Milwaukee, WI (October 29, 2012) - As Hurricane Sandy barrels toward the coast, families can take certain immediate steps to help ensure their family and home is prepared after the hurricane passes.
Keeping the power on can mean the difference between comfort and chaos after a storm. A portable generator is a popular short-term solution to power essential home appliances after a power outage.
Safety first when operating a portable generator
According to Deadra Richelle-Purifoy 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 use
Never add gasoline to a hot or running portable generator
Preparing your home for strong storms
Preparing the outside of your home and surrounding property can be just as important as keeping the lights and appliances powered. 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 or strong storm. The Ready 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
Long-term solution: Standby generators
Following Sandy, many families may want 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. It can also provide the power you need to stay connected with cell phones, computers and radios. 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 Amanda Grandy 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 www.ready.gov for more tips on keeping your family safe during a hurricane.