10 Important Reasons You Need a Generator for Power Outages
Most people don’t consider owning a generator. They can be pretty expensive and the power grid is very stable in most places. But there are several reasons you would want a generator for a power outage.
The weather can get nasty and knock out the lines. Sometimes the power goes out when there is construction nearby. A transformer could randomly blow and take the line down.
So why do you need a generator? For power, comfort, and security.
Why Do I Need a Generator for a Power Outage?
The largest cause of power outages is the weather. Blizzards, hurricanes, tornados, floods, heatwaves, and lightning storms threaten the power grid.
Major weather events and their consequences cut the power to millions of people every year. No matter where you are in the world, there’s a chance for an event of this magnitude to occur.
If you count on an electricity-based alarm system, then you are losing your first line of defense. You are also losing any motion-based lights around your house and cameras you have set up.
During large-scale outages, there are also outbreaks of looting when people think they can get away with it. Most people depend on their alarm systems to warn them of break-ins.
Depending on where you live, there’s a good chance that you lost power because of extreme temperatures. In the north, blizzards can knock entire towns out.
Non-electric methods of heating can be dangerous as well. Woodburning stoves and oil lanterns can release fire into the house by accident and start massive housefires. Portable electric heaters can also effectively keep a room warm, but keep an eye on it to prevent accidental fires.
In hotter places, just the amount of electricity running air conditioners can cause outages. The power grid is built to withstand a lot, but sometimes it gets overwhelmed.
While extreme heat is more often just uncomfortable, it can also be deadly if people are unprepared. Heat waves kill more people than blizzards on average by thousands. Keeping your space cooled mitigates many problems related to overheating, like organ failure and brain damage.
Running a home central air system off a generator isn’t realistic, but there are smaller air conditioners like mini-splits or window mounted units that perform well enough to keep areas of the house cool.
Keeping phones charged in an emergency is a very high priority. Phones allow you to keep in touch with family and call for help if you need it.
Being able to talk to loved ones during an emergency situation can bring peace of mind when you aren’t sure how things are going. You could also arrange for someone to come and get you if you can’t risk staying put.
Losing refrigeration can cause multiple problems. Your food can go bad and cause sickness if consumed; it can attract insects. The FDA warns that two days is the maximum food can be stored safely in a full freezer before it gets risky to eat.
Food in the refrigerator can handle even less time without power. The best idea would be to eat or freeze any perishable foods before or during the outage while they are still safe. Food sickness is not something you want to deal with during a widescale power outage.
Most people turn to propane or charcoal grills during outages to cook meat. If this isn’t an option, then consider using a generator to run a microwave or a single stove burner. Access to these open many options for cooking, especially to apartment dwellers.
Cans of soup can be prepared on the stove top or in the microwave. Water can be easily heated as well. Sometimes boiling water is the only safe way to get drinking water during an emergency situation.
Most people take hot showers for granted when they have electricity. But when the power goes and takes the water heater with it, people remember how harsh a cold shower is. While home water heaters are not likely to run on a standard recreational generator, there are ways around this problem if you can heat water.
Having a bucket of hot water to scrub yourself with can greatly improve your hygiene when you can’t stand a cold shower. If you can stand a few days of sponge bathing, then you are going to be fine.
If you or a family member have a device that assists them to live healthily, then you need it to work. Most of these either run on power or need to be recharged regularly.
Many people need a respirator or oxygen concentrator of some kind to live at home safely. Losing power could be deadly for people relying on these devices and need a generator for a power outage.
Buying and running a gas-powered generator can seem expensive, but they can be cheap compared to the alternatives. Some people choose to leave their house during a long outage and stay in hotels, which cost hundreds of dollars a night. It may be worth it, in the long run, to look for portable generators for sale.
People who don’t prepare for long outages may decide to go out and eat every meal instead of cooking at home. Dining out can be a nice treat, but the bill could go towards that week’s groceries.
It’s no secret that cooking at home, even if you’re only using one burner, is cheaper than a night at a restaurant. But we’re talking about days or weeks of eating out. Even if gas prices are rising, eating out is always pricier than filling up the generator.
While it’s not essential for survival, staying entertained is important. If you’re stuck with others with no power, you may as well enjoy yourself.
A generator could power lights for reading, chargers for phones and handheld games, and radios. If you can power your internet equipment, then you have access to streaming services and everything else you enjoy online.
Being entertained makes the time go faster and keeps everyone calm while the power is out. The last thing anyone needs during an outage is an angry family stuck under the same roof.
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