Guest post today by Wolverine
Rangerman mentioned last week about his local paper having articles on preparedness. The community I work in has a year long course going called Ready U. It is a series of classes that are to help you be better prepared for TSFTF.
I read over some of the items that will be taught and that got me thinking, just what kind of classes/courses could someone take for better preparedness? The list for classes for Ready U are the basics I would expect to see: weather forecasting and storm watching, gardening, building a 72 hour kit, and fire prevention to name a few.
So, what classes would you take or recommend for someone getting into preparedness? I can tell you some of the things I studied that I think have helped me. Number one is First Aid and CPR. Besides the fact it is required for my job it gives someone more confidence in an emergency. I remember back in high school one of my schoolmates had an epileptic seizure on the sidewalk outside and no one knew what to do. I hated that feeling and a few months later I talked my Dad into letting me take the multi-media First Aid class where he worked.
After 9-11 CERT training moved rapidly around the county. Five or six of us from my reserve unit took the first classes offered in the area. A couple of us went on to become CERT instructors. If you are not familiar with Community Emergency Response Training I suggest you see if it is in your area and go ahead and take the course. You will get some new ideas out of it I am sure. Check with your local EMA about that course and see if they have other training as well.
FEMA has been labeled a villain by a lot of folks in the preparedness community, but frankly I never found them that way. I admit my dealings with them are strictly training though. FEMA offers many courses you can take on the web. I have taken over a dozen courses from FEMA and several of them directly related to preparedness. I have learned about dealing with hazardous waste accidents, Incident Management among others. Some I have taken for the military, some for my job, and a few for myself. I just signed up for one on workplace violence for work. Since an intruder at work can become a life or death situation I feel that this training may also help with dealing in an after SHTF situation as well.
The training you desire can go to any level you wish, too. My buddy Tonto is about the most prepared guy I know. He took a lead roll in CERTs after we went through it and then helped out in a program called Medwars. This pits teams of doctor, nurses, firemen, EMTs, and other medical professionals against each other in an obstacle course that includes such skills and map reading and land navigation, canoeing, rappelling, and similar outdoor skills.
Your education need not be a structured study either. I know a couple that were getting into preparedness and wanted to learn outdoor skills and outdoor cooking and low impact camping. Since they had a young son I suggested that they join the local Boy Scout troop and spend a year or two with them as volunteers to the Scoutmaster. Scouts can also earn a merit badge for emergency preparedness too! In fact there are quiet a few merit badges that are useful toward survival knowledge, Archery, Marksmanship, Gardening, and First Aid to name a few. A volunteer helping the Scouts can learn a lot of skills while working with the boys as a mentor.
Train yourself in survival skills before you need them. There are lots of ways to build your store of knowledge and the more you look for them the more you will find and the easier it will be to feel prepared and confident.
Jim’s quote of the day over on Survivalblog the other day was, “The more you know, the less you need.” – Australian Aboriginal Saying. I couldn’t say it much better myself.
BTW: CJ suggested the University of Hawaii’s Cooperative Extension Service as a site for .pdf instructions on vegetable plant irrigation.
And here’s an interesting ideological debate: A rural Tennessee town requires a $75 fee if you want fire protection. A guy didn’t pay it so the fire department watched his house burn to the ground.