If you have been joining in on the challenge, you would have read Bec’s post at eat at dixiebelles titled “:: Be Prepared Challenge :: Organise – Step Two :“. She listed places, areas and ways to store the items you need to be prepared. I think she covered off everything, so I shall not repeat all of that wonderful information. Thanks Bec for the great tips.
What I will cover today are skills. As my son Adam puts it, ‘Skills to pay the bills’, or in this case save your family’s bacon in a dire situation. By understanding the skills we possess or don’t have, we can better prepare in case TSHTF.
One big caveat. I am by no means an expert in this field. I have however had the benefit of 20 years of military training and service and have gained many life skills during my time in the Royal Australian Navy. I also served in Darwin, when I experience and survived three cyclones by learning to be prepared. Also in the few years I have been on my green journey, I have learnt many skills that will benefit in a crisis. If you want to participate in this task, then great. If you think I am talking out of my bottom, then skip it, but please at least read what I have to say.
So for this task we will need the following;
- Thinking Caps,
- Large pad
- Other members of the family
- A quiet place without the TV blaring in the background
Sit down with afore mentioned family and on your piece of paper draw four columns down the page and title them as follows; It would look something like this;
Write down everyones skills that you already have or think you need work on that would be useful during a crisis. For example, I have pre-populated some of mine. Anyway, you get the general idea. Do this for every person in the family that is willing to participate. That way, you will get a rounded view of all the important skills you think you will need during a Natural disasters, political unrest, resource scarcity. Stick to those three main situations as your scope so to speak. With the natural disasters, think about those ones that may be possible in your area at least ones that have occurred in the last 50 years. That should give you a fairly good sample to work from.
So, if you are stuck for skills, here are a few more;
Plan, Organise, Entertain & perform, Plant & cultivate, Treat/Nurse, First Aid, Transport, Compose music, Tend animals, Counsel, Negotiate, Sell, Buy, Teach, Prepare food, Make decisions, Write, Draw, Count, Carpentry abilities, Mechanical abilities, Basic Fire fighting, Navigate, Bush craft, Mend/Sew, Deal with Feelings, Light a fire, Cleaning.
These are some of the important ones I would consider, but there are probably a few more you can and will think of. Some may seem a little bit out there like compose music, however if the power is out and everyone is bored, and someone can play a musical instrument, then morale gets instantly lifted! Just an example, but you know what I mean. Just try your best, and be honest. For any skills that you feel you are lacking in, check if another family member has that skill, but remember one skill that you cannot skimp on is First Aid. If push comes to shove, ensure that everyone knows CPR. I admit that I still have to take Ben to a course, but I believe that everyone else knows the basics.
So once you find the gaps in your family skill set, or find ones that you believe you absolutely need yourself, seek a way of gaining that skill, either by attending a course i.e CPR/First aid, reading a book about the subject and practising i.e Cooking, or marrying someone who has that skill (the last one is a joke). It is no use during a crisis discovering that you have a house full of food that you have carefully stockpiled, and no-one knows how to light a fire to cook it. Further more, there is no use having a few fire extinguishers around the house when no-one knows how to use them. This is one good skill that I have taught to Ben and Kim. I bought a cheap fire extinguisher and let them practice against one of our fences, with a cardboard box as a pretend fire. There is nothing quite like pulling the trigger to give you a bit of experience.
Same goes for practice. Once you have learnt a skill, practice it regularly if you think it is important enough. Skills like cooking food, negotiating, planning and organising take time to develop. Don’t leave it to the last minute when your kids are screaming for food, or critical decisions need to be made that instant. Practice, practice, practice. I sound like a music teacher!
Anyway, at the end of this task, I would expect that you and your family would have a list of skills, you fully understand your competencies, and where you need to seek further information or training. A good start, but please do follow up and practice or learn those skills you think you need.
To finish off, can I please ask that if you think I have missed any essential skills or have any burning ones you want to add, leave a comment with details. The more information we all have, the better off we will be at the end of the challenge. That include websites with list of skills. Don’t include what to start hoarding i.e food & essentials, as that task is coming up in week 2.
Thanks for participating so far.