It is shaping up to be a cold, wet and possibly very snowy winter here in the Pacific Northwest. Add to that to all the media about the "big one" (or a potential 9.0+ earthquake), and the fact that our Chihuahua is being extremely clingy, and our family has been talking a lot about getting prepared for emergencies, both big and small!
Here's what we've done so far:
1. Bought an emergency jump starting battery from Amazon: BESTEK 400A Peak Current Car Jump Starter Battery Charger with 11000mAh Power Bank with 2.1A USB Charging Port, Built-in Escape Hammer, Air Compressor Outlet, Powerful LED Flashlight*
I saw one of these emergency battery jumpstarting gadgets on QVC in the middle of the night a couple of nights ago [the one downfall of cutting the cord and not having dish network anymore is being forced to watch home shopping channels when insomnia hits!] And realized what a boon this could be to our emergency kit. actually, it will come in handy pretty regularly, since our tractor battery is constantly going flat! This gadget also has an air compressor outlet, flashlight, and you can even charge your phone with it! Needless to say, this win at the top of my Christmas present list for hubby - killing two birds with one stone - prepping and gifting!
2. Bought an emergency kit. I just fell in love with these kits when we got them in at work and had to have one! Heck, it even includes astronaut ice-cream! I've already added a few extra things to it, but it has lots of eco-friendly/green features, and gave me a great place to start without having to run out and spend a lot of time gathering items, which is hard to do with twin toddlers!!! Use this friends and family link then just search for the kit - you'll get 15% off your order! http://apothecaryshoppe.refr.cc/ZKJJLKB*
3. Bought a copy of San Andreas*. Because there is nothing like a bit of CGI to get hubby motivated to stock up our emergency rations!
4. Bought a NOAA radio*. Because Blake (the daughter) got hold of one in San Andreas and it seemed to come in mighty handy!
5. Restocked our emergency rations! We've been eating them the last 3 months to ensure that they don't expire, so it was time to replenish. I use amazon*, costco, and grocery outlet (check the expiry dates carefully!) to stock up on canned food, dehydrated food, rice, and chocolate! I also have a stash of protein shake mixes. Ahem, lots of these are left over from various diets I've "done", but no-one else needs to know that!
6. Drained and refill our water tank with emergency water supplies. It was slimy. Yuck. We will still boil water before using it, but at least we have something to boil!
7. Got my snow tires on and my chains in the trunk!
8. Stocked the car with a first aid kit*, some bars*, extra warm coats, and water. Couldn't fit the folding bicycle* or inflatable kayak that my daughter wanted, plus where would I stash the little kids?
What I want to do next:
1. Buy a generator. Our power has nasty habit of going out and our fireplace needs the blower going to really heat our house. I'd love one of those fancy gas ones that turns on automatically, but since saving for that seems to be taking a long time, I might just go the diesel route for now!
2. Get our curtains up. Help keep the heat in when the power goes out. My mum gave us her old curtains - so this energy conserving measure will be nearly free!
3. Update my CPR training and have my hubby and oldest do it too! I need someone who can do CPR on me!!!
4. Hook up rain barrels to the downspouts so I have plenty of water for the animals. We have a well so no power = no water. That loops me back to the generator...
What are you doing to get ready for winter?
We LOVE our Soma water filter (seen above!) - it is pretty on the counter, easy to fill, and we always have filtered room temperature water and don't have to wait for the refrigerator filter (slow and cold!).
My friends know I am a bit of a water pusher - and my mum has been going on for years that the wars of the future will not be over oil, but will be over clean water.... Sadly, I'm beginning to see she might be right. We can't drink the water out of our tap due to the number of farms around us that spray and use fertilizer - our well water just isn't reliable. Ick! But thankfully I stumbled on the folks at Soma Water! They do good, which I love, and they provide an excellent product. Win win.
Right now, Soma Water has a special going on where you can get $10 off your order by using this link and using the code GOODFRIENDS - you'll get $10 off and I get $10 off - which is perfect, because I want to order the bigger filter carafe next so I can use this small one beside my bed!
Enjoy and let me know what you think!
1. Guest Soap
Yes, you need to provide soap! No one takes their own soap when they travel. We provide large bottles of liquid soap at each sink, and I tend to go for nicer brands that I pick up at Marshalls or Homegoods. I also like to provide bar soap and I get these two places. I used to provide full size bars, but have decided that is just a waste, since guests inevitably leave the unused bar behind and it has to be thrown out. So I've just started providing these half ounce individually wrapped guest soaps from Amazon: H2O ECO Amenities Spa Sachet Individually Wrapped 0.5 ounce Cleaning Soap, 500 Bars per Case.
If you prefer, you can also choose a one ounce size: H2O ECO Amenities Spa Sachet Individually Wrapped 1 ounce Cleaning Soap, 300 Bars per Case
Update: My latest order of the .5 oz bars arrived with a large number broken and smashed so I'm only recommending the 1oz bars - they seem to hold up better in shipping!
2. Shampoo (and Conditioner) for Guests
It is always handy to have guest shampoo available. I'm in two minds about this, since those little bottles often just come home with people (hey I have a collection from hotels I've been in so I bet most of my readers do too! and all that plastic isn't good for the environment. Part of me wants to just provide big bottles. But in the interests of hygiene, the little bottles can't be beat. I like these ones: H2O ECO Amenities Transparent Tube Screw Cap Individually Wrapped 22ml Shampoo and Conditioner 2 in 1, 288 Tubes per Case
3. A New Scotch Brite sponge
No one wants to use a nasty old sponge to clean the counters. Who knows if the last guest used it for raw chicken? So do everyone a favor and leave each new set of guests a nice new sponge still in the wrapper so they know that it is new! My favorites are Scotch Brite Non Scratch Scrub Sponges and you can get them at amazon or often at Costco too.
Lotion is a bit more discretionary. I don't know anyone who doesn't have their own lotion. But if you forget and your hands are parched, a small bottle of lotion can be a lifesaver. I keep the brand the same as my choice for soap and shampoo, so that guests get a nice cohesive set on the bathroom counter. H2O ECO Amenities Transparent Tube Screw Cap Individually Wrapped 22ml Shampoo and Conditioner 2 in 1, 288 Tubes per Case
5. Laundry Powder
There are two schools of thought on laundry detergent. You can provide two or so of these cute small boxes like these little individual boxes of All detergent but sometimes that just feels too wasteful. So you might want to go for the larger sizes. I buy large full sizes at discounters like Grocery Outlet. I can usually get a full size laundry detergent for $3. However, I've noticed our water bill keeps climbing and climbing and I'm betting that guests are doing a ton of laundry to use that much water. So as an experiment, I'm switching to the small boxes for a while to see if we can get that water use down!
What are your favorite guest amenities to provide?
Hi! I'm Erika and I'm an info addict! I love travel, vacation rentals, online education, primal and paleo living, crunchy (ish) parenting, holistic nutrition, lavender, bees, animals, technology, and sustainable living. This blog is a central space to pull together my research and writing on a wide variety of lifestyle topics! I hope you'll join me for a few minutes and share your thoughts in the comments :)