Living in Alaska isn’t for the weak of heart and mind, so knowing how to live comfortably in this giant playground we call home can take learning some new skills. While college may not be for everyone, some basic preparedness classes can be very valuable and useful to all Alaskans throughout their lives.
First Aid/ CPR: A basic knowledge in First Aid should be on the to do list of every Alaskan simply because of how remotely we live our lives out here. On any given day while living in Alaska you can find yourself very many miles from the nearest paved road, town or civilization in general. Knowing the basics in First Aid and CPR should be a top priority for any adventure seeking Alaskan. The classes offered through the Red Cross are well done and affordable. Encourage your teenagers to take the class, and always teach your younger kids the basics in first aid prior to outdoor remote adventures our outings. Additionally, REI offers a free Urban Emergency Preparedness class that could be very informative for the whole family.
Water Safety: Alaska is surrounded by water on three of its giant borders. Between that and the thousands of rivers and lakes that are sprinkled throughout the state, water safety should be a number one priority for every family in Alaska. From open water to river and lake safety, kids and families should all be armed with the knowledge of what to do in each situation and what to do in case of water related emergency. In addition, REI offers basic Kayaking classes as well as other classes that may be helpful for safety around the water. The ocean, rivers and lakes can have severely unpredictable currents and swells so being aware of what to do in each type of situation could save yours and many other lives.
Wilderness Safety: Being aware of the wildlife and dangers that come with entering their habitat for camping, hiking or hunting is vital for Alaskans to survive and enjoy the beautiful outdoors. REI offers a Bear Aware class and the Parks and Recreation Department offers other classes promoting wildlife and wilderness awareness and safety tips. We share our state with the many wildlife critters that have always been here. Alaskans know this to be true as we watch moose eat our Halloween pumpkins right off our front steps and bears linger by our favorite camping and fishing spots. Learning about the wildlife, their patterns and preferences can help save you and your family from dangerous and scary situations.