Emergency Preparedness: Have a Backup Power Generator for When Disaster Strikes

Hurricane Sandy and many other disasters left thousands of homes and businesses without power. In some areas, residents and businesses were left without power for over 15 days.

There is nothing more disheartening than hearing your neighbor’s generator turn on while you sit and wait in the dark. The good news is you can avoid this from happening by purchasing your own generator.

Should You Buy a Whole-House Generator or a Portable Generator?

A ‘whole-house’ generator will provide you with a long-term source of power. It is powerful enough to operate lights, a computer, refrigerator, electric stove, air-conditioning and even hot water heaters. Another advantage of having a whole-house generator is that it automatically turns on when the grid is down.

The only drawback is the cost. It is a lot more expensive to operate than a small generator and consumes more fuel than a small generator.

A portable generator is good for temporary power outages. It will supply you with a small amount of power. However, you can operate a limited amount of lights, a computer and a refrigerator.

Although this type of generator isn’t as powerful as a whole-house generator, it is a lot better than not having any source of power.

Safety Tips for Portable Generators

If you choose to use a portable generator there are a few important safety tips to remember.

• Keep away from children
• Use the right cords
• Don’t overload your generator
• Avoid using a generator indoors
• Don’t use inside a garage
• Never store fuels indoors
• Turn off the generator the proper way
• Don’t attempt to refuel while a generator is on
• Handle with caution to avoid getting burned
• Never connect your generator to your home’s wiring.
• Don’t plug into a regular household outlet
• Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to operate safely.

Make sure you adhere to the safety tips above to avoid a fire and serious injury.