We love (or dread) to imagine a true end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it scenario and all of the skills and supplies needed to survive them, but what about those everyday disasters that affect many people on a daily basis? The skills for these sorts of “minor” emergencies are just as needed and just as important, if not more so because these disasters are quite likely to strike you or your family at least once in a lifetime. Let’s see what kinds of “daily survival” skills you may need to brush up on.
The kinds of disasters we’re looking at
Generally speaking, the situations I’m talking about seem minor compared to the collapse of the power grid, an economic collapse, or a major world war. A lost job, a flat tire, an extended illness, or a local power outage are far more likely than an end of the world scenario but are often overlooked because they aren’t as dramatic to your mind. Ask someone who wasn’t prepared how it feels to suddenly lose a job, though, and you might think differently. These disasters are truly too numerous to mention, but they generally encompass things that are more than minor inconveniences but are largely focused on your family or at most your local town or county.
The skills you’ll need
Let’s break these down into specific areas so that they can be more easily organized:
- Changing a tire
- Jump starting your car
- Changing Oil (a frugality prep more than anything, but still useful)
- Using a tow strap, winch/come-alone to pull cars out of mud, snow etc.
- How to escape your car rapidly if the seatbelt is stuck
- How to get out if your car is submerged.
- When to leave your vehicle after an accident (i.e. if the vehicle is on fire)
- How to treat general minor wounds (cuts/scrapes) to avoid infection
- When to move/not move victims to avoid further injury
- How to reassure injured people
- How to treat shock
- How to stanch bleeding without a tourniquet
- Proper use of a tourniquet
- Improvising basic medical materials (bandages from t-shirts, tourniquets from a pen and a rag etc.)
- How to be calm when others panic
- Essential local laws that impact weapon choice, when/how differing degrees of force can be used
- Basic firearms handling
- Proper restraint, and when to let that restraint go to preserve your life
- Situational awareness to avoid dangers before they happen
- Networking (either job related to give you more options, or in your local area to be trusted by skilled people in your community)
- Frugality (yes this is a skill, particularly if you suddenly lack an income and have to adjust your wants and needs)
- Home repair skills (either to save money during a low-income period, or just to lower costs in general)
- “Couponing” and deal finding
- Auction Hunting
There are always more, of course, but this list gives you a basic idea of what you’re looking for. Even as I assembled this list I saw a few skills that I lacked entirely or that I had allowed to get rusty for the sake of convenience. Will you be ready for those minor moments of SHTF?
Any other skills that would be useful in this list? Let us know in the comments below!