In light of the Super Storms we have seen over the course of the past few years, many people are purchasing generators for their homes and many more are talking about generators. While our ancestors
may have lived without heat, electricity and hot water times have changed and these things are really no luxury, they are a necessity.
Where can we send out clients for generator information and advice?
The first place would be the local lumber yard, hardware store or a local electrician. Any one of these resources should be able to help with your initial questions. Ask plenty of questions, you want to make sure the generator you are buying is the one you need. Generators come in various sizes depending on their intended use. A small portable model can be used with an extension cord to power a few lights and your refrigerator to keep food from spoiling. But is this enough for you? As the generators grow larger they are capable of being integrally attached to your home wiring systems, and some can be made so that they are fully automatic. With these larger models, when the power goes off there is about a 15 second delay and the generator starts itself and transfers the power to the home. When the power comes back, it will automatically shut itself off too.
How long will generators supply power?
The generators duration will all vary, but with an average home and a 500 gallon propane tank, if you use your generator wisely, it can last you for days and days. You really shouldn’t run it 24 hours.
How much do they cost?
Want to know what you might expect to pay for a generator? It all depends on what you decide you will need, you could spend roughly $500 for a small one that could be used for a few circuits or with an extension cord and from there the prices rise to in the area of $30,000. An automatic system for an average home should be in the $5,000 – 7,000 range with all of the needed parts and installed. If an automatic generator is installed by a supplier, an electrician can run through the operation and maintenance.
How much gas do these generators require?
Generally, the smaller units require gasoline but the larger automatic ones are connected directly to your propane tank or natural gas line. The amount of gas needed really depends on the unit size and how much power they are generating. We would recommend keeping your tank full at all times or if there is a chance of bad weather or power outage why not go before and have 10 gallons in storage so you are always ready.
General maintenance tips:
BACK TO SCHOOL
It is very important that parents, guardians, staff and students are aware of the major hazards a school might face and they should understand the procedures to follow if a severe weather should occur.
The most important part of safety in schools is to develop an effective plan tailored to your building’s design to ensure optimal safety. A lot of schools implement outdated plans, or plans which do not take into account the specifics of their respective building structures. This can be dangerous, considering that every school is built differently.
Ultimately, the school administrators need to evaluate the time, space, traffic flow and coordination needed to direct all the children and staff to safe areas in an organized manner. This will require running several customized drills each tailored to individual buildings.
Portable classrooms, also known as a “demountables”, are portable buildings installed at schools for temporary classroom space. All severe weather safety plans must include getting students out of portable classrooms and into a safe area in the main building of the school as quickly as possible. Once a severe weather alert is issued, students should be evacuated from these portable classrooms immediately.
Large, open-span areas, such as gymnasiums, auditoriums, and lunchrooms, can be very dangerous during severe weather, and should not be used for sheltering people. These open area rooms are vulnerable to inherent structural weaknesses and a lack of adequate roof support, making them prone to collapsing in stronger winds or in severe weather conditions.
SOME ADVANCE STRATEGIES
A carefully developed drill should be conducted several times a year to keep students and staff in good practice, and to eliminate problems. Also, large and easy to read maps or signs should be posted throughout the hallways directing people to the safe areas.
•If a storm watch is issued, administrators should monitor the storm carefully.
•If the school’s alarm system relies on electricity, there should also be a compressed air horn or megaphone to sound the alert in case of a power failure.
•All schools should develop plans for disabled students.
•All schools should designate someone to be trained to turn off electricity and gas promptly and safely should the need arise.
•Assemblies or lunch in large rooms should be postponed or moved if severe weather is approaching.
Information from: Weather Ready Nation and Ready.gov