Are you prepared for harsh winter weather?
It's out there - that next bout of severe weather is on its way. No matter where you live in the United States, the potential for severe weather always exists and sometimes it comes without much warning.
"None of us really knows what the weather holds," says LT. General Russel L. Honore, U.S. Army (Ret). "That's why it's important to be prepared for any eventuality. You have to be able to be your own first responder if the situation calls for it."
There are few who understand the power of severe weather and natural disasters better than Honore. The commander of Joint Task Force Katrina, Honore is now a nationally recognized emergency preparedness expert. Each day he dedicates himself to helping Americans prepare for serve weather or natural disasters in order to create a "Culture of Preparedness," and help people be self-sufficient in instances of disaster.
Why you should be prepared
When Hurricane Katrina struck, 2.6 million people lost power, many for nearly a month. Today's hurricanes, as well as winter ice storms and blizzards can also cause extended outages that can leave the unprepared equally trapped and powerless in their home.
Honore says it's essential all families develop an emergency plan. This plan should include a safe place in your home where you can find shelter and a safe location if you are away from home or you are forced to evacuate. Each family member should also have a cell phone so they can communicate with each other and every home should contain an emergency kit. The kit should include a weather radio, flashlight(s), batteries, first aid kit, money, medications, heavy clothes and five days of non-perishable food and water.
The importance of power
"The number one issue you face in an emergency situation is access to reliable power," Honore says. "When you lose power, it sets our society back at least 100 years."
In today's world, many of the things people need to survive are tied to power. A loss of power cuts off communication, makes it difficult to attain food and water, creates sanitation issues and hinders temperature controls such as heating and air conditioning.
"Because power is so important, I recommend homeowners invest in a dependable standby generator," Honore says.
Unlike portable generators, a standby generator automatically turns on when power is lost. A standby generator, which is permanently connected to your house like a central air conditioning unit, has the ability to power everything in your home including your heat and air conditioning systems, refrigerator, lights, computers, television and other technologies. Each of these modern-day necessities are indispensable during an emergency. And best of all, because the standby generator connects to your home's existing fuel lines, you'll never need to worry about refueling it to keep the power up and running.
"I've personally been through this process," Honore says. "I have a Kohler standby generator connected to my home and I recommend everyone make having an automatic backup power supply part of their emergency preparedness plan."
To learn more about automatic standby generators, visit KohlerGenerators.com. You'll have the chance to watch informative videos explaining standby power and how it works. Start your research today so when the next big storm arrives, you'll be ready.
IMAGE CAPTIONS: -------------------------------------------
Caption 1: When power is lost to your home, a standby generator automatically turns on and can power critical systems and appliances, including lights, HVAC, refrigerators, sump pumps and even delicate electronics.
Caption 2: An automatic standby generator, like this one from Kohler, permanently attaches to a home similar to a central air conditioning unit. Homeowners do not need to be present to operate the generator because it attaches to existing fuel lines (natural gas or propane) and turns on automatically when power is lost from the utility.