (good site)


BACK TO BASICS--a Reader's Digest Book. Has been republished and is available in many homeschooling catalogs.

You will need a Biography of Clara Barton from you library.

I also recommend you look for a basic first aid book to add to your home library.


1. Have your children brainstorm areas in which emergency preparation is important. (Spiritual, Physical, Medical)
2. Consider how all of the following needs could be met in case of emergency. (Clothing, Food, Water, Entertainment, Power, Light, Personal hygiene, communications, refuse/sanitation, shelter, transportation, Pets, Medical, Financial.....)
3. Take "inventory" of any preparations you have already made or any emergency situations you are already equipped to handle.


1. Read Proverbs 22:3. What does this say about being prepared? Read it in several translations. What do you think "hideth" (KJV) or "takes refuge" (NIV) means?
2. Read the story of Joseph when he was prominent in Egypt. How he interpreted Pharaoh's dream about the 7 abundant and 7 lean years. What did he do? How should that be an example to us?
3. Do we have responsibility to those beyond our own family? Did Joseph care for others outside of Egypt?
4. What can we do for others in an emergency situation? How can we prepare ahead to meet the needs of others?
5. Relate Prov. 22:3 to the story of Noah? Is there a relationship?
6. Can you think of any other examples or directives from the Bible that would encourage us to be prepared for anything?
7. Is it possible to be Spiritually prepared for an emergency? How? See:


1.VOCABULARY WORDS: Emergency, stockpile, recession, Prepared, hoard, fuel, storage, preserved, utilities, disaster, crisis, community, neighbor.
2. Use the Vocabulary Words for spelling, dictionary skills, writing, etc. Know the meanings of the words. Use them in daily speech.
3. Throughout the study, create a Family Emergency Handbook. In it, you can document immunizations, list an inventory and location of first aid products and medications, CPR certification cards and brochures. First Aid brochures. Lists of food, clothing, and/or water you have available. Any poetry, scripture, new articles, guides, etc.
4. Study sayings and decide what they mean. For example, "A bird in hand is worth 2 in the bush." "A penny saved is a penny earned." "A stitch in time saves nine." There are many others. How do they relate to planning ahead? Have your children write their own.
5. Read some "technical writing" found in a medical journal or in a first aid handbook. How is it different from other writings? Notice the documentation.
6. Have your child prepare a speech over any aspect of this unit. Example: "Why we should be prepared for emergencies" "How to wrap a sprain." "Alternate fuel sources." This will all depend on the level of your child. I recommend that all the speeches require some degree of research based on the level of the child.


1. Have your children figure how much food and water it would take for your family to survive in an emergency for a specified length of time. Base this on 1 gallon of water per person/per day and 2500 calories per person today.
2. Have them figure cost of purchasing food--either regular grocery store food or pre-packaged emergency food.
3. Have your children figure out how much cash your family would need to have on hand if banks were not open.
4. Teach the economic theories of supply and demand.
5. Talk about what causes recession, inflation, and depression.
6. Have your children work out a way to stockpile food and water while working with a budget.
7. What could you do if there were no money and you needed something? Talk about bartering and how it works. Is it a feasible method for obtaining necessities.


1. Read a Biography of Clara Barton
2. Find out about the history of the Red Cross
3. What does the Red Cross stand for.
4. Learn something about the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA).
5. Identify some major disasters in world history--
the Titanic, Hindenburg, etc.
6. Identify some natural disasters in recent history--
earthquake, hurricanes, etc.
7. Try to find out if there have been any
emergencies or disasters in your community in
the past.
8. Place the events on a timeline and put them into
perspective with the other events of the time.
9. If you have studied any historical periods,
discuss how people lived. For example, the
pioneers. Their lifestyle would be an emergency
lifestyle for us. i.e.. no electricity, cars, phones.
What did they do in emergencies? What was
considered an emergency to them?


1. Begin to identify the physical geography of your community. Do you have mountains, volcanoes, rivers, lakes, etc.
2. Try to create a map of your town, county,
region, etc. Where do you live in relationship to
these geographical landmarks.
3. Try to locate and aerial photograph or map of
your town. The photos are really neat if you can
get them.
4. Once you have a handle on your geography,
determine the potential for emergency. Are you
on a fault line for earthquakes, are you near a
river that could flood.
5. Study the people groups in your community.
Do you live in a city or rural area? Who could
you turn to for help? Who might you need to
6. What is the population of your community?
7. What is the political geography of your
community? Do you live in a township, county,
village, metropolis?
8. Try finding communities in other parts of the
world who have similar geographical
characteristics. Learn about the culture,
lifestyles, and people there.
9. Write a report comparing/contrasting your
community and life with those of a similar
10. Find out what disasters may have struck that
country. How was it handled? Would the result
be the same if the same disaster struck your
community? Why? Why not?
Note: Satellite photos can be searched out and downloaded from
and it's fun to try and zoom in to your home by the surrounding landmarks (like how the major highways bend and join in areas...). Higher quality
images can also be purchased, but you can see pretty well on the free ones.


1. What services are available for emergencies?
2. How would you contact them in an emergency?
What if communication lines were down?
3. What responsibilities might you have in a
community emergency?
4. What responsibility does the church have in a
community crisis?


1. Study different kinds of weather problems--
natural disasters.
What is the difference between those?
*Snow storms
*Ice storms
*Hail storms
How are they different?
2. Select one or more of the above and discuss
how they happen. What weather conditions
create those problems?
3. What kinds of emergencies are created by
those weather problems?
4. Research the Y2K computer bug. What is it?
Why is it causing so much distress?
5. Is it possible to "predict" natural disasters?


1. Take a basic first aid course or learn basic first aid from a handbook.
2. Take a CPR/Basic Life Support Course. Children as young as 8 can be certified in these courses.
3. View a midwifery video. Learn the basics of delivering a baby---This is ONLY to be moderately prepared in the event you would be called upon in the most DIRE emergency in order to save a life.
4. Begin gathering your first aid supplies.
5. Decide as a family--with guidance from Dad--how prepared your family should be. Should you store water, fuel/heat, food? For how long?
6. Try canning and/or drying your own food for long term storage. Does it taste different? How?
7. Stage a mock emergency--different from the Emergency Day described above. This would be like pretending to have a broken arm, or severe nosebleed. What would you do?
8. Be sure your children know how to use 911. Place your address and phone number near the phone. Have them practice using a pretend phone.
9. Visit a fire station/paramedic station.
10. Install smoke detectors or check existing ones. Consider installing CO2 detectors for Carbon Monoxide.


As you can see, this is only the barest outline of a lesson plan for studying this immense topic. It is my prayer that you will have fun with your children as you consider ways to insure your security and safety in an emergency. It is also my desire that squelch any fear by understanding that God is in total control. What we do now and in an emergency is our opportunity to reflect him to others.



For questions, comments, and suggestions, Please e-mail Heather at

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