The first and best investment you can make in yourself is to learn CPR and first aid. The American Red Cross and other organizations offer these classes in virtually every community. If you get certified, you’re typically protected under Good Samaritan laws.

An emergency can happen at any time. Instead of being caught entirely off-guard, you can take steps today to learn the safety skills you’ll need to get from one day to the next.

Once you have that knowledge, it helps to invest in a versatile first aid kit to treat injuries and illnesses as they occur.

Then you can proceed with these other safety skills to have in your arsenal.

1. Know How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

There should be at least one updated fire extinguisher on your property and in each vehicle. Everyone at home should know where they are kept; it should be at least an ABC-type product.

If you haven’t been trained on fire extinguisher use, your local fire department likely offers routine classes to help.

2. Shut Off the Utilities

Natural gas leaks can cause explosions and fires after a disaster-level event occurs. Everyone in your home should know how to turn off the utilities to prevent problems. Each meter has a different shut-off procedure based on its configuration, so contact your provider to receive the specific instructions you need to stay safe.

If you smell rotten eggs or hear a hissing sound, open your windows and leave the property quickly. Turn off the main valve, then contact the gas company. Never try to re-engage your utilities without professional help.

3. Know How to Control Water

Water is a precious resource after a disaster occurs. Everyone should know where the main valve is for their home and how to turn it off. If it hasn’t received attention in recent years, it could be rusted open or be unable to close. Inspect it regularly and replace it as needed to prevent leaks.

Cracked lines can pollute the water supply. Shut off the access until you know it is safe to drink again. Some options for water preservation include filling your bathtub, using what is stored in the water heater, or investing in desalination equipment if you live in a coastal community.

4. Use Self-Defense Tools

A Taser is an effective self-defense option because it delivers less-than-lethal results while offering an intimidation factor. Most people don’t want to get zapped by an electrical charge, so you can often get voluntary surrenders or attack abandonment with this option in your emergency kit. Several models are available to ensure there is one that fits your needs.

5. Know How to Escape

The best way to defuse a situation is to leave. If you need to escape quickly, have a plan or route planned that you can implement. Keep items stored in protected areas so that you still have enough supplies to survive, even if you must leave home.

Being safe doesn’t happen by accident. It requires careful planning and tactical investments. If you haven’t begun this process yet, doing so today could save your life one day.