Power Solutions For Hurricane Irene
Special Report: Power Solutions For Hurricane Irene
It’s very common for big storms to knock out power, so be sure to be prepared before you become unplugged.
If you're buying a generator, first figure out what in your home you actually want to power up. For many, a standard portable generator may do the trick for just a few hundred dollars.
"What you're basically looking to run is your basics - that's going to be your refrigerator, maybe a microwave, portable air conditioner,” said Art Perez, Triton Power.
Juicing an entire house takes more oomph, and more money - $10,000 to $12,000 provides the ultimate power play.
"It can run anything and everything in your house. With a fully automatic transfer switch, you're basically not even going to feel the lack of power,” said Perez.
Just don't forget to pull the proper permits.
And if you live in a condo, you may not be able to have a generator. But that doesn't mean it's lights out. Try a gas-free generator!
"You just roll this unit in, leave it in your apartment, plug it into the wall and keep it charged, and when the electricity goes off, I can run this for probably four or five days, and keep my energy going, including my refrigerator,” said Paul Farren, The Energy Store.
But this convenience doesn't come cheap. The system costs about $6,000. For something more affordable, try a small power pack instead.
"This one has a built in radio. These are basically emergency power systems," said Farren.
But with any generator, safety must always come first!
Generators produce carbon monoxide, and deadly levels of the odorless gas can build up quickly inside a home.
To be safe, always have a working carbon monoxide detector in your house, and always set up a generator outside, far away from windows, doors and vents.
Charles Bass, Firefighter
"If you're having one installed, don't install it yourself. Have it done by permit and have it done properly. If you're buying a portable generator, read the instruction manual, and above all, get the CO2 detectors for your house. They’re very inexpensive and what's your life worth to you?” asked Charles Bass, firefighter.
Safety first and a good power plan now, means you won't be left in the dark after a storm.
(Copyright (c) 2011 Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)