ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — While it is important to never let your guard down during hurricane season, predictions for an active season in 2020 and the impact of the coronavirus heightens the need to be prepared.
We've already seen Tropical Storm Arthur, Tropical Storm Bertha, and now Tropical Storm Cristobal all ahead of the official start of hurricane season on June 1.
On top of this, Scientists at Penn State University's Earth System Science Center project the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season as the busiest in a decade.
The reason? Scientists are citing a combination of warm sea surface temperatures as one factor that could result in the development of more named tropical cyclones than usual.
SECO Energy is sharing tips on how to safely use your generator during a power outage, should the need arise.
First, is knowing the difference between a stationary generator and a portable one. If you choose to buy a stationary generator this will be permanently attached to your home's electric system and needs to be connected by a professional. The company stresses this is not a do-it-yourself job.
Then there are portable generators, a more common and less expensive option for homeowners. You will need to make sure you have enough extension cords to plug appliances directly into the equipment.
Now, for safety tips, SECO offers the following:
- Test the generator at the start of hurricane season.
- Operate the equipment in a manner that promotes safety
- Never run a generator in an enclosed area such as a house, garage or covered porch
- Never place a generator outside of an open window where carbon monoxide can leach into the home
- Never operate a generator in the rain – you can be shocked or killed
- Make sure extension cords are heavy duty and meet the watt rating equivalent to your appliance. Also, check them for damage.
- Do not fuel a generator while it’s in operation and store fuels out of the reach of children
- Extinguish all flames, including cigarettes, during fueling of your generator
- Generator engine parts run hot. Do not touch until fully cooled down. Doing the opposite can result in severe burns.