Weather experts have noticed changes in our weather patterns over the last year that reveals that a more turbulent hurricane season is on the way. Hurricanes have been known to cause very high and severe winds, along with hail, lightning and a lot of flooding. These conditions lead to power outages as power poles are taken down by high winds and power plants damaged. After hurricanes, power company personnel can take several weeks or months before fully restoring power. This is why we need generators to provide backup power. It is not just homes that need generators for power backup. Hospitals, retail stores and banks need generators too. The importance of backup power cannot be overemphasized during a hurricane as it can save the lives of many and make it more bearable to deal with the disaster.
There are several things to consider when thinking of buying and having a generator for back up:
- Buy generators early. Buying a generator early will cost you less than if you wait for the last minute after a hurricane has struck and you don’t have power. This will ensure that you still have light to see in the dark, hot water for cleaning and showering, none spoilt food in the fridge and you can still watch TV and listen to the radio.
- Ensure the generator has fuel. A generator will only power your home if it has the appropriate fuel. Some generators use diesel while others use gas.
- You can buy new or used generators. Depending on how much you can afford, you can buy a new or used generator to provide power in case of outages after a hurricane.
- Install an automatic transfer switch. If you can, install an automatic transfer switch that will automatically turn on your generator when you lose power in a hurricane and only cause little interruption. Remember to keep your generator shielded and elevated to prevent floods from damaging it.
- Diesel generators save fuel. Diesel generators are good as they use half as much fuel as gas generators and therefore last longer. Diesel generators are also easy to operate as they have no complicated wiring that needs to be maintained or replaced. This helps in hurricanes as there is no time to waste when power is lost. Diesel is also cheaper, safer and easier to store than gasoline.
- Check your old generator. If you have an old generator, check it during the beginning of each hurricane season. Change the air filter, fuel filter and oil filter of your generator to ensure that it operates without any problems.
- Follow safety guidelines. It is very important to follow the safety guidelines given to you by the manufacturer of the generator. You must never operate your generator indoors. This is to help you avoid deadly gases from leaking from the generator and causing death. Secure your generator outside if you are afraid of it being stolen.