Generators for Hurricane Season: Be prepared, stay safe

Preparing for a storm once it is already barreling down the Eastern seaboard is far too late. While 2020 is projected to be an “above average” year for hurricanes, the reality is that In any given year, there is a fair chance of a storm capable of causing significant damage coming ashore in Central New Jersey.


In addition to possibly being an extra active storm season, this year is unique in that we are spending a lot more time inside our homes than usual because of the pandemic, and feel the need more than ever to be entirely self-sufficient at home. The coronavirus outbreak has demonstrated just how vulnerable we can be, and the importance of being able to live comfortably in your own home for extended periods of time. Ensuring you have power is essential to that need.


In times of pandemic or otherwise, a power outage is not just inconvenient but can be dangerous and costly as well. If you’ve yet to do so, consider outfitting your house with a generator to make sure you and your family are not left stranded in the event of a hurricane or other severe weather event.


Plan Ahead

Being prepared ahead of time is key since once the storm is on it’s way and in the news, the run on portable generators and other supplies begins, often leaving items available only at ridiculously inflated prices or unavailable altogether. The days leading up to a storm are ones ideally spent at home, readying your property for the incoming winds and precipitation. It’s not a time you want to be stuck in a big box store checkout line, making anxious purchases and hoping that you’ve got all bases covered.


Assess your needs

Take an inventory of the appliances and other electronics you will need to power in the case of a prolonged outage and how much power each requires. Will these appliances need to be run 24/7 or just at times of specific use? Do you have a sump pump that prevents your property from flooding?


Thinking through a detailed storm preparedness plan will help make for a turnkey operation once a storm arrives, eliminating the doubt and uncertainty that can make these situations more stressful—and expensive—than they need to be. When considering a generator, remember that it is much more cost-efficient to invest in the right generator for your home ahead of time, rather than buy one at the last minute for a ridiculous price or have to pay to repair the damage caused to your property by a prolonged power outage. Invest now before it costs you much more down the line.


Find the generator that matches your needs

For over 90 years, Danley has provided affordable, reliable commercial and residential generator installation alongside full-service repair and maintenance. Home generators come in a wide variety of styles and sizes, and if you are wondering what generator is best suited for your home, our team is uniquely suited to walk you through all the options and help you arrive at a solution that caters to your energy needs.


As the number one generator dealer in New Jersey and recipient of Generac’s top dealer award 6 years in a row, we offer a broad range of automatic standby and portable generators with the expertise to match. Hurricane season is just around the bend, let’s make sure you have the resources to weather the storm.

How a Standby Generator Works

If you have already determined that you need or want a standby generator to provide power for when you lose power, the next step is to look into getting a generator connected to your power supply.  While making the decision to get a standby generator is the first step, the reasons why you want the generator can help you determine what brand of generator you want and the size of the generator you need.  In addition, not all homes have natural gas supplies, so it is important to keep in mind that you may need to install a liquid propane supply, as well, in order to have a functioning standby generator.  


When you consult with a standby generator installer, one of the first things that they should do is talk to you about why you want a generator.  Do you need it to be able to continue to work and live in your home or business during a power outage? Is it necessary to run medical equipment?  Will the generator operate important property-protecting equipment such as sump pumps? Will you need to operate a few appliances at a time or do you want a power supply large enough to fully operate all of the appliances in a home or a business?  All of these questions will help determine what capacity you will need in an emergency standby generator.   


One of the important things to keep in mind is that generators come in a wide range of sizes and styles.  Portable generators are the most flexible. In fact, they can even be set up to function in a similar way to standby generators because they can be configured with start-up options that allow them to automatically turn on when the power supply is disrupted.  However, they require fuel to run and are more of a short term solution to power loss than a standby generator. Standby generators can provide a more reliable long-term power supply because they are connected to a fuel supply and do not require refueling.  


Standby generators provide emergency backup power generation.  They can provide long-term power. Standby generators that are connected to liquid propane sources can operate as long as they have fuel to power them.  Standby generators that are connected to the natural gas supply could, theoretically, supply power to a home indefinitely, though that would be a more expensive option than using the standard power supply.  


There are several different brands of standby generator.  However, Generac is widely considered to be the most reliable standby generator brand. They offer a wide range of sizes and styles across a variety of price points, which means that there is a standby generator that is right for every home or business.  The professionals at Danley can help you assess your needs and pick the generator that is right for your home and its needs.

Comparing Standby Generators and Portable Generators

Many people want a way to handle the inconvenience and potential losses associated with power outages.  Generators are a way to provide power while the regular power supply is disrupted. While there are several different types of generators, they fall into two main categories: standby generators and portable generators.  The two generators have many similarities, but also several important differences. Determining which one is appropriate for your home or business depends on your needs. 


When you lose your power supply, which appliances do you want to run?  Are you looking for a generator for convenience? Some people want to have their generators to operate refrigerators, heating units, air conditioners, or electrical cooking appliances like stoves or ovens.  Unless there are some medical reasons where heating or cooling may be necessary for health, these are convenience uses. Other people need generators to preserve their property. For example, businesses that have refrigerators could lose thousands of dollars in inventory if they lose power.  Homes and businesses may have sump pumps that require power in the event of flooding. Sometimes generators allow people to keep working and stay in business during power losses. For example, internet access is critical to many workers and generators may keep people connected to the internet until full power is restored.  Finally, some people may need generators to preserve health or safety. Some people have medical equipment that requires a permanent power supply. Other people may be at-risk in temperature extremes and need a power supply to run HVAC systems when there is a power loss. Knowing what your power needs are can help you determine whether you need the consistent reliability of a standby generator or the affordable convenience of a portable generator. 


A standby generator is a permanently installed generator that runs on natural gas or propane.  It works automatically. They come on when there is a power loss and then shut off when the main power is restored.  Generally, people do not need to do anything to turn on standby generators or to plug appliances into the standby generators.  Instead, these generators are connected to the whole electrical system for a home or a business and can operate all of the home’s appliances, though it may not provide enough power to run all of the appliances in the home.  Standby generators come in various sizes, which allow them to run appliances for homes and businesses of various sizes.   


Portable generators are more temporary solutions for power losses.  They are generally smaller capacity than standby generators and can be used to provide short-term power to a few appliances.  They are also popular for camping, recreational uses, and to provide power in scenarios where there is no electrical supply. They are usually more affordable than standby generators, but they are less convenient to use for back-up power around the home.  That is because they usually run on gasoline or other fuels, which means they cannot be operated in the home. They are often heavy and bulky. They require frequent refueling and storing that fuel in order to be prepared to use them. They also need extension cords to connect them to appliances. 

Reasons to Get a Standby Generator

Power outages are not just inconvenient; they can be costly, dangerous, and even life-threatening.  Power storms can result in losing food in the refrigerator or the freezer, loss of heating or cooling, or the loss of necessary medical equipment.  One way to help mitigate the impact of power storms is to arrange a backup generator, which can supply power to your home in the event of a power loss.  There are several different types of generators, from portable generators that run on gasoline or diesel and can be used to run necessary appliances but are not powerful enough to replace your home’s full electrical system, to permanently placed generator systems that run on natural gas and can fully supplement your electrical supply. 

Power outages can be caused by several things.  Many power outages are linked to bad weather: ice storms, snow storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes can all cause disruptions in the power supply that may last from a few minutes to several days or even weeks.   Bad weather is not the only cause of power outages. Rolling blackouts and brownouts threaten the power supply at different times during the year, usually during summer heat waves. Human error can result in disruption to the power supply.  Power lines can also be broken for a variety of reasons including damage by animals, auto accidents, and even fallen tree limbs. 

When considering whether you need a generator to back-up your power supply, it is important to think about your needs and considerations.  Many people think about the short-term inconveniences of a power loss, which means loss of climate control, loss of lights, and sometimes the lost ability to cook.  However, it is important to think about other appliances that might depend on your power supply. For example, do you have a sump pump to keep your basement or foundation dry?  If so, it may be important to provide power to that appliance if there are storm-related power-outages, even if you are able to leave your home and stay elsewhere until power is restored to the rest of the home.  

Another consideration is to think about the pattern of power outages in your area.  Some areas experience power outages more frequently than other areas. Some of this depends on which part of the power grid your home or business uses.  This is because some areas are given higher priority because they also contain medical facilities or other essential services. If you live in an area that is not prioritized or with older parts of the infrastructure, you may experience more frequent and longer power outages than people in other areas.