A GROUNDBREAKING project that taught Canvey school children what to do in the event of a major disaster is set to be copied across the country and abroad.

The scheme saw police, firefighters, paramedics and other people involved in emergency planning attend Canvey’s 11 primary schools.

They got children to think about what they would do in the event of an evacuation after a flood, large fire or other major disaster.

The scheme, which was led by Essex County Council, proved so successful it has been taken up by other UK councils, while there has also been interest from Italy and New Zealand.

Roseanna Briggs, the council’s deputy head of emergency planning, said: “It’s amazing to have all this positive feedback, but the most important thing is it went down well with the children.

“We are very proud of Canvey and the pupils were phenomenal.

“They really got stuck in and even came up with their own ideas.”

The project saw children role play the work of emergency services and set up their own emergency centre.

They also learnt about keeping a “grab bag” of their most valuable possessions close by.

Canvey was chosen as the scheme’s pilot because the island felt the full force of a natural disaster.

In 1953, 58 people lost their lives during floods.

As well as educating the children, it is also hoped the project will get parents thinking about emergency planning.

Mrs Briggs added: “Parents respond to what their children are learning at school and it gets them thinking too.

“It’s quite an alarming subject, so the key is to present it in a non-threatening, fun way.”