Examples of IELTS speaking questions related to natural disasters from Part 3 of the IELTS speaking interview.
What are the types of natural disasters that sometimes occur?
Sample answerI think the most common ones that people would immediately think of are earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, tsunamis and recently there's been a lot of news about wildfires. Then you have drought and famine and other natural disasters. The ones you normally see on the news are usually quite devastating and unexpected, although there are some areas of the world where drought and famine exist almost permanently, but because it's not sensational it doesn't make the headlines as much.
Do you think these types of events are happening more often now than in the past?
Sample answerNo, not really. They've always happened, ever since history was first recorded. There are stories of great plagues, floods and natural disasters in many historical documents. I think why people feel that these events are happening more often now is because technology has made it easier and faster to report when things like this happen. Major news channels have the story almost instantly and with video footage and graphic pictures telling the story. That's much more impacting than simply reading about it in a newspaper in black and white print a few days after the event.
Do you think there is much we can do to prevent these disasters?
Sample answerTo prevent them, no. They are after all 'natural' disasters. Nobody makes them happen, they are part of nature. However, there are always things that people can do to minimize the impact of such events. Preparation is important, both by people and by the authorities. Especially if people are living in a zone which is prone to natural disasters. They need to be ready with essential supplies like food and clean water, medical supplies and emergency shelter. These things can be planned for so that at least if something does happen the people are able to eat, drink and shelter themselves until disaster aid can be arranged.
What does your government do when a natural disaster occurs?
Sample answerLike most governments they have a disaster planning department and various plans for dealing with natural disaster events such as evacuation, emergency shelter, medical services and supplies, and essential things like food and water. Obviously it's impossible to plan for everything, but they have various emergency teams on standby and they have a plan of action ready just in case. What seems to happen quite often though is that the scale of the disaster never seems to be anticipated, even with all the predictive technology we have available nowadays.
Do you think what your government does could be improved in any way?
Sample answerI think that's difficult to say. I'm not an expert and I don't know what all their plans are or all the resources they have available. I think the important thing is that they learn from previous natural disasters and never repeat the same mistakes. One of the problems is that no two natural disasters are exactly the same so it's not easy to provide a 'perfect' response always, but most people think that the government do a good job overall when such an event does happen
Can people do anything to prepare for such events?
Sample answerWell, like I said before, yes. People can do some sort of emergency planning even at a family or community level. They can make sure that they have easy access to emergency supplies and a plan of action to help each other stay safe and alive until professional aid arrives.
Do you think anything can be learned from dealing with these types of situations?
Sample answerEach situation is different but there are some lessons that can be learned from each event. Some common factors are things like the need for emergency medical services, clean water, food, safety for citizens, controlling looting and other such things which are common after most natural disasters. If lessons are learned then the response to these aspects of natural disasters can be improved. Sharing knowledge between different countries or organizations about natural disasters and ways of responding is also a good idea.
See more Part 3 IELTS speaking test questions