Keep Your Home and Family Safe When Power Outages Leave You Vulnerable

A single home has power in dark neighborhood without electricity after a storm.

Power Outages Caused by Storms and Other Factors Leave Your Home and Family Without Essential Electric Power

Power outages rarely happen on a schedule. Instead, they strike without warning and each time the power goes out, people wonder when the utility will turn it on again.

How long it takes to restore power is often determined by what caused the outage in the first place. Accidents and equipment failures may cause outages that last just a few hours. Widespread damage by large storms such as hurricanes or tornadoes can wreak havoc and destroy local grids—crews sometimes take weeks to restore power to everyone.

Standby generators work automatically during an outage to supply electricity to critical systems and provide comfort and security. Within seconds after the power goes off, the standby generator starts and the automatic transfer switch moves the house onto generator power and restores lights, refrigerators and freezers, sump pumps, along with heating and air conditioning.

Buyer Guide: What Size Standby Generator Do We Need?

Property Damage Prevention

A homeowner works to save whatever possible after storm water flooded her finished basement.

Finished Basement Damaged by Flooding After a Storm.

When the power goes out, essential home systems that rely on electricity no longer function. This includes the furnace, sump pumps, and ejector (sewage) pumps. If your sump pump runs frequently, especially during a storm, your home is at a higher risk of flooding during a power outage. During sub-freezing weather, pipes can freeze and burst, and then flood the home when they thaw out again.

Standby Generators Protect Your Home

Homes with below grade plumbing fixtures can flood with sewage if they rely on an ejector pump to move waste and gray water out of the home. A flooded basement can cause thousands of dollars in damage, destroy valuables, and leave a home with mold issues that require licensed professionals to remediate. With a home standby generator, all the home’s essential systems—Sump Pumps, Heating and Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration—remain operational throughout a power outage.

Keep Food Safe

A side-by-side refrigerator-freezer with the refrigerator door open.

Without Power, Refrigerators Can’t Keep Food Cold.

The moment the power goes out, refrigerators and freezers and begin to warm. At first, they can keep food within safe limits provided they are kept closed.

Just imagine arriving home from the grocery store with a week’s worth of meat and vegetables and finding the power off. The food inside the refrigerator is already at risk, and opening the door to add the new meat and vegetables will warm the the refrigerator more. Frozen foods in freezers will last a bit longer, but even that will thaw during an extended outage.

If you can’t find ice during an extended outage, you’ll find yourself storing refrigerated food in garbage bags until the next pickup day.

If you keep your refrigerator at 33 degrees, about four hours into a power outage the internal temperature will rise to 40 degrees or warmer. This is the unsafe zone and two hours later, many foods are no longer safe to eat. Depending on the model and type, chest or upright freezers will keep food frozen for 12 to 24 hours. Once the food thaws and temperatures rise above 40 degrees, it becomes unsafe and you must dispose of it.

The loss of a refrigerator and freezer full of food can add up to thousands of dollars, but a standby generator ensures your refrigerators and freezers continue to operate throughout a power outage.

How Long Will A Refrigerator Stay Cold After Power Loss?

Medical Equipment

An oxygen concentrator provides oxygen for people with severe breathing problems.

Medical Equipment like oxygen concentrators make living at home possible for patients with advanced breathing problems.

The number of homes with some kind of medical equipment is on the rise. People depend on medical equipment for their independence and the ability to lead normal or near-normal lives.

Common types of equipment are CPAP machines, oxygen concentraters, and even home dialysis machines. Limited use during an outage may be possible with a battery backup system, but they can only function for a short time on battery power.

A source of standby power allows people who depend on medical equipment to stay in their homes until the electric utility restores power.

Home Backup Generators are completely automatic and operate without any human intervention. Moments after the power goes out, they restore power to the home, including essential systems and appliances and home medical equipment. It’s important that your home medical equipment have it’s own short-term backup. A properly sized uninterruptible power supply can prevent damage and ensure the equipment keeps running until the automatic generator restores power.

How to Use a Portable Generator for Emergency Power

Personal Comfort

Cummins Onan Home Standby Generator

Home Standby Generator System Integrates with Existing Electrical Equipment.

Without a doubt, we have come to rely on electricity as a source of comfort. It keeps our homes cool when it’s hot, and warm when it’s cold. It cooks our food, provides light, and allows us contact with the outside world in the form of television and internet and via land-line phones or cellular phones.

A standby generator can keep us comfortable while we wait for the electric utility. Instead of heading for a hotel, we stay in our homes with the lights on, the furnace or air conditioner running, and a cold beverage just inside the refrigerator. And while a comfortable hotel room is nice on vacation, it can quickly turn into an inconvenience when you’re there by necessity and not by choice.

Unlike portable generators, standby generators are permanently installed. You don’t have to hook them up, worry about fueling them two or three times a day, or wonder if you’ll be able to buy gasoline to keep it running. Even if you’re away on vacation, they will keep your home safe and essential systems operating in the event an outage leaves your home without electrical power.

Home Standby vs Portable Generator for Emergency Home Backup