While it's 60 degrees in December today, we all know that Indiana weather can change in an instant. As we head into winter, it's important to prepare your home and family for the possibility of a winter storm. Heavy snow and ice poses the risk of a power outage, so develop a plan for staying safe if faced with this situation.
Having a backup generator installed can be a huge help when it comes to dealing with winter storms. Not only this, but it can help power your home year-round, as Midwestern summer storms can be just as threatening. A generator provides a backup power source to power necessary appliances and medical equipment when your primary power source is out.
Generators are a reliable way to ensure your home will have power without relying on utility companies to get electrical service back up and running quickly. Major power outages can take days, even weeks to restore; in cold weather, you may not be able to stay comfortably in your home this long. With a standby generator, it will automatically power your home when a power outage occurs.
Generators come in all shapes and sizes, so you can choose which capacity is right for your family and the systems it will be powering. Evaluate your household's regular needs, and also consider which systems and appliances would be critical in the event of a winter power outage.
- Do you have a fireplace or wood stove in your home? If so, these can help keep at least one room of your home at a livable temperature while you wait for power to be restored; just make sure you can properly ventilate for their use. If your furnace is the home's only heat source, a generator can keep your family warm and your home livable in the event of an outage; freezing temperatures can be dangerous for any family member.
- Do you have an alternate method to prepare food during a lengthy power outage? If you have a gas stove, you may be able to use it during an electrical outage, but take precautions to ensure you still have safe access to this fuel source. If you have electric appliances for cooking, a generator can provide the power needed to prepare meals during an electrical outage.
- Do any members of your household rely on medical equipment powered by electricity? If so, it is critical to have a plan in case of a power outage. Winter power outages can be much more threatening, because snow and ice can make leaving your home or driving dangerous. A generator can provide power to the medical equipment you may rely on, which is especially important if weather conditions prevent safe travel.
- Do you have a way to call for help if needed, or stay updated on changing weather conditions? Battery-powered weather radios can provide valuable information, but if you don't have one, how will you receive updates? Land line phones may not have power either, and phone lines may have been damaged as well. If your cell phone battery dies, how will you call for help if needed? A generator can ease your communication worries by providing power for your devices so you can receive weather updates and make calls if necessary.
- Will you be able to see to move around your home safely? Batteries only last so long, especially when used constantly, and candles can be dangerous if not used carefully. A generator can restore power to provide light for your home, so you can move around safely after dark. The light can also provide comfort for little ones who may be frightened during this time.
Whether you have a generator already, or are going to have one installed, your generator must have a fuel source to operate. Before winter weather strikes, check to see your generator has adequate fuel to power your home for an extended period. Consider this fuel reserve when deciding which electrical devices and systems are crucial in the event of an outage, so you can determine how much fuel you should have on hand, and how to conserve it.
A generator can reduce some of the risks associated with a winter power outage and keep your family safer. In order to have this equipment in place and ready to go to work when you need it, be proactive and have a generator installed now. We can help you evaluate your family's needs and select the right system for your home, as well as ensure safe and proper installation.