The truth is that no matter where we live in the United States, we are subject to major tropical storms, winter blizzards and other natural disasters. So, it’s not a question of “if” our homes and businesses lose power, it’s a matter of “when”.
In fact, “when” hits approximately 3.5 million people in the United States each week and they lose power, according to the Electric Power Research Institute. Dr. Evan Mills from the US Department of Energy reported that this added up to more than 20 million electric customers who were affected by power outages in 2011 alone.
A power outage of a few hours can be inconvenient … stretch it into a few days and it can become deadly. With the number of outages steadily increasing over the past few years, more and more home owners are buying standby generators for relief during these blackouts.
A standby generator can supply power to outlets and switches throughout the entire building. To use a standby generator, hire an electrician to install a manual transfer switch subpanel off your main circuit panel and install a dedicated inlet to power the subpanel (installing the subpanel is complex; not a DIY project). This setup gives you the advantage of powering entire circuits in the house, not just individual appliances.
During a power outage, run a Temporary Power Switch & Outlet Generator Cord from the generator to the inlet, flip a manual transfer switch on the subpanel, and all the building’s switches and outlets will have power. The cord, often called a “Transfer Switch Cord” or “Hurricane Cord”, is specifically designed for use with heavy duty standby generators at any residential, commercial or industrial building. It eliminates the hassle of running multiple extension cords through open windows and doors and allows you to safely power hardwired items like your furnace or well-pump.
In addition to a standby generator you should also have a portable generator. A major advantage of a portable generator is just that: portability. Along with keeping you safe and comfortable at home during a blackout, it can power lights during your next camping trip, power tools at a remote work location or furnish vital power at your designated rendezvous point after a mandatory evacuation.
While a portable generator is the least expensive solution for providing temporary electricity, the downside is you have to run generator extension cords, often through open window and doors, to every spot you want power. You are also limited to how many things you can plug in at once since most generators have either two or four outlets.
Regardless of the timing and conditions, when you use the generator, place it on a flat surface outside. Don’t set it under awnings, canopies or carports, or inside the house, garage or other structure. It is absolutely critical that you keep the generator away from your house and especially away from doors and windows—your life depends on it! According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, “One generator produces as much carbon monoxide (CO) as hundreds of cars. CO from a generator is deadly and can incapacitate and kill you within minutes.”
To maintain a safe distance from the fumes, count on Milspec Direct’s Lighted 3-Way Generator Extension Cords. They are available in three convenient lengths, with a choice of molded plugs that fit any modern portable generator’s outlets.
Another “must have” item for in any Emergency Preparation Kit is a set of Heavy Duty Battery Booster Cables. Disasters, by their very nature, are unpredictable and sometimes staying in place isn't an option. For example, a tornado, hurricane, spill of hazardous materials on a nearby highway, or spiraling-out-of-control wildfire could mean instant, mandatory evacuation. The last thing you need is a dead battery in your getaway car.
When every second counts, rely on Milspec Direct’s Battery Booster Cables to quickly jump start your vehicle. No matter what you drive, from motorcycle to Maserati, Milspec has the cable set you need. (Driving a bulldozer or semi? No problem: Milspec Direct also manufactures the ultra heavy duty 1 and 2 OTT, all copper Booster Cables required by large commercial vehicles.) When selecting a Booster Cable set for your Emergency Preparation Kit, always pick one that is two gauges lower than usual. The heavier duty gauge will ensure quicker jump starts, enabling you to boost your vehicles’ low batteries in milliseconds.
Power outages are a fact of life. However, you and your family don’t need to suffer in misery during extended blackouts. Milspec Direct’s Hurricane Cords and Lighted Generator Extension Cords are an effective, practical solution to an age-old problem. When the power goes out because of a disruption you will stay safe, warm (or cool!) and comfortable. And, when hunkering down isn't possible, Milspec Direct’s Battery Booster Cables guarantee you and your precious cargo a quick escape from harm’s way.