Thursday, November 19, 2009

10 Ways You Can Help Others Survive All Kinds of Situations

Tis the season to think about others. What with Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the generally jovial atmosphere of giving these last couple months of the year, here are a number of ways you can help others survive all kinds of situations:
  1. Give something that literally saves a life: blood, plasma, bone marrow, a kidney, and any other vital organs that you don't need (ie: become an organ and tissue donor).
  2. Give your time to those who most need it. Investing your time and effort to help others, whether you are helping someone learn to read or watching a passel of kids for a single mother while she looks for a job, often provides the payback of creating a better community. Having a better community to live in is a good thing--it makes for better survival rates for all.
  3. Teach others. I am fairly certain that I wouldn't be the person I am today without all of the things I learned from important people in my life (ie: how to survive in the wilderness, how to use logic to solve problems, how to speak a handful of languages, etc). It's a good bet that if you teach someone something, that knowledge will go on to help them later in life.
  4. Give good gifts. To me, "good" gifts are practical gifts. A sweater is nice, a box of ammo is nicer. I also like to give car emergency kits, sporting goods that get kids outside and active, experiences that help people improve their skills (everything from an auto repair class for the daughters to cooking class for the sons). Maybe that is why I am not often in charge of gift giving....
  5. Pay attention to what is going on with others and help if/when needed. While I am busy enough with my own life and disdain drama of all kinds, if I know someone is going through a difficult situation and I can help by providing something concrete such as a job lead, a referral to services, a positive word, etc, I will do it without hesitation.
  6. Invite others to learn from/with you. I am a fan of Dave Ramsey because his basic program is to get a group of people to go through a class (FPU) together which allows them to support each other while they all aim for the same goal of getting out of debt. And it works. Mastermind groups are similar as are study groups at college and sports teams. Basically everyone is working towards the same goal, supporting each other, and teaching each other as they go.
  7. Lobby for training opportunities in your community. The more people who have access to CPR, HAM radio, CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), weather watcher, firearms safety, and other disaster prep training opportunities, the better.
  8. Prepare leaders. Whether within your family or your office, leadership training is important. You may be the head honcho on a normal day, but when TSHTF, and if, by some chance, you become incapacitated, you will need a leader other than yourself to take over. Who might that be? How might you help others prepare to take on leadership roles if necessary? Everyone needs training, everyone needs to know the chain of command, and everyone needs to know what to do in a disaster in case they are the last one standing and need to take control of a situation.
  9. Volunteer. There are plenty of people out there who wouldn't be alive today without the efforts of volunteer EMTs at rural ambulance agencies. Volunteers at the food bank help people survive during hard times, volunteer search and rescue personnel pull people off mountains with surprising regularity, and volunteer coaches help develop skills that will prove useful for immediate needs and vital for the future development of the coach-ees.
  10. Practice. You never know when you will get to save a life. Be sure you have training, and have on-going practice, in a wide range of skills including CPR, first aid, lifeguard swimming, shooting. foraging, fire building, sea survival, mountain survival, etc.


  1. What a great list! The only thing I can't agree with is donating a kidney or any other non-regenerating body part. The only exception I'd make would be for my child. However, I won't otherwise put myself in the position of only having 1 kidney, in case it should be injured or otherwise less functioning, and thereby endanger my own health.

    But I do encourage donating blood, plasma, and other regenerative tissues -- my father's life was saved by donated blood when I was 4 years old, which prompted my daughters & I to become Red Cross blood donors. Thank you for your post!

  2. I agree Lil. I can count on one hand the people I would donate a kidney to. I should have been more clear to say that for non-regenerating organs, you would want to donate them AFTER you die and no longer need them--so be sure to sign up to be an organ donor.

  3. Volunteering can have great results! I have a cousin who was unemployed for 6 months, and passed some time by volunteering at the local food bank. She got a contact thru another volunteer, and now has a new job!