Hurricanes, nor'easters, and other storms can cause a lot of havoc. From flooding to wind damage, one of the most obvious (and annoying) effects is the loss of power. While we all hope that the next storm won't be too serious, the reality is that we should all prepare for the worst.

That's where backup power options come in. When your regular electricity source goes down, having a generator and other alternative power sources can make life much easier—not to mention safer. In this article, we'll go over some options to keep light and energy going during a storm or blackout. We'll also talk about what you should know before you make any big purchases so you can survive any future storms—no matter how strong they may be!

Backup Generator Basics

As hurricane season approaches, the need to keep power on during the storm is pressing. One option many people turn to is a backup generator. But what exactly are they, and how do you know which type is right for you?

A backup generator is an independent power source that takes over in the event of a power outage. It's typically either connected to your home's existing electrical system, or runs independently on its own fuel supply. Fuel sources can include natural gas, propane, diesel or petrol.

Ideally, choose a backup generator that can provide enough power to operate appliances and systems that are critical for your safety and comfort — such as lighting, heating or cooling, refrigeration and communications. To gage your needs accurately, review the wattage requirement of each appliance you want to run (typically listed on the appliance itself). Then purchase a generator with an output of at least 10% more than the total wattage requirement for all items combined.

Especially if in an area prone to storms, it's worth investing in a permanent standby generator as opposed to a portable one — as this will be professionally installed and ready when needed.

Home Generators: Options and Benefits

When the power goes out during a storm, a home generator might be just the thing to keep your home's power running. But there are some important factors to consider—for instance, your budget and how much energy you use.

Thankfully, there are a range of different options to suit every budget and need:

  • Propane Generators: These are more affordable than gas-powered ones, but they require a tank of propane to get started, which may pose problem in bad weather conditions.
  • Gas Generators: For those looking for more power, gas generators offer the highest output levels—however, they also require regular maintenance and can be loud when running.
  • Solar Generaters: For a quieter and eco-friendly option, solar generators provide reliable power without any emissions or noise. Plus, they don’t even require fuel —just sunlight.

No matter which option you choose, make sure to get it installed by a professional electrician who can help you evaluate your needs and find the best fit for your home.

Portable Generators: Pros & Cons

When it comes to backup power sources during hurricane season, portable generators can be a great option. But there are some pros and cons to consider.


Portable generators are easy to set up and maintain, making them ideal in emergency situations. Plus, they're lightweight and come in different sizes, so you can find one that fits your needs.


The downside is that portable generators need fuel — typically gasoline or propane — to keep running. And you can only get so much power out of a single generator depending on its wattage rating, so if you want more juice you'll need multiple units. Plus, running the generator too long or refueling in wet weather could potentially cause an electrical fire.

So while a portable generator is a great choice when it comes to emergency backup power solutions, you'll want to make sure you have the right supplies on hand — like extra fuel and extension cords — and use it safely to ensure the best possible outcome before, during and after the storm.

Generators for the Whole House or Essential Devices

For hurricane season, one of the best backup power solutions is a whole-house generator. They are by far the most expensive option, but they provide you with peace of mind in case of an emergency.

Generators come in either a permanently installed model or a portable one. Permanently installed models are hardwired directly into your main fuse box and automatically turn on if power is lost, so you don't have to worry about the generator running out of fuel during a storm (though you'll need to make sure that you keep it filled ahead of time). Portable generators, however, might be more convenient if you're wanting to protect essential devices like refrigerators or freezers; simply move them around your house as needed.

No matter which type of generator you go with, they each have distinct advantages:

  1. Generators provide continuous power during outages
  2. Generators can handle high-powered appliances like air conditioners and sump pumps
  3. Generators offer protection against damage caused by power surges or voltage spikes
  4. Generators can last for many years with proper maintenance and care
  5. Generators are quiet and reliable

Generators are a great backup power option for hurricane season—so make sure that you choose one that suits your home and budget so that you're never without power!

Researching & Buying a Generator

If you're looking for a way to keep the power running in your home during hurricane season, a generator is worth considering. Before buying one, make sure you understand the different types of generators and which would be best for your needs.

Types of Generators

Most residential generators come in either portable or standby forms. Portable generators are more affordable, but lack features like automatic transfer switches, wireless monitoring, and remote start/stop capabilities that are found on standby models. Standby models are connected directly to your home’s electrical panel, plus they supply power without manual transfer to a load center—allowing you to keep important appliances running during a storm or outage.

Generator Size & Output

It’s essential to buy a generator rated for the specific circuit loads that need power in an emergency. The size of the generator you will need depends on what kind of appliances or items you want to protect and how much wattage they use when running. Be sure to check the wattage requirements of all of your important appliances and look into what size generator will be able to handle them all at once (it should be able to generate at least 5,000 watts). If it’s too weak, it won't kick on during an extended blackout; if it's too powerful it will be more costly than necessary.

Safety Tips for Using Generators During Hurricane Season

When a hurricane is on the horizon, there are often power outages during the storm. If you’re in need of backup power to keep your essential items running, you may be tempted to turn to a generator. But before you do that, it’s important to know how to use them safely — and here are some tips:

Do your research

Generators can be dangerous if they’re used incorrectly. Make sure you research how it works and how to operate it safely. Read all of the instructions, warnings and labels carefully before using the generator.

Start the generator outside

Running a generator indoors can cause carbon monoxide poisoning or even death. Set up the generator outside, making sure that any exhaust fumes are away from nearby windows, doors or vents that lead inside your home. Also ensure animals and people are a safe distance away from where you have placed your generator — at least 15 feet away is best for safety reasons!

Keep it covered

If you’re using a portable generator during hurricane season, make sure it is protected from any inclement weather so it won't be damaged or malfunction while running. Be sure to store your generator in an area that's both dry and well-ventilated when not in use too.

Following these safety tips can help keep power on during stormy weather, helping you stay safe and comfortable during hurricane season — no matter what Mother Nature throws at you!


When it comes to protecting your home and family during a storm, having a dependable backup is essential. Backup generators are a great way to ensure that your power remains on during a storm and that you and your family stay safe. Whether you’re looking for a home generator, a portable generator, or other backup options, there are plenty of ways to make sure you have reliable power during hurricane season.

Just remember to do your research, prepare ahead of time, and follow safety guidelines when setting up any generator. With the right backup generator in place, you can be sure that you’ll have power even during the most chaotic storms.