Thursday, January 4, 2018

How To: Use Community Resources to Become a Prepper

Many communities have loads of resources to help you become better prepared.  Most often these resources are free and while some will require your time, a bit of effort, and perhaps some volunteer hours, this is often a better choice for most people who want the knowledge/education/skills without shelling out a boatload of money.  Note that the links listed below are from my city/county/state as examples but many places around the US offer similar programs.

  • Your library should be your first stop.  Our library has all kinds of preparedness e-books, sometimes guest speakers, and other resources like annual community fairs to help people become better prepared.
  • When we first moved to Las Vegas I jumped on the many free guided hikes and desert survival classes offered through various organizations (examples herehere, here, and here) to learn more about the area and gain some insider knowledge on this new environment.
  • Local Search and Rescue organizations offer some great training and experience opportunities.  In this case, not only are you learning some valuable survival skills but you often get to help rescue others.
  • Local utility companies often have programs to help you become better prepared, whether by saving money on your utilities, free conservation equipment, or other programs to help people in the community (examples here andhere).
  • Many communities offer Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training.  These classes are geared specifically towards getting community members trained up to a basic level of preparedness for a disaster.
  • Many communities also have Red Cross organizations which proved all kinds of training in preparedness--from first aid and CPR classes to life guarding and business preparedness training.
  • Most cities, counties, and states have a Department of Emergency Management.  Some are pretty small programs that barely limp along while others are extremely robust programs that are used as examples to others all around the country.  Check your local, county, and state websites to see what kind of programs they offer to the public.
  • Community health organizations--from hospitals and fire departments to local and state health departments--often provide resources to help community members become better prepared.
  • Many fire departments have some sort of volunteer fire fighter/EMT program where volunteers receive very valuable training plus the opportunity to practice this training while helping others (examples here and here). 
  • Nearly anything you want to learn can be learned via volunteering at community clubs and organizations.  HAM radio clubs, maker spaces, LDS Canneries, there are even community groups for gardening and blacksmithing.

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