Hurricane Irene Offers Reminder to Properly Prepare Home

MILWAUKEE (August 24, 2011) — As Hurricane Irene barrels toward the East Coast shoreline, there are several steps that can be taken beforehand so that families stay safe and comfortable in the hours and days after the hurricane passes. 

Keeping the power on can mean the difference between comfort and chaos after a hurricane. A portable generator is a popular short-term solution to power essential home appliances after a power outage. According to Eric Loferski, of Briggs & Stratton Portable Power, there are a few safety measures that families need to follow when operating a portable generator: 

  • Have a working CO detector
  • Only use portable generators outdoors, not in any enclosed areas
  • Keep them away from windows, doors and overhangs
  • Always read the manufacturer’s operating and maintenance instructions before operating
  • Never add gasoline to a hot or running portable generator

In addition to preparing a household to safely restore power after a hurricane, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Ready Campaign, of which Briggs & Stratton is a coalition member, offers a host of ways families can prepare their home for a hurricane. TheReady Campaign advises: 

  • Cover all of the home's windows with pre-cut ply wood or hurricane shutters to protect windows from high winds.
  • Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
  • Keep all trees and shrubs well-trimmed to reduce the risk of wind damage
  • Further secure the home by closing shutters.

Following Irene, many families may be inspired to take additional steps to prepare for the next storm.  One option is to install an automatic standby generator system. Standby generators keep the power on when a home’s primary power source goes out, allowing homeowners to run appliances like air conditioners, heaters, refrigerators, clothes washers/dryers and lights. That means there is less of a need for things like non-perishable foods or flashlights in the event of a power outage. 

“An automatic standby generator is the most convenient way to keep your family safe and comfortable when a hurricane knocks out the power,” said Carissa Gingras of Briggs & Stratton Standby Power. “It keeps the home powered so the family can maintain a sense of normalcy as they cleanup after the hurricane occurs.” 

Visit for more tips on keeping your family safe during a hurricane.