MILWAUKEE (May 25, 2012) — Preparing a home for the upcoming hurricane season, and the power outages that follow, does not need to be an overwhelming endeavor.
Hurricane Preparedness Week, May 27 to June 2, sponsored by the National Weather Service’s Hurricane Center, offers a good reminder for residents along the East and Gulf coasts to prepare their homes before a storm makes the news. Hurricane season officially begins June 1 and runs through November.
“Hurricanes don’t develop overnight, but we want to remind homeowners the time to prepare is before hurricane season’s onset,” said Dean Schwartz, VP / GM of Lawn and Garden for Sears Holdings. “For those who live in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic or on the Eastern seaboard, we suggest homeowners prepare by having tools and equipment on hand -- such as flashlights, batteries, portable generators – because availability of these products tends to decrease as demand spikes,” he added. “Many people have learned from their neighbors that it’s a good idea to pre-order items like a portable generator, or at least call your local store to ask if they have products in stock,” Schwartz said.
There are many ways to properly prepare a home for a hurricane, according to the Federal Emergency Management’s Ready Campaign.
- Protect windows with storm screens and covers to help combat high winds.
- Secure entryways to the home with storm doors, locks and latches.
- Use chain saws, branch clippers and hedge trimmers to keep trees and shrubs well-trimmed in order to increase wind resistance.
- Organize and tidy the garage with storage lockers to make room for outdoor patio items that may need to be stored during a hurricane.
There are also ways to keep families safe and comfortable when they return to the home after the hurricane has passed.
In addition, Sears' Schwartz recommends having the following items on hand in advance of a hurricane:
- Tools to shelter and clean up homes— Craftsman wet/dry shop vacuums, drills and chainsaws
- Back-up generators— Sears associates can help customers determine the size and strength needed for their space, and they can help explain to homeowners the difference between portable generators and permanently installed generators. Like many hurricane preparedness items, generators can be in high demand in hurricane areas as a forecasted storm nears landfall. Consider calling your local Sears store in advance to check generator availability.
Oftentimes, a hurricane will leave large areas without power, sometimes for extended periods. An ideal way to ready your home for a power outage is by installing a home generator system. Home generators, also known as standby generators or backup 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, marketing manager for Briggs & Stratton Home Power. "It keeps the home powered so the family can maintain a sense of normalcy as the cleanup after the hurricane occurs."
For those who need an immediate solution during an outage to power a few key applications, a portable generator may be the best solution.
"When using a portable generator, it's important to observe a few key safety measures," said Eric Loferski, Briggs & Stratton director of marketing for Portable Power. "Only operate portable generators outdoors, far away from windows, doors and vents to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Install a battery operated carbon monoxide alarm or plug-in carbon monoxide alarm with battery back-up. Do not run portable generators inside homes, garages, basements, crawlspaces, sheds, or other partially-enclosed spaces even if using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation. And always read and follow the manufacturer's operator's manual and maintenance instructions to ensure your generator continues to provide the power you need, when you need it."
About Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Sears, Roebuck and Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD), is leading broadline retailer providing merchandise and related services. Sears, Roebuck offers its wide range of home merchandise, apparel and automotive products and services through more than 2,700 Sears-branded and affiliated stores in the United States and Canada, which includes over 890 Full-line and more than 1,350 specialty stores in the U.S. Sears, Roebuck offers consumers leading proprietary brand including Kenmore, Craftsman, DieHard and Lands' End, among the most trusted and preferred brands in the U.S. Sears, Roebuck is the 2011 ENERGY STAR® Retail Partner of the Year. The company is the nation's largest provider of home services, with more than 11 million service calls made annually. For more information, visit the Sears, Roebuck website at www.sears.com or the Sears Holdings Corporation website at www.searsholdings.com.