When Hurricane Sandy hit the Atlantic Coast in October 2012, it surprised a lot of people. People who were not prepared to deal with the aftermath of a powerful storm and the destruction it can bring.
Sandy’s devastating effects opened a lot of eyes to the importance of being prepared with an escape plan, backup power and emergency supplies.
In the past, backup power generators were something that only people in hurricane-prone states bought. Since Sandy, however, more and more homeowners are realizing the importance of generators everywhere, according to Generac’s (the leading maker of home standby generators) Chief Executive Aaron Jagdfeld.
Choosing the Right Option
When you’re thinking of a secondary source of power, your first reaction might be to go to solar paneling or other forms of green energy. While that’s a great option, solar systems are more expensive, more difficult to install and take more time to get up and running than standby generators. Plus, solar systems often require unsightly installations on your roof, which might not even be acceptable depending on the building codes in your city.
Standby generators, on the other hand, are located next to the house or in your basement, so they’re not an eyesore. They can also be up and running in just a few hours.
What Makes Standby Generators So Important
In an interview with National Geographic Daily News, Jagdfeld pointed out that Hurricane Sandy was a wakeup call for many when it comes to standby generators. He explained that more and more people rely on the electric grid for power without taking into consideration the increase in severe weather and the ever-aging population. Combined, these things could spell disaster, especially in many large cities and communities, where installing a standby generator has often been deemed unnecessary in the past.
To give you a clearer idea of the impact of Hurricane Sandy, here are some stats:
- Over 8 million homes lost power when Hurricane Sandy hit
- By the time Thanksgiving rolled around almost a month later, 80,000 of those homes still didn’t have power restored
- According to an article in Time, 10,000 people called their local True Value Hardware in New Jersey in the days before Sandy hit. The reason for the call? They were searching for an emergency generator.
Are Generators More Popular?
They certainly are. Generator sales went up 40 percent after Hurricane Sandy. That’s because more and more people are now very aware of the importance of having backup power, regardless of where they live.
In the past, people were more likely to go with portable generators, but standby units are now becoming more popular. Why? Well, for starters, standby generators don’t require gasoline, which might be difficult to obtain if you’re going through a major storm. After all, if there’s no power, gas pumps won’t work. On the other hand, standby generators run on either LP or natural gas, which can be easily stored in tanks so you don’t have to constantly refill the unit to keep it running.
While standby generators are more expensive than portable units, here’s something you might not know: many home insurance companies offer something known as a “loss mitigation credit” if you install a standby generator. This is a special discount offered to customers who own a unity, based on the fact that having backup power can reduce your losses and damages during and after a storm.
Regardless of whether you were affected by Hurricane Sandy or not, a standby generator can be a sound investment for the safety and the future of your home and your family.