Rapid Response:
Rapid response assemblies are provided on the site when there is an event in the news, good or bad, that touches children's lives, so we can offer you a way to acknowledge it in your collective worship.


By Ronni Lamont

Suitable for Whole School



To look at the terrible disasters caused around the world by recent weather.

Preparation and materials



  1. We may think that the weather’s been atrocious this summer but, over the last few weeks, millions of people across the world have been badly affected by flooding and by very big and powerful storms called hurricanes.
  2. At the end of August, the annual rains of the monsoon season in India were far heavier than normal, causing some rivers to break their banks and flood. In northern India, in a state called Bihar, which is next to the Himalayan mountain kingdom of Nepal, the River Kosi broke its banks. Up to two and a half million people have been affected, with many taken to refugee camps because their homes have been flooded or even destroyed.
  3. The trouble with this flood is that the river’s defences were meant to withstand this level of water easily, but they didn’t. The governments of Nepal and India are arguing about who is responsible for the breach in the defences. In the meantime, the people are without any food or drinking water and are starving.
  4. In the Caribbean, on the other side of the world, there has been a series of devastating hurricanes. You may have seen pictures of the islands that have been lashed by wind and rain. Hurricane Dean passed through the area in the middle of August and, since then, hurricanes called Fay, Gustav, Ike and Hanna have all stormed through the region. The winds, measured at over a hundred and thirty-five miles per hour, have resulted in dreadful damage, flattening crops, causing houses to break up, vehicles to blow away and flooding. And people caught in the awful winds and rain have died.
  5. The small, poor country of Haiti has been very badly affected because all the hurricanes have hit it. The flooding is now so bad that many people have lost their houses and everything that they owned.
  6. Even Great Britain and Ireland have suffered from flooding. People in the north-east and south-west of England and in Wales have been particularly badly affected.

Time for reflection


Local people are always asked to shelter from hurricanes in buildings that can withstand the wind but, when the hurricane has passed over, often they have no homes left to go back to. Can you imagine being in a building and hearing the weather outside tear up trees and demolish buildings?

Can you imagine losing all your possessions in a storm like that? The people in India are used to bad storms coming every year, but this time it seems to have been made worse by adults not keeping their promises to protect those in their care by building better flood defences. How angry would you be if you lost your home because someone didn’t build a dam properly?


Sadly, floods and hurricanes have been happening for as long as human beings can remember.

(Read Psalm 55.1–8)

Even long ago, when this prayer was written, people knew about storms and floods. They also knew that the way to come through such events was to think about other people, to care for one another and to work together.

We can help too: aid agencies, such as Christian Aid and Save the Children, are appealing for money to help pay to feed and shelter those who have lost everything on either side of the world. Could we give some money that we could raise ourselves?

And here at home we can work together to make where we live and study a better place for everyone.

There will always be floods and hurricanes, but if we work together and think of others, we will help to make the effects less devastating.


(Read Psalm 55.6–8 again)

We pray for all those helping people who have been affected by monsoon or hurricane.

May they work together to help the people who are suffering, that they may return to their normal lives as quickly as possible.




‘When I needed a neighbour’ (Come and Praise, 65)




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