WAUKESHA, Wis., Sept. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Even before Hurricane Irene made its way up the East Coast last weekend, 21 million people in the United States had suffered through a power outage this year. And, of course, Irene added another 5 million people to that total.
What's even more shocking is that strong storms accounted for only 57 percent of the more than 7,000 power outages in the U.S. this year. In addition to bad weather, heat waves, an aging electrical grid and freak occurrences have all contributed to significant power outages across parts of the U.S. at different times.
The truth is that for most of the United States, power outages aren't a matter of "if," but a matter of "when." And when the power goes out, people scramble for a solution.
Portable generators fly off store shelves, supermarkets are emptied of batteries and bottled water, and ice gets stockpiled in an attempt to prevent food spoilage. But stores sell out, ice melts and roads can be impassable.
Pre-assembled emergency kits containing canned foods, hand-cranked radios and candles are one frequently suggested solution for power outages. But most people don't know that power outages don't have to be an inevitable occurrence.
"It's all well and good to have some extra batteries put aside," said Duane Nelson, Vice President of Marketing at Generac Power Systems. "But it's even better to not need them in the first place."
The answer, according to Nelson, is a standby stationary backup generator.
"Generac makes portable generators that can, of course, keep the power running during and after a storm, but what a lot of people don't know is that we also offer a permanent solution that eliminates the worry and inconvenience of a power outage," Nelson said.
A Generac stationary backup generator connects to a home's existing natural gas or LP fuel supply, automatically turns on after the electrical power goes out and provides power to the home until the electrical grid returns. A stationary generator isn't just part of an emergency-preparedness kit – it can actually help prevent an emergency.
Installing a stationary generator basically eliminates that risk of having spoiled food, a crashed computer or a flooded basement.
"We rely on the grid not just for light, but for a variety of elements in our networked world," Nelson said. "Many people today work from home or remotely, and not having power is simply unacceptable."
When demand for emergency power is high, homeowners with stationary generators don't have to worry about scrambling to the nearest hardware store to pick up a portable generator, only to see an empty store shelf. A stationary generator can help provide peace of mind and convenience when faced with a utility power outage.
"Stationary generators take the guesswork out of facing a prolonged power outage," Nelson said.
About Generac (NYSE: GNRC)
Since 1959, Generac has been a leading manufacturer of backup power generation products serving residential, light commercial and industrial markets. Generac's power systems range in output from 800 watts to 9 megawatts and are available through a broad network of independent dealers, retailers and wholesalers. Generac is committed to developing a long-term vision that promotes environmentally responsible products, processes and partnerships and strives to be a positive contributor of sustainable growth in the backup power generation industry. For more information on Generac, please visit www.Generac.com. Follow Generac on Twitter @generacpowersys. Become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/generacpowersystems.