HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS ESSENTIAL
“It’s important for homeowners to be aware of the importance of emergency planning before a weather emergency. Having a portable electrical generator on hand when it will be needed most is a big part of such a plan,” said Dorrance Noonan, CEO of A-iPower, a manufacturer of portable power equipment. “Generators can keep the lights on, food cold, pump water, and run essentials such as cell phones, televisions, and laptops.”
When choosing a portable generator, Noonon said homeowners should look for these features:
- Enough power: Choose a generator with enough wattage output to power the appliances you’ll need in an emergency. Look for continuous running watts rather than surge wattage ratings when determining the correct generator to buy.
- Sufficient electrical outlets: A portable generator should have enough receptacles for the devices a homeowner wants to run. Models that include a multi-outlet cord offer greater convenience.
- Long enough run time on a full tank of gas: Look for a generator that will run through the night without refilling.
- Portability. Choosing a generator equipped with wheels and handles makes it a lot easier on the user.
Noonan also advised having extra generator fuel and extension cords on hand.
When the power goes out, a homeowner’s first thoughts are to get the lights back on as soon as possible. But as with any connection to a voltage supply source, caution is urged. Noonan advised that when starting up the generator, take time to observe the following important safety rules.
- Always read and follow the manufacturer’s operating manual and instructions before running a generator.
- NEVER run a generator inside the house or a garage. Running engines give off carbon monoxide fumes, which can be lethal. Keep the generator away from open windows, vents, and doors.
- Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet, a practice known as “backfeeding.” This is an extremely dangerous practice that presents an electrocution risk to utility workers and neighbors served by the same utility transformer. It also bypasses some of the built-in household protection devices. Either plug appliances directly into the generator with power cords that are in good condition or have an electrician install a certified transfer switch.
- Be careful when refueling the portable generator. Shut it down and allow it to cool down between fills.
- Do not operate the generator near combustible materials.
- Don’t get the generator wet or you risk the possibility of electrocution. Running it in your garage is not safe either because the carbon monoxide fumes can seep into your house. There are products on the market that provides a tent-like cover on the machine, allowing you to safely run it and refuel it during wet weather.
Have an Emergency Preparedness Kit Ready
Although a portable generator can help keep your home up and running, other things need to be considered when severe weather, especially a hurricane, strikes. Among things to consider are an emergency kit, readily accessible, comprised of the following:
- Canned or pre-packaged food that doesn’t require cooking, and a can opener.
- First aid kit with bandages, scissors, tweezers, antibacterial spray or lotion, pain relievers, and prescription medications.
- A three-to-five day supply of bottled water – at least one gallon per person per day.
- Blankets and/or sleeping bags.
- Baby food or formula and diapers
- Hand sanitizer
- Wet cleaning cloths (like baby wipes) in case you don’t have clean water
In case you need to leave quickly during a hurricane, always keep an emergency kit in your car, too, and top off the gas tank before the storm strikes. Make sure you include:
- Food and water
- Jumper or booster cables
- First Aid Kit
- Sleeping bags or blankets
- Flashlight and extra batteries
The following websites also provide detailed information on hurricane preparedness.
The Weather Channel, Weather.com
National Hurricane Center/National Weather Service, NHC.NOAA.gov
Centers for Disease Control – Natural Disasters and Severe Weather, Emergency.cdc.gov
A-iPower offers portable generators, pressure washers, water pumps, and gasoline engines providing innovative, cost-effective solutions for power needs at home, at the job site, and on the weekend. From our headquarters in Ontario, California, and our technical and distribution center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, opening in late 2016, the A-iPower team is dedicated to providing excellent customer service and ideal product solutions for the wide range and differing needs of consumer and commercial power generation equipment. For more information phone 626-888-3598 or visit our website at A-iPower.com.