Goal flag Learning intentions

  • KNOW: How a natural hazard can impact people and property.
  • UNDERSTAND: What makes communities vulnerable to the impacts of a natural hazard.
  • DO: Explain how a natural hazard can become a disaster.

Success criteria

I can: Describe what the difference is between a natural hazard and a disaster.

A disaster occurs when a community is unable to protect itself from the impact of a hazard event and there is widespread damage to property, loss of life or injuries.

Natural hazards are predominantly associated with natural processes and phenomena. Natural hazards such as storms, floods and bushfires don’t inevitably lead to a disaster.

A disaster only occurs when a natural hazard impacts upon a vulnerable community.

This can be represented in a disaster equation:

Natural Hazard + Vulnerable Community = Disaster

Vocabulary and concept cards: Use this list to develop your understanding of key concepts and vocabulary in this lesson.

If you prefer to answer the quiz questions in your hand writing then you can print and use one of these worksheets:

Sharing homework results- record a local story

Do you have a disaster story that you recorded for homework? You may want to share the story with the class.

  • Who did you interview?
  • What disaster event did they tell you about?
  • What were the impacts of the hazard on the person you interviewed? How did it affect them?

How a natural hazard becomes a disaster

View this video and complete the quiz.

Learning from history

Depending on the hazard most likely to impact your area, select either a flood or bushfire disaster.

1929 Launceston flood

View the first three minutes of this digital story and then go to the quiz.


1967 Black Tuesday bushfires

Go to the ’67 Bushfires Storymap and zoom into the map, view a video story and then go to the quiz. Or view these suggested stories and then go to the quiz.


Optional activities

Emergency Management Plan – you can access your schools emergency management plan or the local government’s municipal emergency management plan. These plans will list the most common natural hazards in your area and the strategies to mitigate and manage them. Now think-pair-share:

  • Can you think of people in your community who might be vulnerable to the impacts of a local hazard?
  • Would you or your family be vulnerable to the impacts of a disaster? If so why? If not, why not?


Exit pass

One way a natural hazard can impact a person or community is…?