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Hurricane Irma preparedness: Are you generator ready?

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What! No power? Again? Most of us (at some point in time) have been a victim of losing power at our homes. The first finger we want to point is at the power company; however, most power loss comes from a natural event such as weather or man-made incidents. Regardless of how it happens, you and your loved ones are sitting there with no power. Your kids are wondering why the T.V. will not turn on and why their electronic devices will not charge. You are wondering how long the food is going to last in the refrigerator and freezer. The million dollar question is, how long are we going to be without power? What can you do?

First, notify the power company of the power outage. Most of the time, they will be able to provide an approximate restoration time. Next, have a game plan in the event that  it is a long-term power outage.

Since Florida is a prime candidate for thunderstorms and hurricanes, residents have started utilizing generators as a backup plan to provide power during power outages. Purchasing a generator is a great way of combatting a loss of power. With the right generator, you will be able to supply power to your household and run appliances and electronic devices. Even though generators can be costly, they will pay for themselves in the long run. But before you run out and buy a generator, there are some important tips you will need to know.

Generators come in all different shapes and sizes. You will need to speak with a qualified person that can assist you in determining which generator will best suit your needs. You will also need to make sure the generator is properly wired to your home to prevent fire or back-feeding through the power line that can cause serious injury or death to a power company lineman.

You will need to understand, before starting a generator, that engines emit poisonous carbon monoxide; a colorless, odorless gas that cannot be seen or smelled. Carbon monoxide gas can rapidly build up to dangerous levels in enclosed or partly enclosed areas and seriously injure or kill you. Therefore, you should never operate a generator in an enclosed or partially enclosed structure.

For more valuable information on preparedness, please visit the Florida Division of Emergency Management website at Also, feel free to contact the Madison County Emergency Management office at (850) 973-3698.

Remember, if you FAIL to PLAN, you PLAN to FAIL.

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