Get Ready for Hurricane Season

On April 7, 2009, noted hurricane forecasters Philip Klotzback and William Gray from Colorado State University predicted a robust storm season for the Atlantic coast, including 12 named storms, six of which will become hurricanes. Of those six, two are predicted to develop into Category 3 (hurricanes with sustained winds of at least 111 mph) storms or higher. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted a similar level of activity, including up to 14 named storms and up to seven hurricanes. The historical average (1950-2000) for storms in this region is 9.6, with 5.9 hurricanes per year.

Update: As of April 6, 2011, the Kotzback and Gray forecast for the current year calls for 16 named storms and nine hurricanes (see above for historical averages). In other words, 2011 will be a very active hurricane season.

According to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, Category 3 storms can cause "near total power loss [with] expected outages that could last from several days to weeks." Even areas affected by Category 1 hurricanes "will experience power outages with some downed power poles." Remodelers should point out to homeowners that losing electrical power for more than a few hours is more than just an inconvenience; power outages can mean losing hundreds of dollars on spoiled food and short-circuited electronics.

Installation of a propane-fueled standby generator can mean comfort and peace of mind during a storm. When a power outage is detected, a propane standby generator gets to work powering the most important appliances and systems in the home: heaters, air conditioners, sump pumps, and refrigerators. Depending on the size of the propane tank, a propane generator could provide a home with 11 days or more of emergency power.

Briggs and Stratton 40301 - 7,000 Watt EM7 Generator
This small standby generator is designed to run on a permanently connected supply of propane and is fully automatic, powering on during a blackout. Advanced alternator technology provides enough power for computers and other electronics to run safely. According to the manufacturer, this generator is up to 50 percent quieter than portable generators.

Generac 0055010 - 8kW
Air-Cooled Standby Generator
Built with a high-torque design, this generator responds instantly to large electrical loads in the event of a power outage. Easy to install, the Generac 005010 connects quickly with a pre-packaged, pre-wired system. An eight-circuit automatic transfer switch comes standard with the unit and helps protect critical circuits in the home from power surges.

Kohler 12kW Residential Standby Generator
The Kohler 12kW residential standby generator comes equipped with PowerBoost™ technology, which provides greater starting capability for large loads like central air conditioners, while continuing to run other home appliances. The manufacturer says that this unit restores power three times faster than competitive models; power can be restored to the home in as little as 10 seconds. A galvanized steel enclosure protects the generator from the elements.

GE 30 kW GLC Standby Generator
Customers can rest at ease as the unit transmits advanced diagnostic reporting on eight different system functions (twice the protection of its leading competitor) to a safe location inside the home. This generator is especially suited for larger homes and features four- and eight-cylinder GM Vortec engines that provide industrial grade power.

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