Dorian passed us by, but others were not so lucky and hurricane season is not over yet. Flashback to the week of October 22 – November 2, 2012. If you were in New Jersey, then you remember this as the week of Super Storm Sandy. For many people, myself included, this was the first time we had experienced a storm of this size. The storm itself was frightening, but the destruction it caused was unlike anything the state had ever seen. Two million people were left without power. Cleanup was estimated to cost over $30 billion dollars and we are still rebuilding.
Growing up in California, I had experienced my share of mudslides, firestorms and earthquakes. I was in Southern California for the 1993 Northridge 6.7 magnitude earthquake. When the ground began to shake, I thought the world was crumbling down around me. The sound of a quake is almost indescribable. Like a freight train driving through my home. I had not been that scared during natural destructive phenomena, until Sandy arrived.
When Sandy bullied her way through New Jersey, I was in my living room. I heard the familiar sound of a train roaring through my house. I could not believe it was the wind. Within 20 minutes of the storm’s arrival, I was without power as well as heat and hot water. Due to hurricane Irene a year earlier, I had invested in a Generac Generator. As Irene had left me without power for almost 3 weeks, it was the best investment I had ever made.
Whether you believe in climate change or not, the truth is storms are becoming stronger and are occurring more frequently. Now more than ever, it is important to be prepared. If you own a home, it is a good idea to invest in a generator. Not only can generators provide you with light, but they also provide enough energy to run your heating and cooling equipment. This is especially important if you have small children, have anyone in your home who is elderly, or someone with medical issues.
The two most common generators used for temporary power are the portable, and inverter generators. Portable generators run on gas or diesel fuel and can provide temporary electrical power. An inverter generator uses an engine (which also use gas or diesel fuel) connected to an alternator to produce AC power. If you are unsure of what size generator you need, it is best to contact a professional.
There is also a third option when it comes to generators. A standby generator is an electrical system that operates with an automatic transfer switch that allows it to power on after a sudden loss of power. Standby generators, which can be purchased and installed by Reiner Group, Inc., turn on automatically when you lose power. No need to go out into the storm. It runs on fuel already available in the home so you do not have to worry about long lines or availability at gas stations. It constantly monitors utility power and is a great option for people who cannot go without power due to life support systems or medications that need to be refrigerated. Preventative or yearly maintenance is highly recommended for standby generators to ensure they are ready to run when you need them. Reiner can perform maintenance on most makes and models. You can call our Service Department at 201-794-3700 X 500 for more information.
How much does it cost to install a standby generator? Give our installation department a call and we will come out to your home and provide a free estimate on which model would work best for you. You can reach us at 201-794-3700 X 555. We are available 24/7/365.
In addition to generators, here is a list of emergency supplies to keep on hand and steps to take, as we are now in the middle of storm season:
- Water- 3-day supply (1 gallon per person per day)
- Food- At least a 3-day supply (non-perishable, easy to prepare)
- Battery powered or hand crank radio
- Extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Medications (7-day supply)
- Multi-purpose tool, tools and materials to safe guard your home
- Sanitation and personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (proof of address, license, lease/deed to home, passports, birth certificates and insurance policies)
- Cell phone with charger
- Emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Emergency blanket
- Pet supplies (food, license, leash, carrier, and bowls)
- Extra car keys and house keys
- Extra clothing and shoes
- Rain gear
Steps to take before and after the hurricane:
- Listen to National Weather Service to keep an eye and ear on the storm.
- Check supplies and restock if necessary.
- Bring in anything that could be blown away in the storm (bicycles, lawn furniture).
- Close windows, doors and shutters. If you do not have hurricane shutters, cover windows with plywood.
- Turn freezer and refrigerators to coldest setting so food will stay cold for longer when the power goes out.
- Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances.
- Fill your car’s gas tank.
- Create an evacuation plan.
- Learn about your community’s hurricane response plan.
- Consider flood insurance if you are in a low-lying area.
- Continue to listen to the National Weather Service for updated information.
- If you are evacuated, return home only when officials tell you it is safe.
- If driving, avoid flooded areas and areas with debris.
- Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them to the power company.
- Stay out of buildings surrounded by water.
- Inspect your home for damage and document the damage and contents for insurance purposes.
- Use flashlight rather than candles in the dark.
- Avoid using tap water until you are told it is safe.
- Check food in your refrigerator. If it is spoiled, throw it out.
- Wear protective clothing and be causing when cleaning up to avoid injury
- Watch pets to make sure they are under your direct control
- Use the telephone for emergency purposes only
Information provided by American Red Cross. redcross.org