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Diesel Generators Provide Critical Power in Emergencies

Turbulent Hurricane Season Increases the Need for Generators

Photo of Hurricane Taken from Space
Over the last year, the National Weather Service has noticed changes in our weather patterns that have given way to a more violent and turbulent hurricane season. Hurricanes can produce extremely high, dangerous winds, along with lightning, hail, and massive flooding.

Power outages are all too common once a hurricane has stricken, and they are to be expected. The high winds can take down power poles and cause damage to power plants. It can take weeks and, in many cases, months before power company personnel are able to fully restore power.

This is why the demand for backup power generators has become so high. In fact, the 2005 hurricane season saw more generators purchased than the previous four years combined! The need for this backup power is obvious, particularly after the nation watched stunned at the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.  

Since the weather service has predicted potential years of increased activity, businesses and home owners alike have been flocking to generator resellers and distributors in search of a reliable standby power source.

In years past, some generator manufacturers have had to actually ship in extra generators to provide enough supply for the demand that they had in hurricane prone areas. Many people are starting to purchase them earlier in the year to beat the rush of people who want them at the last minute.  

Everyone knows that power outages happen during a hurricane, which means the loss of hot water for showers and cleaning, no more refrigeration so food goes bad, no radio or television, and no lights so that people can see at night. With a backup generator, power can be restored to a home and can last as long as the generator has the appropriate fuel (natural gas, diesel).

Since the next few years promise to be just as turbulent as the last for hurricanes, it’s advised that everyone purchase a generator well in advance, so that you are prepared and will have the advantage of being able to keep the power on.

Preparing for Hurricanes with a Diesel Generator

Hurricane season can be fierce, particularly for those living on the east coast of the United States. Aside from possible property damage and the unfortunate loss of life, power outages are all too common. Fortunately, new and used diesel generators are available for purchase that can at least ease some of the inconvenience and possible danger that comes with losing power. There are many benefits to purchasing a diesel generator. First and foremost, they do not have any spark plugs or complicated wiring that needs to bereplaced and maintained.

This is important in relation to hurricanes, because when a power outage does occur, you don’t have time to worry about replacing parts or troubleshooting.  Another plus for diesel generators is that they use about half as much fuel as gas generators do, meaning that they’ll last a whole lot longer while you and your company or family are able to have working power during a hurricane.

Diesel is safer than gasoline and much easier to store. It is also less expensive. Because diesel is less noxious, it burns cleaner and is less of a fire hazard than gas.  While gas is explosive, diesel is flammable, so follow all safety precautions carefully to reduce the risk of fire. There are some things that should be checked each hurricane season with a diesel generator. At the beginning of every hurricane season, it is advised to change out the generator’s oil filter, air filter, and fuel filter. This will ensure that it runs smoothly and does not encounter any problems when in use.  

Fortunately, however, you will not have to deal with such things as carburetor adjustments, spark plug tune-ups, or other issues that are associated with gas generators. When it’s time for hurricanes to pound the coast, be sure you’re fully prepared for a power outage by getting a diesel generator. Both diesel and Natural Gas (NG) fueled generators are a favorite of industries that have critical power generator needs. Hospitals and data centers require an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) as part of their critical power solutions. 

Hurricanes and Power Outages-Why They Happen and How to Prepare

Color Illustration of Hurricane Wind Speeds
There are very few forces of nature that can harness the power of a hurricane. Hurricanes typically cover a large land mass and can contain winds over 100 miles per hour. Heavy flooding, lightning, and hail are also meteorological activities that take place within a hurricane. 

The combination of these factors makes for a power outage disaster. Most commonly, power poles are knocked down due to the high winds. In other cases, lightning can strike transformers, which can knock out power for miles. The repercussions of this can be very serious, and it can often take the power company a fairly long time before power is completely restored.

There are, however, ways to prepare in the event of a power outage due to a hurricane. First and foremost, be sure to purchase a generator that can provide backup power.  It’s a good idea to also install an automatic transfer switch, so that when power loss does occur, the generator will automatically turn on and there will be very little interruption.  ust be sure to keep all generators elevated and shielded to prevent damage from flooding.

If you feel that the power may go out, try to make meals before the storm hits. It’s highly advised that you do not open the freezer or refrigerator once the power goes out. If you must open it, keep in mind that once opened, a refrigerator can usually only keep food good for about 4 more hours without power going to it.  

This can be a food and health safety issue, so check all food in the refrigerator before eating it once the power goes out. Always have plenty of flashlights and new batteries ready to go, so that you and your family can easily see when you need to navigate throughout the house, or even outside. It is highly advised that you do not use candles, since they can prevent a serious fire hazard. For those who need to take prescription medication, be sure it is close by and ready for administration before the power goes out, otherwise you may be left looking for it in the dark. With a little bit of preparation, you can get through hurricane season safely and ready to face the challenges that come with it.

After Hurricanes Backup Power is a Must Have

When a natural disaster such as a hurricane occurs, backup power is an absolute necessity. Then hurricanes strike, the damage to power lines can be so severe, that it can literally take months before power is completely restored. That’s why having a backup power plan is a definite must have.

When the power goes out, there is no more hot water source whatsoever. At night, candles and flashlights must be used in order to see instead of electrical lighting. Radios will only be powered by battery, which typically do not last very long. Perhaps most importantly, telephone service could be out, and if you have a cordless phone, when power is lost the telephone is lost as well.  In the event of an emergency and a call to 911 is needed, power to the home is absolutely crucial.

While having backup power is a definite need for the hurricane season, it’s very important to remember some safety guidelines. Never use your generator indoors.This can cause deadly gases to leak that can cause death in a matter of minutes.  Always be sure to operate your backup power generator outside. If you are afraid that someone may try to steal it, secure it tightly outside. In addition to your own home, backup power is also vital to the banking systems and hospitals.

Data loss can cause a terrible mix up and problem for citizens of a very large area. Hurricane Katrina is a prime example, when banks had to switch to backup power sources in order to maintain their database. Retail stores can also be affected, and credit card terminals will not function without power. Hospitals must have backup power in the event of a hurricane, so that patients can be kept on life saving machines. When a hurricane strikes, the importance of backup power can never be overemphasized. It can save lives and make dealing with such a disaster much more bearable.

When Disaster Strikes-Developing a Business Response PlanHurricane Making Landfall

Sometimes nature takes its toll on us in violent and unpredictable ways. As a company or business owner, it’s important to develop a business response plan to protect you, your employees, and of course, your business. Coming up with a detailed disaster plan ahead of time is the best way to ensure that risk is minimized.

This plan should be thoroughly thought out and agreed upon by those in charge. Once this is complete, the information should be passed along to all employees. In addition, response drills and practices should be implemented so that everyone is aware of the plan. Besides notifying your employees of the response plan, other tangible actions should be made, such as obtaining a power generator in the event of power loss. This can really reduce chaos and fear in the workplace, and it can help to maintain productivity.

An important thing to remember when developing a business response plan is to delegate responsibilities ahead of time to various employees. For example, assign certain duties such as getting emergency food to one person in particular, so that when a disaster strikes, everyone knows that “John” is in charge of the food and ready to take care of that aspect. This minimizes confusion and makes for a much more efficiently run operation in the event of emergencies.

If business needs to be stopped temporarily, make it clear to everyone the proper procedures before the event occurs.  Leaders and teams should be designated if you have a larger number of employees, so that everyone remains calm and organized. OSHA standards should be researched and kept up to date in order to avoid any injuries. Once a business response plan has been thoroughly looked over and put into practice, the likelihood of any unforeseen problems should be minimal to none.

Preparing for Earthquakes with a Diesel Generator

An earthquake can occur with absolutely no notice, making it one of the world’s most dangerous natural disasters. Varying degrees of damage to buildings, vehicles, and other properties can occur, and many times it can be devastating to entire communities, with effects that can last into many years. If you live in an area prone to earthquakes, you know the importance of being as fully prepared as possible in the event that one strikes. Because of the profound impact, earthquakes can take down power poles in seconds.

This can leave entire city blocks and suburban areas without power for several days or longer. Having a diesel generator on hand can help provide a backup power source that can ease the pain of a power outage.  A big advantage to diesel generators is that they are safer than gas generators and are not explosive unlike their gas counterparts. This can be very important in an earthquake, since aftershocks and small tremors can take place after the initial earthquake, making gas generators more at risk to explode.

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