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    • CommentAuthorAdmin
    • CommentTimeJun 10th 2009
    Since it is June, the beginning of Hurricane Season here in the South, I thought it was a good time to bring back this topic. Please note that I resurrected the "Disaster Preparation" topic on the left side of the home page - If anyone has any more suggestions than what was written in that section, post it here.

    FYI - Last year, someone posted this website as another storm resource -

    We just had two back to back blizzards resulting in record snowfall here and many homes lost power. I had taken the usual precautions, stocking up on food and water, batteries, candles, etc. After a week indoors, which my husband actually handled very well (better than some well people), I am considering buying a generator for potential power outages. If one had occurred, we would still have had heat from our gas and wood burning fireplaces, but that's it. Has anyone done this?
    MarilyninMD- During all the hurricanes we had in 2003, I decided to purchase 2 generators so that I would not lose power. It worked great when I needed the power, and I even wired it in to the electrical box so we could run all the lights in the house. However, it is gas powered, and I found that since it sits unused for long periods of time, it is so hard to start when I really need it. When the power went out, I would attempt to start the generator (in the dark usually), and would pull the starter cord until my arms fell off...I would usually get it started after 1/2 hr of strenuous effort, but found that the full tank of gas would only last about 7 run it 24 hrs a day would cost about $50 for fuel.
    If you get a generator, I recommend you get a propane one, and a big enough unit to run your entire home. Mine will not power my air conditioning, although I can selectively run the hot water, stove and lights, provided that I turn off certain breakers. In my opinion, it is not worth investing in a gas generator, since the fuel deteriorates (even with stabilizer), and unless you do constant maintenance, it will be hard to start when you finally really need it. I just sold one of the generators on Monday, and barely got $200 for it, although I paid over 800, and used it twice...
    My SIL runs his gas powered generator once a month with a load and thus far has had no problem starting it.
    • CommentTimeFeb 18th 2010
    A reminder for anyone that wires an emergency generator into their house's fuse panel/electrical system. You MUST have a device that separates your house from the grid!

    If you supply generator power to the panel you are also supplying power BACK to the gird (and the neighborhood power lines) and this could shock (kill?) the elelctrical workers who are fixing the downed lines as they would not expect power to be coming FROM your house.
    A qualifed electrician can install the necessary switches.

    As for getting a unit to power your entire home? Sure you can, but they are big and expensive! The typical disaster plan is to get one just big enough to meet some basic needs; a few lights, the refrigerator and some heat support. (A/C sucks LOTS OF POWER!)

    We have 35 disaster generators where I work (disaster response in LA County) and we have them started and load tested monthly. Anything less and as noted,
    they will fail when you expect them to function.

    Propane? True, it does not go sour as quick as gasoline but it doesnt have as long a run time per volume of space either. (how big a tank do you plan to have?)
    The best compromise between run time, cost and storage volume is diesel.
    A Diesel tank can also be filled from a jug. Propane needs special equipment and pumps to refill the tank.

    There are no cheap or easy soultions.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeFeb 19th 2010
    We have to run our generator in the MH once a month or it too can get hard to start. Keeps the oil moving and gas from going bad. It also helps the MH gas tank move a little since it gets it gas from there.