Natural Disaster Essay Questions

Conversation Questions

A Part of Conversation Questions for the ESL Classroom.

Related: Earthquakes, Tsunami, Disaster Preparation


  • Do you know someone who has done any volunteer work?
    • What was it?
    • Did he or she enjoy it?
  • How can you help after a natural disaster?
  • If you could volunteer to help after a natural disaster, what could you do?
  • Have you ever volunteered to help in a disaster?
    • What did you do?
    • Did you enjoy it?
  • Do you think the Internet can be helpful in a disaster?
  • Could the Internet be used for bad purposes in a disaster?


  • Have you ever given money to a charity?
  • How do you decide what charity to give to?
  • Are you willing to donate money to help victims of a natural disaster in your country? How much?
  • Are you willing to donate money to help victims of a natural disaster in other countries? How much?
  • How much money should your government give to help victims of natural disasters in your country and how much to help people living in other countries?


  • What is a disaster?
  • Have you ever been in a disaster?
  • What are some different kinds of disasters?
  • What kind of disasters are common in your country?
  • What is the difference between a typhoon and a hurricane?
  • What is the difference between a tornado and a hurricane?
  • What is disaster insurance?
  • Are there ways we can prepare ourselves in advance to cope with disasters?
  • What is PTSD?
  • How are businesses affected by disasters?
  • How are families affected by disasters?
  • How are the problems solved after a disaster?
  • If you had the power to stop a natural disaster that has happened in the past, which would you choose? Why?
  • What is the difference between natural disasters and manmade disasters?
    • Can you name a few of each type?
    • Where do these usually often occur?
  • Do some natural disasters occur repeatedly in the same area?
      Do many people live in these areas?
  • What are examples of manmade disasters?
  • What examples are there of natural disasters?
    • What kind of damage can occur in each case?
    • Have you ever been in a natural disaster?
    • Do you know anyone who has been in a natural disaster?
    • Can you find someone in the class who has been in a natural disaster?
    • What natural disasters occur in your country?


  • Are you prepared for a disaster?
  • What can you do to prepare for a disaster?
  • Do you know someone who has been in a disaster?
  • How do you think you would react in a disaster?
  • How can we help children who are victims of disasters?
  • Does your family have a plan for what to do in the event of an earthquake?
  • Have you ever been injured?
  • Have you ever had a broken leg?
  • Can you find the story of anyone who lived through a disaster?
  • What would you do if you knew there would soon be a serious natural disaster and this could be your last day on earth?

If you can think of another good question for this list, please add it.

Started with 42 questions in January 2005.
Copyright © 1997-2010 by The Internet TESL Journal

Picking Up A Good Topic For A Cause And Effect Essay On Natural Disasters

Selecting a great topic idea is the first step in writing a great cause and effect essay on natural disasters. The trouble is that sometimes students don’t feel inspired enough or have the energy to brainstorm possibilities. This is the reason we’ve come up some ideas for you to consider:

  1. Explore weather and climate changes that occur immediately before hurricanes and how our understanding of these things can help prepare for damages to populated areas near and around the coast.
  2. What are the major effects caused by too much pressure in active volcanoes around the world? Are humans still in considerable danger or are early warning systems effective?
  3. Examine the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and determine the major safety problems that caused the power plant to fail and cause so much damage to the surrounding environment.
  4. Is global warming a cause for the increase of natural disasters around the world? What are the major effects we can foresee as a result of global warming?
  5. What behavior by the earth’s plates, which are always moving, causes massive earthquakes? As plates are always moving why don’t we experience more tremors and why are some larger?
  6. What causes underwater volcanoes to erupt and what effects do they have on coastal cities? Is there more volcanic activity in the ocean than on land?
  7. What were the causes behind the extensive damage to the city of New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina? Could such extensive damage have been prevented?
  8. Explore the effect of mid-continental earthquakes and the damage they cause to concrete structures that have been ill-prepared for this kind of natural disaster to strike.
  9. What do we know about the causes of tornadoes that can help us prepare to minimize damage and possibly develop an early warning system to prevent the loss of lives?
  10. What are the major causes for river flooding? Does it occur largely because of poor engineering or because of unexpected heavy rain? Are there are other factors one needs to consider?
  11. Wildfires are often forgotten as natural disasters, but do these too cause large scale damage to the environment and affect the lives of both humans as much as wildlife?
  12. The causes of tsunamis have largely been attributed to earthquakes that occur underwater? What other natural disasters can these underwater earthquakes cause?

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