Everyday Practical Skills You Can Use in an Emergency

Emergency preparedness isn’t only about having supply kits. There are things you can and should do to prepare for the next power outage or pandemic that don’t require a trip to a grocery store.

Practical skills are self-help, life-saving skills and lessons that you can learn, practice, and pass on to prepare yourself and others for an emergency. Here are three (3) practical skills you can use in your everyday life to prepare for a possible disaster.

  • Handwashing. Effective handwashing is a skill that you can easily learn, teach to others, and use every day to protect your health. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water.
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Bystanders are often first on the scene after a disaster or in a medical emergency. If performed in the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, CPR can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.
  • Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Each year, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning not linked to fires. In a power outage, improper generator use can cause CO poisoning. Never run a generator indoors. Always use generators outdoors, in a dry area, and at least 20 feet from your home.

For more information, tips, and lists, visit cdc.gov/prepyourhealth.

Page last reviewed: June 30, 2021, 11:50 AM