Prepping to survive a disaster or some catastrophic event is a wise decision. More and more people realize the need to prepare their families to live and thrive after a major event turns the world upside down.
Unfortunately, many preppers make one mistake – they don’t practice the skills they learn or apply them in real-life situations.
Reading books and watching people on YouTube is not the same as actually doing. Check out these ten places you can learn and practice the prepping skills that may save the life of a loved one in the future.
1. Become a Volunteer Firefighter
Volunteering with your local fire station is an excellent way to get some good, free, hands-on training. You will get the opportunity to work with experienced firefighters and will often get the chance to attend training classes for free or at steep discounts.
You will likely need to commit to being available for a certain amount of time each month to maintain your status as a volunteer.
2. Become a Scout Leader
When you go through the process of becoming a scout leader, you will also have access to a variety of free and low-cost training classes. Because you will be expected to teach skills to your troops, a leader must be taught first. This is a way to learn and practice skills that will help you survive in the outdoors.
3. Join a Local 4H
Survival is often about learning to be self-sufficient, which will typically include raising animals and gardening. The 4H program is all about raising healthy animals that can be used for breeding as well as food.
The skills you learn in 4H will be fundamental when there are no grocery stores to visit when your family needs food.
4. Check out Z.E.R.T.
This is an excellent opportunity for the entire family. There is no age limit. You will need to pay a yearly membership fee as well as additional fees for the extra training courses that are offered. The courses are offered by elite special forces officers who can provide valuable knowledge you wouldn’t find in any typical survival course.
5. Take EMT Classes
Emergency Medical Technician courses are typically offered by most community colleges. The classes are very short and cost under $1000 to complete. The training you will receive is invaluable.
Emergency first aid knowledge will come in handy in the aftermath of a major event. Volunteering and using your EMT skills regularly will help keep the skills fresh and help you learn more from your hands-on experience.
6. Get Involved with Red Cross
The Red Cross is always looking for people to volunteer throughout the organization. You will have the opportunity to learn about a wide range of services, including first aid, counseling and basic preparation for disaster services.
You will be exposed to many different learning opportunities while giving back to your community. There is an application process, and openings tend to fill fast. Sign up so you can be alerted when an opening in your area becomes available.
7. Tons of stuff at the YMCA
There are a ton of opportunities at your local YMCA. Each YMCA will differ in what programs are offered, but some of the more standard classes offered include CPR, first aid and lifeguard certification.
The classes are offered for entire families, including kids as young as 12, and are a great way to get the kids educated about basic first aid. The fees are very reasonable and members are given a discount.
Gardening courses and other skills are often offered. These can help you hone your skills while learning new tricks that will help you if you have to become self-sufficient.
8. Join the Civil Air Patrol
The Civil Air Patrol offers extensive training in the areas of search and rescue as well as disaster response. Kids as young as 13 can participate in the schools that will teach them how to navigate the wilderness and some valuable survival skills.
There are membership dues in order to be a part of the CAP and the various opportunities they offer. You will need to look for a squadron in your area, which is easy to find using the CAP website. There are only a few squadrons. Depending on where you live, you may need to travel to attend meetings and training.
9. Get involved with CERT
The Community Emergency Response Team is a program offered through FEMA. Communities are encouraged to form CERT groups that are trained to help facilitate disaster response. It can take hours or days for rescue services to reach hard-hit areas.
A CERT group can mobilize within minutes to help out their neighbors. CERT training happens over seven weeks, with meetings a couple of hours once a week. It is an excellent way to learn valuable skills for free or at a steep discount.
In most cases, you will have to have a minimum number of participants in order to start a group. Talk with neighbors to find out who would be interested and get a commitment from those willing to be a part of the group.
10. Check out FEMA
FEMA offers an array of training courses at facilities around the country. The Federal Emergency Management Agency also offers a number of courses online that teach what to do in case of emergency.
Classes also include incident management, hazard mitigation, disaster logistics and a variety of other training courses that will help you help others in the aftermath of a disaster. There is an application process and a waiting list for some of the classes.
Most classes are worth college credits and will cost you. However, there are a handful of free courses you can take online.