Hurricane season is on the way, and as a homeowner, there are many steps you can take to prepare. Generac recommends taking the following steps to make your home storm ready:
Fuel: Don’t Stay Home Without It: When the power is out, chances are, gas pumps will not be working. Your car needs fuel, and if you have a portable generator, that will require fuel, as well. Gasoline and diesel fuel become precious commodities in the wake of storms, so keep a fresh or stabilized supply handy in approved containers, away from any sources of heat or combustion. When it comes to refueling a portable generator, make sure you allow the unit to cool before adding additional fuel.
Weather-proof Your Home and Property: It’s wind speed that separates a tropical storm from a hurricane and also determines a hurricane’s severity on the Saffir-Simpson scale. That’s why you should ensure your roof is in good repair, windows and doors are sealed against driving rain and trees are trimmed to minimize damage from flying branches.
Assemble Your Emergency Preparedness Kit: Every emergency preparedness kit should contain food and water to last for several days. Make it easily accessible from the ground level of your home or business. The kit should also include a flashlight, first aid kit, battery-powered radio, a whistle to signal for help, a portable cell phone charger and an assortment of hand tools. Medications, both over-the-counter and prescription, should also be part of your kit, so that you and your family can ride out the storm. Finally, don’t forget pets. Make sure your kit contains food, water and medication for them, as well.
Stay Safe: If you choose a portable generator to back-up your home, make sure you always operate it outdoors, far away from windows, doors or other openings that could allow carbon monoxide from the engine exhaust to enter your home. You should also consider a model with a carbon monoxide (CO)-detecting feature, which automatically monitors the area for carbon monoxide and shuts down the generator when CO levels become unsafe or rapidly increase. Also, always use extension cords that are in good repair and rated for outdoor use.