Unless you’ve gone to completely solar and/or wind power, you’re probably like most people and dependent on electricity to run your home. But are you ready for a power outage situation?

First, buy your generator now!

"When the time for action comes, the time for preparation has passed." Don’t plan to purchase one after the power goes out when all your neighbors are also looking to purchase a generator. It will be too late. Plan ahead, purchase the right generator for your needs, and give it a test-run to make sure you know how it works.

Which generator is right for me?

The first step is to determine how much output the generator must have to power all the devices you need to run at once. Consider both the running load and the surge wattage. Surge wattage is the added power required when a large motor such as a refrigerator compressor starts up. For the running load, add up wattage of each device you need to keep running in a power outage (refrigerator, stove/oven, lights, air conditioning, extra freezer, etc.). To approximate surge wattage, take the largest single wattage multiplied by three.

Safety first

  • Keep the generator at least 10 feet from your home
  • Keep it outside with fresh air flowing all around. Do not run a generator in a garage, in a shed, or under a deck. This is to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Read the manual, every page. Store it, along with a flashlight near the generator, in case you need to start the generator at night.
  • Store fuel safely in appropriate containers.

Have a transfer switch installed

Your generator can probably power a few devices plugged directly into the generator. This is handy for tail-gating with your generator – it allows you plug in the blender to make margaritas, plug in a dorm size refrigerator, etc. But to safely wire the generator into your home’s electrical system, you need to have an electrician install a transfer switch. This will prevent the generator from sending power back to the electrical lines; which could harm utility workers that might be repairing the lines.

Consider a dual generator setup

The beauty of having a dual generator setup, is that you have a backup generator should something break down in one of the generators. In a true emergency, you’d be thankful to have half the wattage if something happened to one generator. Honda generators are one of the few models that safely allow a dual generator setup.