Skill sets for Emergencies
Emergencies come in all shapes and sizes and while I truly believe a one size fits all approach to emergencies is ludicrous as well as in some instances dangerous. There are certain skills sets and habits that have helped me mitigate and/or prevent emergencies from happening in the first place. This is not offered as advice. It is only a recounting of the skills that have helped me and my family.

Know when to call for help
I am not a doctor, veterinarian, master mechanic, plumber, electrician or fire fighter. It is important to know when to call for professional help. If I'm unsure or know I cannot handle a problem call a professional who can.

First Aid
All the spiffy, expensive top of the line First Aid supplies and equipment will not help if no one available knows how to use them. My introduction to First Aid was a course offered to my Girl Scout Troop via the Red Cross more years ago than I care to admit. This education has since been augmented by life experiences such as becoming the chief care giver for the family and a barn full of livestock. It is also important that others in my family know what to do if something happens to me. The following are things I consider essential first aid skills to know. They are not in any particular order of importance.

How to control bleeding
How to clean, treat and bandage a wound
Deal with most common minor injuries
How to care for a sick family member
How to set up a sick room and an isolation/sick room
How to treat a choking victim and clear and keep an air way open
How to do rescue breathing
Knowing how to and if to immobilize and splint a fractured limb
How to deal with a toothache until the dentist can deal with it
How to deal with hypothermia
How to deal with over heating
Know how to treat minor burns including sun burn
How to improvise first aid supplies from what is available
First Aid for family members with special needs such as infants
How to take pulse and blood pressure
How to take a temperature
How to recognize and treat dehydration
How to get a foreign object out of an eye and when to let a doctor do it
How to make a medical record such as noting when and what medications were taken, temperature over time, change in condition or symptoms
Knowing how to recognize a potential heart attack or stroke
How to clean up bodily fluids
Knowing what foods are appropriate and how to prepare them for someone who is sick

Safely use Emergency equipment
We didn't buy an off the shelf 72 hour kits. We custom tailored each kit/bag to meet the needs of my family member who would be using it. They know what is in it and how to use what is in it. I try to update them seasonally, summer versus winter clothing.
Knowing how to properly use a fire extinguisher and what type to use when
Knowing how to safely put out a small fire if no fire extinguisher is available
Smoke detectors: how to test and change their batteries
How to safely use emergency lighting
How to safely use alternative heating and cooking apparatus
Make sure there is the proper fuel available for alternative heating and cooking and that it is properly stored
How to safely use common tools such as: a hammer, saw, pliers, wrench, vice grips, drill, pry bar, screw driver and car jack.
To be able to safely and correctly perform minor house hold maintenance
Keep an emergency tool/spare parts kit in the car and know how and when to use and install the things in it
Know how to safely and correctly perform minor car repair such as replace needed fluids or change a tire, hose, fuse or belt
Know where there are working flash lights
How to use alternative methods of communications

Always having food, water and supplies on enough to handle at least a short term emergency
Be organized. Emergency equipment and supplies cannot help if they can't be found during the emergency.
Make sure food and drugs are in date. Use food and update stocks as needed. OTC drugs and canned food may be safe four years out of date but I would not want to be forced to find out the hard way during an emergency
Restock first aid supplies and OTC drugs after use
Be vigilant, know when something is wrong and needs attention. Scheduled maintenance and a fixing problems before they can become emergencies can save a lot of money and stress
If a foreseeable major problem (not limited to an earth quake, snow storm or hurricane) is a potential reoccurring threat, prepare well in advance or get out of its way
Replace medical/first aid equipment after use and check periodically
Check the batteries in the smoke alarms twice a year (we do it when the clocks change)
Check the fire extinguishers at least once a year
Keep up to date emergency numbers next to the phone
Refill the car gas tank when it gets below half full
Have the car's oil changed, a lube and rotate the tires every 3000 miles
Have the car inspected by a trusted licensed mechanic prior to any major road trip
Discard questionable food preferable before it looks like a science experiment
Keeping some special needs supplies stocked (like diapers)

Knowing how to make potable water
Know how to find an alternative water source that can be made safe to drink with available resources/equipment.
Knowing several methods to purify water and how to use the equipment and resources to do it
Knowing how to safely improvise a method to purify water from what is available on hand

Know what food is safe to eat
During an emergency it is important to know what foods are safe. This can be important when the power goes out and refrigeration stops working.
Just because food was commercially sealed in a jar or can does not mean it is safe to eat without cooking. If the container does not say; "Ready to eat" it may not be.
Know how to recognize signs of food spoilage
It can also be important to know that foods can look, feel, smell and taste fine and still cause food poisoning. Knowing the food's source, how it was processed, handled, stored, prepared and hoe long it has been left out without sufficient heat or refrigeration to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria will offer clues as to a foods safety.

Water Safety
A life guard course in water rescue was a wonderful opportunity that I am truly grateful to have had. It is a skill I wish every parent had.
Know how to swim
know how to teach children to swim
Be able to recognize unsafe water (Rip tides, strong currents etc.)
Know what to do if caught in rip or swift current
Know how to recognize when someone is in trouble. This may not look like many would assume.
Know what to do in case someone is drowning
Know how to use and improvise emergency flotation devices

Keeping kids occupied
Knowing how to deal with board, tired, out of sorts children. Story books, cards, puzzles, board games have helped in some situations. If all else fails here there are always chores and fire wood that needs moving.