Preparing for after a storm

By Tiffany Blackmon - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) – The second tropical storm of the 2010 hurricane season formed on Thursday and with more action expected to heat up in the tropics, now would be a good time to think about what your power source will be after a storm has made landfall.

A generator can help make coming home after a storm easier by providing electricity to homes and household appliances.

Lonny Ogea, with Generator Power Source stated, "It's amazing, I mean our phones have been ringing crazy off the wall since yesterday."

That was the day tropical depression number three became Tropical Storm Bonnie. Ogea says since Hurricane Rita, people are not taking life after the storm lightly, and they're getting ready by purchasing generators now.

However, it's important to know what you're looking for. Ogea says the average house needs a generator that's 15 to 20 kilowatts.

Depending on installation, a home generator could cost you anywhere from $7,000 to $10,000. Once you make the investment, safety should become a top priority.

"One of the main things about getting a generator, [people] need to have [them] in a well ventilated area," said Ogea.

Generators should be placed away from openings in a home or any other structure, as they do emit exhaust gases.

"Every year fatalities are caused from carbon monoxide poisoning," said Ogea.

Buyers should adhere to the warnings.  Keep generators at least five feet away from all structures and combustibles as they can cause a fire.

It's also important not to overload a generator by hooking up too many appliances.

Ogea stated, "If you have a generator and it's not big enough and you flip too many breakers it can cause damage to your appliances and things like that."

A home generator, like a car, needs routine maintenance. Once a year it should undergo a full test by a load bank to be sure it's functioning properly.

When facing life after the storm, everyone seems to have the same objective.

"Everybody just wants to get by," said Ogea.

A generator is often the first step towards getting things back to normal.

Ogea says Generator Power Source does test old generators. If you would like to have one tested, call 478-7356 for more information.

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