Being prepared for a natural disaster/emergency!

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The last decade has taught me a lot about being prepared for emergencies. You NEVER know when you will lose power for days, and my experience: it usually goes out very close to dark, so you don’t have much time to prepare. That’s exactly what happened to us recently! A storm came through starting around 7pm, took the power out, and we were without it ~36 hrs! They were able to restore power to everyone BUT us in my immediate area. We were without longer because we had a limb wrapped up in the lines in OUR yard. The power crews were dealing with F1 tornado damage just 30 miles south. And each & every neighboring county was impacted one way or another, so all crews were working around the clock. They told us it could be days. It was 2 nights, and they got it back around 4am that 2nd night/morning. This was the last straw in us finally getting our own generator. We’ve lived through 4 major floods in the last decade. I’m only 37, so know that in my 60+ years I have left, I’ll likely live through many more. I’ve learned we’re just 1 all-night rain away from a flood here. And although we’re not in the “tornado belt” the F1 tornado was just 1 county to the south. Be it excessive rain, winds, tornadoes, ice storms, snow storms, the chance of us needing our $400 generator multiple times in the coming decade is quite good I think! The peace of mind that comes along with having it now, is priceless.

My Hubby had just gotten off THIS water (the MS River) 2 hrs before THIS front hit & knocked our power out:

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Speaking of water…. When we lose power, we also lose our well water. The pump that pumps it from the ground is electric. We knew to fill up as many containers as possible with drinking water, while we had the chance. Then we had a limited time to collect everything in the pipes before nothing comes out of our tap. We also can’t flush toilets then. This is fine for a couple hours, but going on 36+ hrs, it gets old quick. So when it rained all day following our initial power outage (and greatly contributing to the flooding), we got smart & filled up every cooler and large container we could find with rain water. We used this for flushing toilets & doing a batch of dishes, until the power came back the next day.

Then we bought the generator! One of the worst things about flooding where I live, is we live on the banks of the flooding river. We live up on the high side, so our house is not in danger, but 2/3 of our exits from our house to neighboring towns always go under, check out this pic, this is our exit to the south:

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BUT, we were able to make our way uphill via our one & only exit, and to our locally owned hardware/ One-Stop-Shop store, and they had Briggs & Straton Generators on the shelf! By 2pm, after being without power since 7pm the night before,  in 95 degree heat, we were able to power our deep freeze and fridge w/ freezer up top for several hours, bringing them back up to full freeze. As well as a  small room A.C with a fan so we were able to get a good night sleep that 2nd night. We went through about 4 gal of gasoline in ~12 hrs. That gave me an idea of how much I should always have on hand.  The sound of the generator (they are VERY loud) was drowned out by the A.C, so that was nice.

We don’t own smart phones, and the internet was taken out along with our power. So it was a very interesting feeling of truly being disconnected & now knowing what was going on out there, except I could text with my phone & knew others in my area had power restored, but we did not. It was hours later we saw the limb on the line in our yard.

BATTERY POWER: A few months ago we invested in 4 (1 for each family member) rechargeable battery fans for camping. They have certainly came in handy during the 4 camping trips we’ve been on so far this Summer. They are also GREAT to have on hand for Summer storms. Unfortunately we had not yet re-charged them from the camping trip we had returned from 3 days prior. LESSON: always re-charge fans (and other equipment) after each use. They would’ve reallllly helped me get some sleep that 1st night when it was very hot & humid & I could not open the windows since rain was blowing in sideways. Thankfully, the kids slept all night, but I didn’t sleep at all…. Same goes for flashlights. We own a ton of them and had plenty of them charged & ready to go. I’m not that comfortable with burning candles during a storm. What if a tornado did hit the house with a tornado going & start us on fire….?  But I do keep some in the reserves just in case we have no other option for light. Lack of light is not a big deal, it’s lack of water & power to freezers that is a big deal. I kept telling my kids: it’s like we’re camping from home… Except we don’t usually have a thawing deep freeze with us.

The rechargeable fan we have via Amazon link, USB chargeable, and uses laptop batteries (of which my Hubby has many as a computer tech): http://amzn.to/2sHvW2Y

 

These are some tips sent in by group members on this topic:

— ” I just heard a story of a woman who died from carbon monoxide poisoning after the pilot light on her furnace was extinguished from flood water. She had no detector. It may seem like a obvious but then again not. Checking those detectors is SO important.” And indeed, our appliances do largely run on gas, and we do also have a detector. This is the one we have: I just heard a story of a woman who died from carbon monoxide poisoning after the pilot light on her furnace was extinguished from flood water. She had no detector. It may seem like a obvious but then again not. Checking those detectors is SO important.”

–“We have a “go bag” for every family member that has food, water, clothing, reusable diapers, pads, etc..and other essential survival type items. We have it packed all the time and go through it once a quarter to make sure all items are good, etc….it helps during tornado season since we live in a manufactured home and they don’t hold well in tornadoes.

–” I live near New Orleans, so my family went through Hurricane Katrina. We didn’t have electricity for weeks. We had a generator, so we could watch the news, power an a/c unit, and have a light. We used our grill, which also had a stove to cook. We also ate MREs a few times. We just dealt with it and did the best we could with what we had!

–“I think it depends on where you live. We live at high risk for wildfire so my prep plan is two fold, if we only have minutes to leave my truck has extra clothes for each person, snacks, blankets, dog food and leash so we literally just get in and run. Second plan if we have more time grab the camping gear and run. If you have all the gear to camp + shelf stable food & water it should be okay. We already buy in bulk rice and beans I just make sure I don’t let them get low. Having a water filter is good too but not as helpful if you’re not near water as stored water. When you know how to camp with a family it makes it easier if you have to “extended camp” in your house or other location if your home is unsafe.

–“Cash! If the power is out and you can’t use the atm, or stores/gas stations cant use credit cards, bank maybe not open yet, you’ll have no funds. I keep a small purse in my go bag with a 2nd license and throw cash in there whenever i have a spare $5 or $10 for emergency money.”

–“Having copies of important documents in a safe place other than your home. Also having knowledge of where the gas and water shut offs are in your home and how to shut the off/tools needed is good to know. Power converters for vehicles so that you can plug in items for charging like phones/etc are nice in case you do not have a generator.

COMMENT FROM JESS: Yes, I keep all my most important docs (SS cards, birth certificates, letters to my kids) in our safety deposit box at the bank, it is high & dry & away from flood danger.

–” Being from Joplin Missouri and tornadoes and now in Georgia and hurricanes. Having at least 1 gallon of potable (drinking) water per person per day for three days. Because boiling isn’t always good enough. We also have the msr guardian water purification pump. It’s a bit pricey but water is so important. And some awesome water cans not American but they are the best I’ve found to not leech chemicals is specter cans from Canada. If you have a generator you would need to have proper fuel storage that does emit fumes also by specter is really good. We also have a small solar panel that charges a few power blocks and lights and batteries for our battery fans. Keeping all medications and emergency medical items up to date and in one central location labeled is also important. Along with any major legal documents being in something that protects them. Dry ice can actually keep a deep freezer pretty frozen for several days also as long as you don’t open it. Many grocery stores have it you just have to ask.

–” I’m working on a bug out bag, or rather a bug out suitcase for my family of 4. I’m adding items when they come available. Work gloves, basic tools, extra clothes, first aid…. It was recommended to have 1 bag vs separate bags for a family since it the likelihood of a disaster it would be more efficient to grab one. I thought that was a great tip!

–“We used to live in an area that is often in the path of hurricanes so my preparation is based more on if we have to evacuate. We keep all important documents in a small fireproof box that’s shaped like a suitcase. It’s ready to grab should we need to go. It also contains a spare set of epi pens for my son. We keep a go bag also with a copy of the docs, more epi pens and some non perishable foods that are safe for him along with items others have mentioned. My biggest fear is being unable to access safe food for him and not having his medication

–“We also have a generator. We have used it many times for our sump pump, the primary reason we purchased it. We also have hooked up the fridge and a few lamps. We have even run the whole house’s heat system off of it during bad snow storms. Totally worth the expense!

 

MY post from 7.21.17:

“When people say climate change isn’t real, I have to shake my head. While we can differ over the causes of that climate change, it IS real. Here in SW Wisco, we’re on track to come in 2nd, or break, the historic flood level for my tiny little river town. I’ve lived through two “500 year floods” in the last decade. Yes, it is a river town, built on the banks of a river for a reason (sawmill & other milling needs). And yes, as it has flooded repeatedly, the town has adapted & built further & further away from the banks of the river…

Below are historical flood crests, since they’ve been keeping record. 3 of them are in my lifetime, the 1978 one was when my parents had just moved here, I was born 1 year later in 1979. And the pic below is the predicted for this food. It will either be #1, or #2 likely…

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1: 20.44 ft on 06/09/2008
2: 19.80 ft on 07/02/1978
3: 19.79 ft on 08/20/2007
4: 16.75 ft on 02/10/1966
5: 16.50 ft on 06/01/2000

I personally am high & dry on the banks of the mighty river. I have a birds-eye view of this meandering river becoming a whole valley full of water. I take nothing for granted, nor do I ever doubt the power of Mother Nature.”

 

Below is the view from my front steps. I believe it ended up being the 5th largest on record, it is still to be determined, will update soon.

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And to end with a chuckle: my 6 year old Son’s “survival kit” is in the photo below. We did have severe thunderstorm & tornado warnings. We do not have a basement. My home was built on a cement slab, and into the north side of a hill. I like no having a basement, as when it floods, most homes have basements full of water. I do not. And I’m incredibly “tucked in” from a storm. I started filling water jugs as soon as the power was cut. I also grabbed pillows & blankets, and made the closet comfy, JUST IN CASE. My Son packed the below: his net, water balloons, completely random, not that important stuff. It seriously cracked me up.

 

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But we all did worry for a bit, it was an intense few days. My 4 year old daughter kept looking at the flooding waters saying: this is NOT good. Not good Mama… I wanted to share all this info to maybe urge YOU to become prepared. Whether you use your survival gear once every 10 years, or 5 times in 10 years, it’s worth it. Seriously, the peace of mind of having the generator is HUGE, we’ve just had it a few days now….

 

ONE THING this wet weather is good for: my Hubby is a wild edibles connoisseur. Our spring morel mushroom tree has given way to these Oyster mushrooms. He’s eating the heck out of them fresh, and drying them for months from now…

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Turning my mattress into a couch!

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I wanted to share how we turned a twin size Pure Echo from My Green Mattress into a couch! If you don’t already know, safe (in terms of no flame retardants), organic couches are super, super expensive. I’m a huge fan of recycling as many materials as we already have, so Hubby & I challenged ourselves to turn our old couch into a new couch, and to buy as little as possible for the project. We’ve had the mattress for several years, but my kids are both still bed-sharing in my king & I don’t see that changing any time soon, so this mattress has been largely unused. Our old couch was a hand-me-down from my Mom & we’ve had it several years. The bottom was coming off & once my Hubby tore it off there was no stopping him, he gutted the thing. He tore off all the super cheap materials (plywood, cardboard mainly, poly fill) & got it down to it’s skeleton of a frame, then built it back up again with good wood.  He kept one arm of it & cut the other one off as the mattress was just a couple inches bigger than the frame.

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We tore open the huge pillows that came with the old couch, removed all the poly stuffing (yuck), and washed the cases several times. I was having a hard time thinking of what to fill them with, they’re quite large. Then I was going through a bin of clothes & it was full of wool sweaters, many I hadn’t worn for years but I just can’t bring myself to get rid of them. Perfect I thought, I’ll stuff these cases with my wool sweaters. It makes for a very heavy, firm, pillow. But we’re mainly leaning on them when we’re sitting on the couch, not sleeping on them, and I find them quite comfortable, I really like them! Originally I velcroed them shut, it held awhile but then the velcro came a part, so I ended up sewing them shut, but can easily tear them a part should I decide I need one of those wool sweaters.

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Next was figuring out the backing, it was all open & exposed wood. We considered finishing it in cedar which we had on hand, but then I came across a huge garbage bag full of my last sewing project I worked on during my final weeks of “nesting” while pregnant with my 1st born. I can’t sew well, but can sew a straight line. While nesting I started cutting up the old corduroys I wore in high school but I knew were never going to fit me again, and they had seen better days anyway, and had in mind a quilt as an end goal. Then my Son was born & that project has been in a garbage bag for 6 years! So we stapled it up as a backing!

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I’m not using organic sheets, we haven’t gotten there yet, but when I need to buy new ones in the future they will be organic. I have 1 sheet, a twin wool puddle pad also from My Green Mattress that we got along with the mattress, and then another top sheet & handmade quilt to top it off.

So no, this isn’t entirely organic. But I’m pretty darn happy with how it turned out as a DIY project using entirely recycled/upcycled materials, we didn’t spend a dime on it. I know not all of you will like this style, some have more refined tastes for furniture & wouldn’t settle for this look in your house. But for my family, this is perfect! For those in the new couch market, I think you should consider something similar as an option! A Pure Echo is currently $719 new from My Green Mattress, Jolene, a contributing author to my page, is an affiliate & you can get 5% off even! Here’s her link: http://ss1.us/a/X8Nm5hRJ and the code is ECOSAVE5. If you are military, they offer an 8% discount (just let them know when you order). Codes cannot be combined but, they offer free shipping!

Here’s her recent review of a 9″ king size latex from them, and I purchased the same one myself in May & will be doing a review in the coming weeks: https://ecofriendlymamausa.com/2017/04/12/jolenes-my-green-mattress-review/

 

 

 

Reflecting on 3 years as a Poofy Organics Guide

3 years ago today I became a Guide with Poofy Organics. I started my mission to find the safest products on the market 5 years ago, and when I found Poofy Organics, I knew they were IT. It. What I had been looking for. All under one roof. All I can say is: the more I learn, the more I love Poofy. The products themselves. The small business. The family. What USDA certified organic stands for. To all of you who’ve been using Poofy Organics for 4 years along with me, or those who are just learning of it now: Thank you for caring about what you put on your & your family’s body. Thank you for asking what you think are too many questions. Thank you for caring about the environment. Thank YOU for letting me Guide you on this journey to making the best choice we can https://ecofriendlymamausa.com/2014/06/16/my-decision-to-become-a-guide-with-poofy-organics/

For the wine lovers out there…..

I just had my 1st order delivered from NakedWines minutes ago. I do love wine, and I do love getting goods delivered to my door, so I think I’m going to really love this new discovery! I had a coupon for $100 off a case on my 1st order, and it’s my understanding anyone can use this referral link below will get the same $100 off coupon code as well. I ordered a case of mixed red & white, 12 bottles came to $80 after the $100 off, just a little over $6/bottle, and they’re from all over the world! No, not organic unfortunately… Then they have a program where you invest $40/month which the wine makers in the program can use, but you can also use it to buy wine anytime you want. I’m still looking into that program more to understand it fully & decide if I want to go for it.  I’m in a waiting line for that (it takes about a month to get in the program), but here’s the concept (from an email from them):

“The wine industry is broken, and you’re helping to fix it. Right now, the two most important people in the wine business are getting screwed; you and the winemaker.

You probably didn’t know it but you’ve been paying too much for wine. Way too much. And at the same time, winemakers have been getting a bum deal.
So who’s been making all the money?

The US has a unique problem – the wine industry is controlled by a massive network of middle men. Most states have actually written laws to protect these middle men, forcing independent winemakers to go through them.”

So the idea is that we’re buying straight from the wine makers. Thought some of you may be interested!

https://us.nakedwines.com/invite/jessica-brandt2634.htm

Kiddiebite Silicone Divided Tray Review

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It always excites me to receive messages from Momtrepreneur’s in my group! I had this message from Denise:  Kiddiebites is a made in the USA children’s silicone dinnerware company.  We are currently the only company making children’s silicone plates in the USA!  Silicone is a durable and safer alternative to plastic tableware.  Unlike plastic, silicone is inert and will not leach chemicals into food. We just celebrated the launch of our first product, a Flexible Divided Plate Set.   Our silicone and pigments are both BPA, BPS, lead, PVC, and phthalate free.  They are made with FDA approved, 100% food grade and medical grade silicone.  Our products contain no plastic fillers, unlike other competing brands.  Both our silicone and pigment, as well as our plates themselves, are made in the USA.  Our plates are microwave & dishwasher safe and virtually indestructible.  They are easy to stack and clean, and are designed with an angled edge to help toddlers use their own spoon. 

 

By the time I received this message, my kiddos were 3 & 5 already, so we were past choosing our 1st platters. But for those of you in that process, the Kiddiebites is a good option to consider! Glass is always my 1st choice, but I’ve heard from many of you over the years who don’t feel comfortable with glass. I do have hesitations with heating silicone, in the oven for example. I’m not convinced it’s completely inert. But for eating cool/cold foods off of, I’m not nearly as concerned about any possible leaching.

I so appreciate the motivation & dedication of those like Denise amongst us. Follow your passion! 

Currently, Amazon is the only place Denise is selling these. I hope to be able to offer her product in future buying club orders!

Amazon link: http://amzn.to/2p8ChmG

Website: www.kiddiebites.com

 

 

 

RARE Poofy Organics 15% off sale is ON!

All details, including the code, how to save on shipping, how to enter to win $50 in free Poofy products are all here: https://ecofriendlyusa.poofyorganics.com/parties/3780-poofy-organics-by-jess-earth-day-sale.aspx

 

ANY QUESTIONS, email me: ecofriendlymamausa@gmail.com

If you dislike the party catalog & want to use my regular link, you can still enter the code before checking out here, and you can still take advantage of my shipping offer, you just wouldn’t be entered to win the host rewards: https://ecofriendlyusa.poofyorganics.com/

Jolene’s My Green Mattress Review

MY GREEN MATTRESS REVIEW – PART I by Jolene Marty
(coming soon is Part II: Why I Tossed My Tempurpedic Mattress!)

VIDEO REVIEW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mv_P8Bh9SyU&feature=youtu.be

Hey everyone! Thank you so much for taking the time to watch my video review of the 9” latex mattress I purchased from My Green Mattress! I wanted to share the details with you so they are easy to read and go through, so you can see for yourself what a great company they are!

First some top points:

My Green Mattress –

  • Made in the USA
  • Family owned and operated
  • GREENGUARD Gold, eco-INSTITUT, Oeko-Tex Certified, GOLS Certified, and their encasements (cotton) are GOTS Certified.
  • Reasonably priced (and also offer financing options)
  • Offer latex pillows, latex mattresses, spring system mattresses, bedding, frames
  • Offer crib sizes through California king sizes
  • Have amazing customer service!

I wanted to give you some information on their materials…more in depth from what I discussed in the video.

WOOL:

Their wool is sourced from a supplier out of Montague, CA who ethically sources their wool from sheep that are raised humanely in northern California and southern Oregon. MGM uses their (Woolgatherer Carding Mill) Eco Wool. While this is not a certified organic wool, they do use organic farming and sheering practices. When I asked what the difference is between the wool they buy (which is not certified organic) and the certified organic wool, MGM said this This wool is certified organically processed as Eco Wool, however cannot be considered “certified organic”. For Eco Wool farmers to be granted this certification they would be required to feed their sheep a strict organic feed diet from the 3rd month of gestation. Woolgather’s farms allow their sheep to graze naturally in lush, open pastures which does not allow for a strict diet to be followed. We believe that this provides for a much happier life for the sheep and therefore stand by their practices” They went on to assure me that they are in fact 3rd party tested from the Animal Toxicology Lab out of UC Davis. They are tested for herbicides, pesticides, and naturally occurring heavy metals such as lead and arsenic. Doing this additional testing ensures that the wool is in fact pure and free of contaminants that are not good for both the sheep nor the consumer. Due to these practices, I feel 100% confident in their wool product and am happy they are so strict with the process and offer their transparency. I did ask if they thought they would ever switch to certified organic wool in the future, and they answered “no”. When I asked them why, they told me if they did that, the prices of their mattress would go up significantly and they want good, clean, safe mattresses available to as many people as possible! If you would like to go check out the Woolgatherers Carding Mill and the Eco Wool they use, please click around in the website here: http://www.thewoolgatherer.com/index.php

LATEX:

The latex that is used in their mattress is a Dunlop latex. It is a very firm latex that offers a great amount of support. The latex is a 100% natural latex from ARPICO. It is made from latex foam developed on the ARPICO rubber-tree plantation. This plantation is home to 5.5 million rubber trees and is GOLS certified by the Control Union, the largest organic regulator in Europe. This is their one items that is imported from outside of the United States. The great thing about this natural latex is that because it is pure and regulated, it is free from fillers, dyes, chemicals, adhesives, and pesticides. It is just that – 100% natural latex and nothing else! If you would like to look into the ARPICO latex click around here: http://www.arpicolatexfoam.com/

COTTON:

The cotton that they use is GOTS Certified Organic cotton. You can view their certificate (along with answers to other great FAQ’s) here: https://mygreenmattress.com/pages/faqs

THREAD:

Yes, I even asked about the thread they use! They used poly-cotton blend and also a (non-coated) Kevlar thread. For me as a novice sewer, I like to hear they are using a very strong thread for the mattresses to help keep the integrity of their sewing strong.

Ok guys, so there you have all the little details about what makes up the mattress. As I stated above, and in my video, the one extra thing that I absolutely love about My Green Mattress is that they have wonderful customer service. I spoke with two sales reps and the owner himself and I have absolutely zero negative things to say. They all knew a lot about their product and they worked hard to make sure that every single one of my questions was answered. It is just another reason why I love Made in the USA and FAMILY owned and operated businesses. You get to know the people and see their true passion for their product.

The latex mattress that I got was their “Simple Sleep Latex” mattress. I purchased the 9” King size mattress from them. They had it ready for me in just a couple of days and sent me confirmation via email. Below I am enclosing few photos of the mattress!

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By the way, I have loved my mattress and my experience so much, that I decided to become an affiliate for them! I would love to have you support this stay at home mama by purchasing through this link: http://ss1.us/a/X8Nm5hRJ

Also, for our readers, they gave us a discount code. You can save 5% by putting in the code ECOSAVE5. If you are military, they offer an 8% discount (just let them know when you order). Codes cannot be combined but, they offer free shipping! Even better news is they are having an Earth Day sale that is even better than that and on everything!

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~ Jolene Marty

AGAIN, HERE’S THE VIDEO REVIEW LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mv_P8Bh9SyU&feature=youtu.be

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