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Are You Prepared for Hurricane Season?

June 22, 2018

Hurricane season is upon us, and unfortunately, storms won’t wait until you’re ready. It’s time to bump Hurricane Power Outage Readiness to the top of your to-do list.

Most people are never fully prepared for a natural disaster. Storms don’t happen at convenient times, and we don’t usually add “hurricane” to our calendar during an opening between meetings.

However, there are specific things you can do now to make sure that when a hurricane strikes, you, your home and your family will be as prepared as possible.

Storm Preparedness 101: Here’s a quick list of items you should take care of ASAP.

  • Evacuation Plan: Know the recommended evacuation route, and keep your gas tank full.
  • Supplies: Keep bottled water and other supplies on hand.
  • Hurricane Kit: Include a first-aid kit, medications, a battery-powered radio, flashlight, batteries, whistle and local maps.
  • Copy Important Documents: Back up your computer, and keep copies of important documents in a safety deposit box.
  • Prepare Your Home: Secure or store outdoor items, and make sure your roof and shingles are in good shape to withstand strong winds.
  • Back Up Your Power: Determine what type of generator you need in case of a power outage.

Where there are hurricanes, there are power outages. If conditions are unsafe, you and your family may need to remain at home. When the power’s out, appliances you depend on, like your refrigerator, electric stove, lights and A/C can’t be used. If you can’t charge your phone, use your computer or tune in to the local news, you’ll be cut off from communication, which is vital during a hurricane power outage.

During the summer months, losing the ability to cool your home is no joke. The heat can make your home unbearable, and continual high temperatures and humidity can damage your home’s interior. Losing power to your refrigerator means your food will go bad, and replacing all that you’ve lost can be incredibly expensive.

Hurricane power outage readiness should include the purchase of a generator. Owning a reliable generator ensures peace of mind during a power outage caused by a hurricane.

There are two main types of generators for hurricanes: portable and home standby.

A portable generator is a convenient solution if you only want to back up a few essentials. Portable generators come in different sizes, they run on either gasoline or propane, and they don’t need to be installed.

If you’d like to power more than just the essentials, or even your whole home, you may want to have a standby generator installed. Standbys never need refueling since they are connected to your propane or natural gas system. Your home standby generator starts automatically when the power goes out and returns to standby when power is restored, ensuring security and convenience for your family during a hurricane power outage.

Knowing that you have a safe source of power during an emergency is priceless, since the security and safety of your family is more important than anything else. What’s on your to-do list for hurricane season readiness?

Preparing for a Natural Disaster – by Mike Holmes Jr.

February 27, 2018

Originally posted on MakeItRight.ca

These days, when a natural disaster strikes, you can usually count on a power outage to follow. Losing power can mean a lot more than getting stuck in the dark. Without power, your furnace or sump pump may stop working, these are the internal defense systems of your home and making sure they work when you need them most is key to protecting you and your home. Also, many of your electronics and household appliances that you depend on daily can be affected by a power outage. These include your refrigerator, electric stove, lights, heat, air conditioning, washer, and dryer. You also lose the ability to charge cell phones and other devices that you use to communicate, etc.

Where you live can play a major factor in what kind of disaster you experience, and therefore, how you should prepare. If you live near a waterway like a river, lake or ocean, there is a higher risk of flooding. Homes near heavily wooded areas could be more at risk for potential fires, trust me – I have seen both cases with my own eyes. A small investment combined with pre-planning is always a good idea to keep you safe and protect your belongings during the unexpected.

Here are some ways you can plan in advance for any emergency:

  1. Have an emergency disaster plan – Make sure you and your family know the game plan, where all of the emergency EXITS are in the home, and a safe place to meet if you were to get separated. You want to have at least two ways to safely evacuate your home. It can be tragic when you don’t have a plan to escape, wildfires can spread faster then you may think and flash flooding can be extremely dangerous so make sure you have a plan that you have discussed with the family.
  2. Keep an emergency kit readily available – Make sure it is fully stocked with bandages, flashlights, canned food, etc. and keep one in your car as well.
  3. Have your trees trimmed and maintained – Have any dead or diseased branches or trees cut and removed. In case of a major windstorm, you don’t want any trees or branches to strike the power lines.
  4. Make sure your pipes are insulated to keep them from freezing – If you live in an area where you experience cold or winter-like weather, you do not want your pipes to freeze or burst, potentially leading to floods.
  5. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors monthly – Make sure they work properly and batteries are replaced 2 times per year. Carbon monoxide detectors should be replaced every 5-7 years and smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years.
  6. Review your homeowner’s insurance policy – Get familiar with your policy and what it covers. Some policies will not cover natural disasters and you may have to purchase fire or flood insurance if needed.
  7. Document your possessions – Create a list of your belongings and how much each item costs, take photos and keep receipts. It’s good to know what you own in the event your home and possessions are damaged and will make filing an insurance claim a little less painful. I go around and take pictures with my tablet and have them stored on the cloud in case the device is damaged.
  8. Lock away valuables and original documents – Place these items in a safe within your home or at a family or friend’s home. Also, consider opening a safe deposit box at your local bank where you can store such items.
  9. Never try to use alternative heat sources like the oven or a barbecue to warm up inside the home or garage during a power failure.

I find if there is one thing you need in preparation for a natural disaster or power outage, it’s a generator. Generators provide peace of mind and protection during a period where there is no power. In the event of dangerous weather or driving conditions, you may be told to avoid leaving your home. A generator can keep you connected to the news, providing basic power and functions. Having a safe source of power to operate your home means protecting your family.

Generators are available in different sizes and can be fuelled by different sources such as propane or natural gas to meet everyone’s needs. The number and size of systems you want to power will determine how much wattage you will need from your generator. The two main types of generators are portable and standby. A portable generator is exactly what it sounds like – portable. It’s gasoline or propane powered, requires refueling and must be plugged into your appliances or subpanel to provide power and does not need to be installed. A portable generator is great if you only want to provide power to a few items and for remote locations that prohibit a bigger back-up system.

If you’re looking to power a greater portion of your home or if you’re away from home for long periods of time, a standby generator may be ideal. It is permanently installed outside your home and must be in an open area away from windows and doors. Because all generators produce carbon monoxide, you want to make sure that CO doesn’t seep into your home. A licensed electrician and gas fitter must be involved in the installation process. A standby generator automatically kicks in and provides power directly to your home’s electrical system through a transfer switch – like the power that comes in from the grid. It also turns off automatically when power to your home is restored.

When using a generator always take safety precautions. Before using your generator, read the owner’s manual. Each system has different safety precautions, and you want to make sure you are operating your unit safely.

Website Fraud Alert!

January 26, 2018

Fraud Alert – Protect Yourself!

AVOID: www.ChampionGeneratorSale.com

It has come to our attention that there are active websites posing as authorized retailers that are trying to take advantage of those in need – e.g. those in Puerto Rico where generator supply is limited and shipping is generally more expensive. The website www.ChampionGeneratorSale.com has NO affiliation with Champion Power Equipment whatsoever and we are working with federal law enforcement get the site taken down. They are listing fake offerings for generators at lower than market value with free shipping worldwide. Upon investigation we have found that they have not shipped a single generator to any customers who’s made a “purchase” on their website. Many of our valued customers have contacted us to report this. We want to assure you we are doing all we can to bring an end to this.

If you have made a purchase from this website, we recommend that you contact your financial institution or credit card provider to immediately stop payment. We also recommend that you report the card number as being used on a fraudulent website and that your credit card information may be compromised.

We apologize to anyone who has been a victim of this scam. The way the law is written, the website hosting provider does not have to respond to our requests until an authority having jurisdiction has made a ruling and a court order has been issued. They will then comply. This is currently in process and we hope to reach resolution as soon as possible.

Here are some tips you can use to protect yourself when shopping online sources other than the household retail names.