Employers typically have someone in with a bit of training in charge during a crisis. Classroom teachers are required to know where their students are at all times just in case something were to happen. When an emergency takes places you call 911, so those with specialized training can come to your aid. What if the power is out and you can't call for help? What if the roads are blocked and the ambulance can't make it to you? What happens when you need help now? Are you prepared? Do you have the necessary skill set to help yourself or others in the event of an emergency?
Getting some basic training can be a real lifesaver. Most people have some experience with CPR or First Aid. Many youth groups require CPR certification at some point in their program. It is a good idea to brush up on your silks every few years to stay fresh. CPR certifications typically expire after 3 years.
- The American Heart Association offers a variety of classes in CPR and AED training. They even have a course on workplace training. Is your office prepared for a medical emergency? Most offices have a basic first aid kit, but does anyone know how to use it? What if a co-worker has a heart attack? Some offices now have AED machines or an automated external defibrillator. This device will detect abnormal heart rhythms and send an electric shock to restore normal heart rhythms. Knowing how to use one of these machines could be the difference between life and death for you or someone you know.
- FEMA offers an emergency management degree through their Emergency Managment Institue located in Maryland. However, several of their on-campus classes have been canceled due to the recent hurricane activity. They do offer online courses as well. There is a selection of free course materials and books available for download on their website.
- The American Red Cross has several classes that range in price. They offer classes in lifeguarding, child care, First Aid and CPR, and even CNA certifications. Search by class and location to see if there is an upcoming class that may interest you.
- The Indiana Department of Homeland Security offers a comprehensive training program targeted toward the needs of the state. They also have free online courses in terrorism awareness and white-collar crime. Check to see if your home state has a similar program.
- Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) organizations are popping up all over the country. These are volunteer organizations led by neighbors with training done by city emergency organizations. Call your fire department to see if CERT is offered in your city. If not, it may be a good idea for you to implement a similar program.
Find out what your state's emergency preparedness plan is. Do you live by a nuclear power plant? What is their emergency plan? The more training you have the more you can help in the event of a crisis. By helping those in your local area, first responders and emergency personnel can handle the more serious cases quickly. Just knowing basic first aid could be a major asset during a disaster.
Photo Credit: http://ksi.uconn.edu/prevention/automated-external-defibrillators/