In honor of Hurricane Preparedness Week recently, and with the official start of hurricane season beginning June 1, Generac Corp. has issued a series of recommendations regarding how businesses and individual consumers can prepare for hurricane season. The following is taken from a press release issued by Generac regarding Hurricane Preparedness Week.
Just two days before Hurricane Matthew whipped the Atlantic coast into a frenzy in 2016, one major retailer in West Palm Beach, Fla., was sold out of generators by noon. Checkout lines at grocery stores grew painfully long, and the inevitable rush of last-minute shoppers lasted from open to close. Hurricane Preparedness Week is the seasonal prompt that urges widespread readiness for potential land-falling tropical storms and hurricanes, and Generac Power Systems is putting a pragmatic perspective on plans for preparation.
The 2016 hurricane season ended a decade-long landfall drought in Florida when Hurricane Hermine struck in early September. Then in early October, Hurricane Matthew caused significant and far-reaching damage as it dragged north along the Atlantic coast. The intensity of that hurricane left more than one million Florida homes and businesses in the dark, while 485,000 were powerless in South Carolina, 300,000 in Georgia and more than 127,000 in North Carolina.
For this hurricane season, which runs between June 1 and November 30, Generac Power Systems is providing an essential set of common-sense "rules" that champion a proactive course of action, regardless of forecasts or predictions, to prepare early for a tropical storm system, which will assuredly produce the fierce winds, heavy rainfall and storm surges that will leave homes and businesses in the lurch without electricity.
Get ahead of the game and prepare. Although hurricane season is long, it's important to prepare ahead of the emergency supply rush. Portable and automatic home standby generators keep critical appliances running — lights stay on, devices stay charged and weather updates are available on television, radio or online. Use a sizing calculator when shopping for a portable generator. If you already have a portable generator, run it now to ensure it will run in an emergency. Better yet, perform any scheduled maintenance. For home standby power, you should schedule an in-home consultation with a professional to ensure you get your generator installed before an emergency.
Anticipate a disruption in the electric utility. Depending on the storm intensity, damage to the electrical infrastructure can be extensive. Downed power lines, flooding, fallen structures, debris and other obstacles will affect the speed of power restoration, so it's important to prepare for an outage duration that may become uncomfortable.
Family comes first. An emergency hurricane kit for the family and any pets should be easily accessible on the ground level of the home or business. In addition to food and water, this kit should include a flashlight, first aid kit, battery-powered radio, a whistle to signal for help and an assortment of hand tools. If someone in the home is dependent on electricity for life-sustaining medical equipment, review the plan to access backup power or make arrangements to relocate when storm warnings are issued.
Think about fuel and fuel safety. Long lines at the gas pump can spark short tempers. Keep a vehicle full of gas and make sure the car battery is in working order. This is especially important if you are asked to evacuate. And while you can use your car to charge your phone, a Generac portable generator is a smarter alternative. Plan for fuel storage in approved containers, kept away from the generator, and be sure to let the generator cool before refueling.
A detailed list of power outage safety tips for homeowners and businesses can be found at Generac.com/hurricane-prep.
"It's always better to be ready for a nonevent than to be caught off guard by a strong storm," said Russ Minick, chief marketing officer at Generac Power Systems. "We believe we can offer manageable ways to guide homeowners and businesses through the storm season, but it's also critical that customers understand that staying safe starts with preparedness."
Generac Power Systems is a leading global supplier of backup power and prime power products, systems and engine-powered tools.