When the first winter storm of the season racked up a listing of school and business closings, no doubt there were lots of cheers. But as the nation braces for more winter weather, the slow news crawl of closings across TV screens has brought on serious cabin fever.
What if you could use your next snow day to gain lifesaving skills, prepare to respond to a disaster or better understand the important role of humanitarians behind the headlines? You can learn this and much more through the American Red Cross Learning Center. The Learning Center is a great online training tool, with short and engaging ways you can use during downtime to power up your skills and knowledge.
With the Red Cross database of online classes you can learn everything from how to help your family in an emergency, how to cope with a loved one being deployed, or how to teach the kids the basics of babysitting.
Each of these free or low-cost courses is highly-interactive, self-paced and easy to use. Courses can be completed in as little as a couple of hours, or used as a starting point for professional training and certifications later on.
For example, the Family First Aid and CPR online module teaches you how to respond to sudden illnesses, breathing and cardiac emergencies and other injuries. There is even a section specifically designed to prepare you to care for an infant until medical personnel arrive. You can also find more ways to help protect your family, including your pets, with Red Cross mobile apps available in the Google Play store or on iTunes.
Perhaps the recent weather woes have spurred the desire to act and volunteer in your community during a time of need. The Disaster Service Overview course provides an introduction to how the Red Cross responds during emergencies. It also details how you can become one of the 400,000 volunteers who make it possible for the organization to respond to fires, flood, weather and other emergencies each day.
In the International Services section of the website you can learn about International Humanitarian Law, the role it plays in the news stories we see today and how it affects the work of Red Cross organizations globally. You can also find out how to utilize Restoring Family Links, a service which helps reconnect families around the world
The Learning Center also has interesting and educational ways to keep the kids occupied. The Babysitting Basics course helps youth build their knowledge and skills in caring for infants and children, safety and even how to start their own babysitting business. Kids can even play Raid Cross, a simulated activity set in a fictional country in conflict, where students are given realistic situations and are challenged with making humanitarian decisions based on international law.
There is something for everyone to learn with Red Cross online courses. To find more topics and information on registering, visit https://classes.redcross.org or http://www.redcross.org/prepare/mobile-apps and get started today!