As the Atlantic hurricane season rages on, it’s crucial for homeowners along the East Coast, especially in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, to stay vigilant and well-prepared for potential threats. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so in this blog, we’ll provide you with essential tips and strategies to help you prepare and protect your home, your loved ones, and your peace of mind.
Monitor Weather Updates:
Keep a close eye on the weather forecast from trusted sources such as the National Hurricane Center, local news channels, or weather apps. Hurricanes can change course and intensity rapidly, so staying informed is key.
Sign Up for Alerts:
Register for local emergency alert systems and notifications. These services can provide real-time information and instructions in case of an evacuation or other emergency.
Prepare Your Home
Secure Outdoor Items:
Strong winds can turn unsecured objects into dangerous projectiles. Bring in or secure items like patio furniture, trash cans, and outdoor decorations.
Trim Trees and Branches:
Trim overhanging branches and remove dead or weak trees to prevent them from falling on your home during the storm.
Reinforce Windows and Doors:
Install storm shutters or board up windows to protect against flying debris. Ensure that doors are reinforced and have proper weatherstripping.
Check Sump Pump and Drains:
Clear gutters and downspouts to prevent water from pooling around your home’s foundation. Test and maintain your sump pump to prevent basement flooding.
Get a Whole-Home Standby Generator:
Whole-home standby generators are the best way to protect your home against blackouts that can take place during a hurricane. Losing power not only puts your life on pause, but it can also cause costly damage to your home’s appliances and comfort systems. Standby generators require utilities like propane tanks to power the generator.
Not sure if a standby generator is right for you? Here are a few of the major benefits:
- Automatically provides power during an outage.
- Never have to connect or disconnect.
- Can be designed to power your entire home.
- Safety features prevent panel backfeeding.
- Underground fuel tanks mean longer run-time.
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Portable Generators Offer A Good Value in a Pinch.
Portable generators can be purchased at almost any hardware store, but they aren’t all created equal. Offering a great value for homes that experience infrequent outages, it’s important to look for the following features:
- 8000+ watt (running) – This will cover your important appliances and systems* (refrigerator, heating system, water heater, stove top, septic), and some outlets and lights.
- Large capacity fuel tank for maximum run time. You’ll want something that won’t keep you running out late at night to refill!
- Safety features such as CO monitoring and surge protection.
*NOTE: Most portable generators are not able to provide enough power required by cooling systems.
As the region’s certified Generac dealer and service provider, we offer portable Generac units for sale with new installations. It’s also important to note that no matter which brand, every portable generator requires a professionally installed generator hookup prior to use. Additional equipment such as a manual transfer switch or interlock kit is required. We highly recommend a generator interlock kit, which is a safety feature that prevents potentially dangerous backfeeding, while also giving you the most flexibility when selecting what needs power at any given time.
Standby Generator Owners – Annual Maintenance is Critical
Already own a whole-home standby generator? Performing routine maintenance is important just like any other mechanical system in your home. If your generator is more than a couple of years old, it’s time to schedule maintenance to ensure your generator is storm-ready!
During maintenance, we’ll perform the following:
- Oil change and filter change
- Check and clean spark plugs
- Clean air filter
- Battery test
- Date/time exercise check
- Output voltage test
- Transfer switch test
- Mock outage test
- Inspect fuel lines and ensure adequate supply
- General wear and tear inspection
Test Life Safety Equipment
Prior to a major storm is a good time to check your life safety equipment. Ensure that your CO and smoke detectors are operating correctly. Check fire extinguishers for expiration dates and know what your plan is in case of an emergency. If you need CO or smoke detectors installed, a licensed electrician from Heritage can help!
Test Flood Alert and Prevention Equipment
One of the greatest risks to your home during a large storm is flooding. If your home experiences frequent flooding, ensure you are prepared with preventative measures such as a sump pump and flood detectors. Make sure these systems are operating correctly by using the “test” feature, or in the case of a sump pump, engaging the float switch by hand to ensure proper operation. If you have any concerns, schedule a licensed plumber from Heritage to get your flood protection up and running before the storm!
Emergency Service Available, 7-Days a Week
No matter what happens with a hurricane, Heritage is here to help you protect your home and comfort. Our service teams will be available throughout the storm to assist you with your home service emergency. For immediate assistance, give us a call or contact us online today!