Hurricane season starts in May. Being prepared for the worst and hoping for the best is the right plan of action for those of us living in the Central Florida area. Because hurricanes are always very disruptive and nerve-wracking, no matter what the season is predicted to be like, being ready is the goal.
Ahead of Hurricane Season
Electrical safety is paramount during and after a hurricane. Preparing your home’s electrical, as well as being aware of your electrical needs, is necessary to be ready for hurricane season. To help you out, the electrical professionals here at Frank Gay Services have pulled together this guide to help you with one of the major issues that occurs with a hurricane, long term loss or disruption of electricity.
Check Your Homes Wiring
Older homes may have outdated wiring. Not only is outdated wiring potential hazardous even when there is no storm, these issues may be compounded during a storm. Even newer homes could have electrical issues, especially if someone ever did some DIY electrical work around the house. A good first step in the electrical preparations for hurricane season is to have your electrical system inspected by a professional. Spotting and fixing those little electrical issues now, can save a lot down the road.
Other than wiring inspection and repair, there are other ways you can prepare your whole home to endure the upcoming hurricane season.
Protect and Insulate Outdoor Electrical
Protecting your homes electrical wiring doesn’t stop with the inside of your home. There is wiring on the exterior of your house that should be looked over and insulated and protected as well.
Any unsecured electrical panels or wiring on the outside of your home should be fastened down tightly and insulated against water. If you have an outdoor generator that is unprotected, covering it with a secure tarp or watertight plastic covering/housing is a very good way to help ensure your outdoor electrical will remain undamaged.
You already know that water and electricity do not mix. Wind is not a friend of electricity either. Trees that have branches overhanging or near power lines near your home should be trimmed. Extension cords that run through your yard can be a hazard as well because they can shift or cause an electrocution hazard if flooding happens.
Whole Home Surge Protectors
Power surges are caused most often by downed power lines, sudden power outages, or lightning strikes. A power surge can cause damage or completely break electric devices and appliances in your house. To protect against these power surges, plug-in surge protectors are commonly used. Most people have one or two of them plugged in to a wall somewhere in their home.
These wall plug-in power strips are very good at protecting your devices from everyday power surges. They are not strong enough to protect your devices and electric devices from lightning strikes or other large surges that are more likely to happen during a hurricane.
Preparing ahead of time for hurricane season includes protecting your home from these power surges and a great way to do that is by installing a whole home surge protector. These devices protect the entire electrical system of your house from damage, rather than just a few outlets. Contact the professional electricians at Frank Gay Services to find out which system would work best in your home.
Even the best prepared home is can still lose electrical power during a hurricane. Along with flooding and wind damage, large and widespread power outages are common during, and in the aftermath, of a hurricane. Hurricane winds and flooding knock down power lines, blow transformers, and damage power plants, leaving thousands without power for days… sometimes for weeks.
Having a backup power source is a good idea for every homeowner. For homeowners who are living in the path of frequent natural disasters, having a backup power source is even more crucial. If you live in southwest Florida a generator that can power your home for an extended period is a worthwhile investment.
A small gasoline powered generator isn’t going to provide enough power to keep you going through an extended hurricane electrical outage. Not only do gasoline shortages occur frequently after hurricanes, making gasoline difficult to come by, but these little gas-powered generators burn through gasoline quickly, only powering your home for a couple of hours before needing more gasoline.
There are generators made specifically for powering your entire home. Home standby generators can power your entire home and kick on automatically when power goes out. They run on natural gas or propane, making the need to find and keep gasoline in the aftermath of a hurricane unnecessary.
Installing a home standby generator is not a DIY project. Contact an experienced electrician at Frank Gay Services to learn more about how a home standby generator can be installed at your home.
When the Hurricane is Imminent
When a hurricane is on its way, there are some things you should keep in mind and have at the ready.
First, always be aware that no matter how well you prepared your home in advance, things can still go wrong with your electricity. Keep the phone number for your local emergency electrician handy.
Charge all your devices before you lose electricity
Ensure you have all your important and necessary devices (likely at a minimum this will be your phone) charged before your electricity goes out. Remember not to charge your phone using an outlet that has no surge protection.
Have, and carry with you, portable battery chargers for your small devices
Charged portable battery chargers can be a lifesaver. After your electricity has gone out, being able to charge your phone could save a life – literally. Don’t let your important communication devices die.
Keep flashlights or battery lanterns ready.
Do not use candles.
Working flashlights or charged battery-powered lanterns should be kept ready and easily accessible to everyone.
Prepare Now, Before the Storm
Time flies, and it is easy to forget to prepare for hurricane season. Do it now, while the weather is nice, and the sky is blue and friendly.
Do you need to make sure your homes wiring is working safely and properly? Should you look in to getting a home generator installed? Is there some electrical maintenance or repair you need done that you have been putting off? Now is the time to get these things done.
Contact us at Frank Gay Services to discuss your electrical needs today!