Posts Tagged how generators work

A South Florida Christmas: Decorating your Home

how to choose a generatorThe holidays are here! A time for family, presents, togetherness… and lots of Christmas lights. Rather than sticking to just some garlands and a tree, you might want to look into adding touches of holiday cheer to both the inside and outside of your home this year.

Indoor Lighting

When most people think of indoor Christmas lights, they think about the ones wrapped around the tree. The truth, however, is that you can use lights to create a very festive Christmas display that extends beyond the living room.

Here are some places where a string of Christmas lights can look great:

  1. Running around the ceiling (you might need to combine several strings of lights to cover an entire room)
  2. Around a door or window
  3. Wrapped around indoor potted plants (works even better if you have several potted plants sitting together)
  4. Placed inside a glass vase or lamp, so the glow of the lights shows through
  5. On the headboard of your bed
  6. Against the back of the kitchen counter or under the cabinets (you might need to use tape to secure the cable)

Although colorful lights are great for certain areas of the home, white lights often make a stronger statement, especially if you plan on using them around colorful objects or decorating entire rooms with them.e

Taking the Lights Outdoors 

When it comes to decorating outside, many people stick to large lawn ornaments and some outdoor lightning. Unless you live in an area with strict rules or are trying to keep the outdoor displays to a minimum, there’s no reason why you should stop there. In fact, a little touch of added light or color here or there can make a world of difference — and without costing you a fortune.

You’ll get the biggest impact from simple things, like wrapping strings of light around tree trunks or branches. No trees outside? Wrap the lights around the porch or balcony railing. Or buy some potted plants, decorate them with lights and place them right outside your front door.

For something different, find some tree branches or buy some giant plastic candy canes. Then find an empty plant pot (tall ones work better for this) and fill the bottom with a bunch of Christmas lights. Place the branches/candy canes on top and then plug in. The light coming from within the pot will create a great lighting effect.

Preparing for the Unexpected, such as a South Florida Power Outage

Finally, your Christmas display is set. The lights are on, the giant Santa is all ready to go and the tree is shining brightly through the window.

One thing you might be missing? Emergency power.

If you are one of the millions of Americans who goes all out with their Christmas decoration, you might want to think about a South Florida power outage and how that will affect your holiday decor. After all, you probably don’t want to be in the dark on Christmas Eve, as you sit down to enjoy dinner with the family.

One way to avoid problems is to make sure you pick energy efficient lightning, so you’re not overwhelming your home’s electrical system once everything goes on at the same time. If your entire Christmas decor is just a collection of a tree plus a few lighted lawn displays, you’ll probably fine even if you don’t take any additional precautions. If you plan on going all out with outdoor lightning, however, you might need special power cords and outlets that can take the added electrical stress on the house.

And don’t forget to have a backup generator all ready to go. While you don’t want to rely on that to light your home, you also don’t want to be in the dark if the lights happen to go out on Christmas Eve.

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Know How Generators Work to Prepare Financially for a Disaster

how generators workWhen disasters hit, such as the recent tornados that hit the Mid West, there’s often no time to think about whether you’re prepared financially for the situation. This makes it imperative that you consider ahead of time what you will do in those circumstances, how you will react and what steps you should take ahead of time to minimize your risk.

Spend Money to Save Money

When people look into how generators work and whether they should buy one for their home, money might come into the picture. While the initial investment required to install a standby generator might be significant, there’s something else you should keep in mind: Having a standby generator in your home might actually end up saving you money in the long run.

Why? Well, for starters, if you have a generator, you might not need to leave your home and head to a shelter in the case of a disaster. Looting can be a problem when homes are left empty, so if you’re staying behind, you’ll be able to protect your assets. In addition, being able to run a generator means you won’t go days without power in the case of a major storm, so things in the fridge won’t go bad. Plus, you will still be able to follow the weather reports through the TV or radio.

When it comes to being ready for a disaster, however, getting your important paperwork in order it’s just as important as getting your home ready and stockpiling on food and water.

How to Get Started

The first thing you should do to financially prepare you for an emergency is to select the important paperwork you want to protect. Here’s a breakdown of the most essential documents:

  • All personal documents, including Social Security card, birth and marriage certificates, diplomas and passports. If you have additional paperwork, such as military documents, those should be saved as well. If you have a will or estate planning paperwork, add that too.
  • All home-related documents, including car title, home deed and insurance policies
  • Financial documents: account information for your 401(k) or IRA, as well as any bonds or stock certificates you might own
  • Medical documents: Health insurance cards are a must during an emergency. So are prescription records, in case you need to refill essential medication for a condition

You should also have written record of all your most important phone contacts, including your doctor, a friend or relative you can call during an emergency, a vet clinic if you have pets and your insurance (both medical and car insurances). Don’t rely on the numbers saved in your phone during an emergency — you might not be able to recharge your phone or the lines/towers might be inaccessible, and then you won’t know the numbers to call.

How to Store the Paperwork

Important documents should always be stored in a fireproof, waterproof box. Unless you have tons of paperwork, you can go with the smallest of boxes, which should be big enough to store several full folders.

Waterproof plastic containers are a good second option if you have nothing else available, but keep in mind these will only serve as protection against water, but not fire. Also, always test the container in advance by submerging it under water and confirming that water cannot get inside once the lid is secure.

The Power of Electricity

When it comes to financial planning, keep one thing in mind: ATM machines need electricity to run. Once you understand how generators work, you’ll see that only major places, such as hospitals and some stores will have one in place. Chances are your local bank will not. Small grocery shops aren’t likely to have one either. While they might remain open to sell products, they won’t be able to accept credit cards if there’s no electricity.

The answer? Always keep some cash in hand. Better yet, store it along with your financial papers so you can access it quickly during a disaster. You probably don’t need a lot – just enough to buy you a tank of gas and some extra food and water if needed.

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