Hurricane Preparedness: Choosing The Right Type of Generator


As a region located on the Mid-Atlantic coast, Hampton Roads residents often find themselves in the path of oncoming hurricanes, tropical storms and nor’easters. Losing power due to storms is a likely event for most residents a few times a year. During hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, 2012, power outages caused by big storms can last for a few hours or several days. If you’re not prepared for hurricane season yet, now is a good time to get ready. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted a 70 percent chance that there will be between nine and 15 named storms this season, which translates to top sustained winds of at least 39 miles per hour.

Hurricane preparedness includes planning for extended power outages and possible loss of potable water. Many Hampton Roads residents are turning to residential generator installation or portable models to avoid the inconveniences and possible health and safety risks associated with loss of power. Choosing what type of generator to buy depends on the type of investment you want to make and how much power you’ll need during an outage.

If you choose a residential model, it will be installed in your home. In the event of an outage, it will automatically come on. As a homeowner, you can choose which items to connect to the generator. When deciding on which generator to choose, the amount of coverage has the biggest impact. Select one for just the essentials, such as the refrigerator, lighting and furnace; managed priority items and circuits in the house; or the whole house.

A portable generator runs on gasoline and must be outdoors to operate. In the event of inclement weather, it should be sheltered, but not put in an enclosed area. Extra fuel containers should be stored in a safe place to keep the power running as needed. Select items can be hooked up to the portable generator, depending on its size and the wattage used by appliances and systems. The portable generator should be grounded for safety.

At American Mechanical, we offer a variety of generator-related services, including generator repairs, maintenance and installation by factory-certified technicians. We do keep several models in stock year-round. We carry Generac, Cummins Onan, Briggs & Stratton and Winco. Contact our office for details on the various models.