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Emergency Preparedness And The Ooma Phone System

In our ever increasingly online world, maintaining a landline kind of seems archaic- like paying your bills by check. But I’ve never been willing to give up having a dedicated landline for one simple reason: calling 911. 

Here’s a shocking fact: According to an investigation by USA Today the chances of 911 dispatchers being able to find you based on your cell phone’s GPS can be as low as 10% in some parts of the country. With as many 45% of Americans opting out of landline coverage at home—countless people are left vulnerable in emergencies.

I’ve spent the majority of my time over the past 10 years home alone with small children. Children who may or may not know our address, who may or may not be able to adequately communicate with dispatch if anything ever happened to me. And if something happens to them? Well, I want to know help is on the way and not waste precious seconds thing to pinpoint my location. 

Hence the landline. 

But I also want to cut the cord. Cable, phone and Internet companies have such a racket going and it falls me to hand over hard earned money every month when I know I could be enjoying the shows I love or connecting with family for a much lower price. And I’m REALLY sick of having to call them every 6 months to renegotiate rates after they jack up our monthly bill. 

Ain’t nobody got time for that. 

Fortunately there are now reasonable alternatives to both keep your household budget under control while also providing the safety and security of a traditional landline. Ooma is the leading Internet home phone service with reliable E911 technology, and I have partnered with them to deliver three tips for keeping your home safe this summer (in addition to owning a landline). 

TIP #1: KEEP A FIRST AID KIT AT THE READY

All parents know that basic first aid supplies can disappear around kids. We go through band aids around here almost as quickly as we go through fruit snacks. And a true emergency is not the time to be searching through closets for additional supplies.  People who call 911 from their cell phone are often surprised at how long emergency workers take to arrive on scene. According to a recent Ooma.com 911 Emergency Response Study, more than one in five cell phone callers feel it takes too long—that’s seven times higher than for people who call from a landline. It’s never a bad idea to have a first aid kit handy, especially in circumstances where you are more likely to be calling for help from a cell phone (like your car). 

TIP #2: WRITE AN EMERGENCY CONTACT LIST

Make sure that no matter where you are, it’s easy for the people around you to call your emergency contacts. Especially when dealing with younger children who are capable of dialing a phone but may not know important phone numbers. I have a post it right next to the phone with my cell phone, my husband’s cell phone, and my parents home and cell #s. I want to know that my kids can easily an adult whenever they need to. Ooma’s home phone system, has a feature where up to three contacts can be notified by text message automatically when a 911 call is placed. People can’t always think clearly in an emergency, so having everything close at hand (or even automated) can help save lives. 

TIP #3: RECOGNIZE THE FIRST SIGNS OF DANGER

I admit this is an area where we haven’t done as much as we probably should. It’s important t to educate your kids about the sights, smells, and sounds of danger. Talk about running outside if they hear a smoke alarm or see an appliance overheating, and discuss the best exit strategy for getting a safe distance away or alerting a neighbor to call the fire department in case of a fire. 

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t keep an eye on their bottom line, but when it comes down to it, we really can’t put a price on ensuring the safety of the people we love. Luckily, first aid kits are both lightweight and budget-friendly. And the upfront price of a secure Ooma landline pays for itself in just three months and costs significantly less than a Netflix subscription on a monthly basis.  

We have been very lucky to so far not have needed to call 911, despite broken arms and cracked heads and toddlers riding their tricycles down the stairs. But as the kids get older there are going to be more and more occasions where they might be left home alone, and it eases my worry knowing I’ve given them the best options should they ever need to call for help. I originally agreed to do this post simply to help promote the importance of having a landline when calling 911, but after looking in to the Ooma system, I’m seriously considering switching over. 


The technology and savings that come with an internet based phone, while also having the security of a traditional landline- it’s the best of both worlds. 
I was given a safety preparedness kit in exchange for this post. The statistics and a framework for the tips were also provided. I was not compensated in any other way. You can find more information on Ooma on Facebook or on Twitter


 

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My Soul Is Not For Sale

If you’re looking for something to get angry about this election, there’s definitely plenty to choose from. But I’m seeing more and more vitriolic, insulting posts directed at anyone with the gall to even consider voting 3rd party. 
And it’s really starting to piss me off. 

I get the concern. Trust me, I understand the arguments against Trump, and get why people both love and hate Hillary. But this “toe the line” argument is bullshit, and anyone trying to strong arm people AWAY from voting their conscience? You are the problem. 

Let me repeat that: YOU. ARE. THE. FUCKING. PROBLEM. 

You’re seriously going to argue that the world is too full of hatred and fear and intolerance in the same breath that you demand people abandon their morals because they don’t line up with your ideals? Sit your hypocritical ass down. 

Do you think Trump would even BE the nominee right now if party allegiance weren’t more important than personal beliefs? No fucking way. The GOP has hated him this entire time, but he got popular so they’re going to stick by that rather than risk losing influence and control. Team loyalty once again chosen over ethics. 

And you wonder why people hate politicians. 

BOTH parties have gotten increasingly further from center over the years, and it’s because of exactly this kind of attitude. Don’t vote for what you believe in; NEVER vote for what you BELIEVE in. Vote AGAINST what you don’t like. Demonize the opposing viewpoints, and tell anyone who’ll listen to set aside their principles and pick a side (your side) “just this once” so the Ogre doesn’t storm the castle. There will be time for ethics and belief systems next time (still waiting for that next time by the way). 

Fuck that, and fuck you for believing it. 

Telling people to ignore their conscience is why politics has no conscience left. 

I don’t fault people for truly believing in Hillary. I don’t fault Bernie Sanders’ supporters for turning to her as the second best choice, if they think that’s the case. I don’t know what the hell Trump’s supporters are thinking, but I respect their right to make a decision they believe in, regardless of how much I may hate it. But somehow I’m not due that same respect. 

And everyone out there with a strong personal preference for a certain candidate who is ip on their bully pulpit working to threaten people over to your team? Who would stand up and emphatically defend your right to your own opinion, while simultaneously insulting people for STANDING UP FOR THEIR CONVICTIONS? I have zero respect for you. 

It is reprehensible how easily we ask people to abandon their integrity while declaring ourselves righteous and only concerned with the general good. How quickly individual values are expected to give way and maintain the status quo come hell or high water. Peer pressure, fear mongering, browbeating and the party line got us where we are today. Got us into a position where the two most hated and divisive candidates IN HISTORY are running against each other to be fucking PRESIDENT, and we’re not even supposed to mention that there are other options. This is not a joke. You’re telling me it’s too late in the game to start supporting a 3rd party, but next election it’s going to be different? Do you have a crystal ball I don’t have? Because it seems like, at least in my voting experience, the choices are only getting worse. 

So no. I won’t vote for the lesser of two evils. I will not compromise on what I believe to be best for my life and my country simply because you’re clutching your pearls in horror over the idea that the other team might win. And make no mistake, I feel as strongly about my opinion as you do about yours. I am not choosing to abstain, and I in now way feel like my vote is being wasted. My third party vote is not “for Trump.” My third party vote is AGAINST the corrupt, broken, offensive two party system. My 3rd party vote is for the election in 2020, and in 2024, and in every future election. So that my kids have the option of electing officials they can respect and trust. 

This country is a tinderbox, and you’re asking me to pick between the gasoline or the match. Maybe my little cup of water isn’t going to prevent ignition. Maybe we have no choice but to watch the world burn and see if we can salvage the remains. But I will never be ashamed of the fact that I didn’t fan the flames. I will never regret for taking advantage of my right to choose the candidate I actually feel is best over the candidate I think is least likely to send us to the dark ages. I will not apologize for doing what I think is right, and I will not be made to feel guilty for refusing to fall into line behind the very organizations that created this mess to begin with.

This post is not going to make me popular, but I don’t really care. I’ve seen enough disgraceful comments to know that if you can advocate for your right to vote for someone you support strongly while disparaging my desire to do the same, then you’re probably not someone I want to be friends with anyway. I am not ignorant, uninformed, or careless simply for disagreeing with you. I am not unaware of the potential consequences of my choice, nor am I unafraid for the future. What I am is fed up, and unwilling to continue compromising my scruples. 

You only bend so far before you break, and we are at the breaking point. If you continue doing what you’ve always done, you will continue to get what you’ve always gotten. 

And that’s unacceptable. 

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