8 Essential Emergency Skills Everyone Should Have
You never know when an emergency will present itself, and it’s better to have skills you’ll never use than not have them when you need them. Whether you’re a parent of small children or spend a lot of time exploring the outdoors, you’re sure to find these essential emergency skills useful.
Basic first aid skills can prove valuable in an emergency. A few first-aid skills to learn include setting splints, stopping bleeding, and identifying a concussion. Learning how to suture or create stitches may also be helpful if someone experiences a deep cut with a lot of bleeding. Stocking and storing a first aid kit also ensures you have the necessary supplies to deal with an emergency.
A few key items to include in your first aid are compress dressings, over-the-counter medications, adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes, a blanket, gauze pads, tweezers, and first aid instructions. Of course, you can also always buy a ready-made first aid kit. Some people may also consider a first aid certification to learn how to deal with the most common emergencies.
Insect and Snake Bites
Insect or snake bites can happen while playing in the backyard. Snakes and other dangerous wildlife may also move closer to residential areas after a natural disaster. It’s important to take note of any distinguishing characteristics of the insect or snake that bites you. This may help a medical responder issue the proper medication to counteract any potential poison. Administer first aid while you wait for help, and try to clean and dress the wound.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a life-saving technique that involves manually pumping blood for someone in distress. CPR chest compressions can supply the body with blood until help arrives. CPR certification ensures you use the proper techniques and know when it’s appropriate to administer. ProTrainings offers CPR certifications and recertifications online, making it a convenient option.
The Heimlich Maneuver is used when a person is choking and involves dislodging an item from someone’s airway. Children are especially at risk of choking since they’re more likely to put small objects in their mouths or not fully chew food before swallowing. The Heimlich Maneuver technique varies depending on age and body size, so learning the best techniques may come in handy.
Learning how to treat burns can minimize damage and help control pain until the person receives help. The burn treatment techniques you use right after the incident occurs can also limit permanent damage to the burn site. Burns can arise from cooking spills, car accidents, electrical fires, or a wide range of other causes, making burn treatment a good skill to have.
Basic fire safety is beneficial for everyone. Learning what to do when there’s a fire, plus how to get out of a building safely, is a must. Fire safety training may also include rescue techniques or how to call for help. Learning how to use a fire extinguisher can also be helpful in the event of a fire.
Fire prevention tips are also useful in avoiding a fire. Learn how to check and replace smoke alarms in the home. Make sure you have a fire escape route in place, and ensure all household residents are aware of the plan. Put safety perimeters in place when cooking, including monitoring younger children. If you’re using space heaters in the home, make sure they’re given enough space that they’re not too close to nearby furniture.
Learning how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED) is also beneficial when dealing with an emergency. Emergency response classes can help you learn how to properly use an AED, including when to use one. An AED is a machine that supplies electric shocks to a person through an electrical pad. AEDs typically have voice-automated directions, but the fear and panic of dealing with an emergency can make the instruction easy to miss.
Natural disasters may require the use of a generator until help arrives. Learning the proper use of a generator ensures you have power to deal with an emergency without risking carbon monoxide poisoning. Always keep generators outdoors and only use them in a dry area. Installing battery-operated CO2 detectors in your home can also help you detect dangerous levels.
No one plans to be in an emergency. But, if you find yourself caring for yourself or others during an emergency, you’ll be glad that you have these skills. Some skills, like first aid and CPR, are best learned through a formal class, whereas others you can learn at home on your own. Either way, expanding these emergency response skills and putting a safety plan in place may be helpful one day.