Living or working in a disaster-prone area always requires that you be prepared for the worst. When a natural disaster strikes, you might not have the time to take the right recuperative measures if you were ill-prepared. It is vital that you have an electric portable generator in standby just to be on the safe side.
If you live in such an area, it could mean having to survive some uncomfortable situations like enduring darkness for days, eating canned foods, and having a lot more store in your fridge or freezer going bad due to lack of power.
If you are experiencing floods, you will have your basement filling up with water since your sump pump stops working and have mold growing in your house.
In a business premise, you risk losing a lot of your products especially if you deal with perishable goods. Finding an emergency generator to rent for the period that you stay without power can be very challenging since they are in high demand at that time.
Statistics show that the demand for these generators rises rapidly during natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, ice storms, and others and that businesses with emergency power kits record minimal losses. Here is what you need to ensure when setting up an emergency power tool kit.
Know Your Power Needs
Before you buy your emergency generator, check the maximum amount of power needed in your building and compare that to the generator that you wish to buy. You can check the power rating of your building on the nameplate of the main electrical panel.
Take some time to determine the probable load of your house or building. You can connect an ammeter to the various electrical panels when power is being used at its peak. Do this for about two weeks to determine the amount of power that your generator will have to provide during the disaster period. You can also check your monthly utility bills over several months and get an average to find the approximate load.
Knowing your power needs will guide you to the size of the generator you need at your home or at your business premises.
Placement and Security
When you finally settle on one particular generator, you will need to find a suitable place in your building to place it. The generator, whether it is at home or on business premises, should be at a location where you can easily access it.
It should be near the building’s electrical panel so that you use a little amount of electrical cable and reduce the cost of installation.
The generator’s location should be away from traffic for safety issues and in a dry area. If you can, have the generator completely away from public access.
Finally, ensure that only certified electricians connect your generator to the electrical panel. If you are not a qualified electrician, never try to connect it yourself. Never handle your generator with wet hands or in a wet environment.
Fueling: your generator
When using your emergency generator, you will need to fuel it. During the disaster period, you may need to use a lot of fuel to keep it running for the period you will be without power.
We recommend that you go for one with a large fuel tank that you do not have to keep refueling. Know how much fuel per hour the generator you want to buy burns when at both full and half loads. This data will give you an estimate of the amount of fuel you need to have and at what intervals.
It would be counterproductive to run out of power in the middle of the night while using a generator yet it is that very situation that you got a generator for.
Avoid such scenarios by calculating properly the amount of fuel that your generator will burn up at a go, and have some reserve fuel within reach to refuel if need be especially during odd night hours. As a safety measure, you should not store gasoline and diesel for an extended period of times as will then need some chemicals to use them safely which will add up to your cost.
Inspect and Maintain Your Generator
Now when you have your generator, you need to ensure that it is always in a top-notch condition. You never know when disaster will strike and you need to use it again. Even then, there will be instances at one time or another when there is a power outage on normal days.
These come as a blessing in a way since they remind you to once in a while run your generator to keep it in a good condition. You might also want to have annual maintenance, especially when expecting a harsh weather season. Always ensure that you use clean fuel.