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Preparing by Developing Your Skills

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Consider this thought for a moment: "You can become your own best resource in an emergency situation if you’ve prepared yourself ahead of time." This is done by learning some basic and needful skills. Keep in mind that not all emergencies are major natural disasters. Smaller but significant personal difficulties such as job-loss, greatly reduced income, loss of transportation, being snowed in, having a broken-down washing machine, loss of electrical power, and having a health need when far from medical care are just a few examples of emergencies that many of us face at one time or another. How helpful would it be if you knew how to do the following?

    1.    Wash your clothes by hand
    2.    Bake your own bread
    3.    Cut hair
    4.    Perform the Heimlich maneuver
    5.    Make basic clothing for your family
    6.    Build a fire
    7.    Entertain your children without TV or Computers
    8.    Perform CPR
    9.    Use cloth diapers
    10.    Light or heat your home without electricity
    11.    Grow a garden and preserve its produce
    12.    Change a flat tire
    13.    Cook a meal outdoors
    14.    Purify water
    15.    Set up a tent
    16.    Perform basic first aid
    17.    Assembling various preparedness and camping gear

How do your skills measure up when you look at the above list? If you feel helpless and horrified at the idea of needing to use these skills, how can you begin to develop and perfect such skills? What resources are available? Fortunately there are several cookbooks and preparedness manuals available. It would be a wise investement to collect a small library of these helpful books.

If you are fortunate enough to live in an area where you’re acquainted with your neighbors or if you have interested friends, club or church members, you may want to consider developing a reciprocal or bartering system—trading goods and services back and forth such as trading a couple of hours of babysitting for the children of a hairdresser who will in turn give your family haircuts, or preparing meals for a woman who loves to sew and will trade her skills for yours. If you develop this sort of network ahead of time it will seem natural for it to continue to function in times of stress. You can network to learn from each other as well, with a trained person teaching emergency medical skills.

Excellent free articles are available at www.beprepared.com/Insight, also found at www.preparednesspantry.blogspot.com. Another wonderful way to begin to educate yourself is by watching videos online. Emergency Essentials has its own YouTube channel with these types of videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/EmergencyEssentials.