Think of severe weather preparedness the same way you think of fire safety. It's important to have a plan, and to practice that plan ahead of time. Then in an emergency event, you will already be prepared and know what to do without losing precious time. Here are the suggested actions and equipment you will need to get started.
Start by purchasing a portable generator that meets ANSI/PGMA G300-2018 standard requirements, which includes a built-in carbon monoxide (CO) shut-off system that will shut off the portable generator engine before dangerous CO concentrations exceed 800 parts per million near the generator. Extensive industry testing with “real world” indoor and outdoor conditions demonstrates that these CO shut-off systems will prevent 99% of fatalities from exposure to CO from portable generator’s exhaust emissions.
Upon purchase and before practicing your severe weather safety plan, always read your portable generator’s owner’s manual. It contains vital information the manufacturer wants you to know about safe operation.
Have a ready supply of gasoline stored in an EPA/CARB compliant container – while adhering to all recommendations for safe storage of gasoline. Gasoline containers must be stored in a well-ventilated place — even if that means NOT with the stored generator.
Predetermine where on your property your portable generator will have to be positioned so it is operated far away from your residence, doors, windows, vents, garages, and semi-enclosed areas including sheds. Then purchase extension cords long enough to extend from this predetermined location to appliances you will want to power such as refrigerators, freezers and other crucial devices. Store these extension cords with your portable generator for quick and easy access.
Make sure your home is equipped with a carbon monoxide detector. Test it regularly and keep extra batteries for it on hand. This is a safe general practice for overall home safety. Kitchen appliances, chimneys, furnaces, and many other common household tools can malfunction and also result in accumulating carbon monoxide.