Generators allow you to generate electrical power on demand, though the amount of power it can put out depends on the generator. Let’s discuss the times when you’d want to have a backup generator around.

When Disaster Strikes

We typically think of the aftermath of a storm, wildfire or other disasters as when we’d break out the portable generator. The generator provides critical power when power lines are down, whether this is due to earthquakes, wildfires, floods or hurricanes. Smaller but more common events like wind storms and tornadoes can take out power lines, too. Having one of the best portable generators already on hand and ready to go when the power goes out can prevent your fridge full of food from spoiling or keep key appliances like the stove going.

Portable generators are essential if someone in your family relies on a powered medical device like an oxygen machine, nebulizer, CPAP machine or other equipment that isn’t available if the power is out. This can save you from having to rush to the hospital in the middle of a disaster because they don’t have working, life-saving equipment.

During Winter Storms

You should have an electric generator available when winter storms strike. If you rely on electric heaters, the generator is your backup source of power if the power lines go down or the demand on the power grid is so bad that blackouts occur. Winter storms leave behind heavy icicles that can bring down power lines. Making matters worse, the fact that the storm hit a large area means that it may take days or weeks before utility crews reach your area to restore power. If the utility company is continually rerouting power to get around the downed power lines, the power fluctuations are torture for sensitive electric furnaces. Switching to a generator ensures that the furnace runs smoothly instead of needing to be reset after another temporary power fluctuation.

When the Summer Sun Is Broiling

The government and utilities have been emphasizing conservation so that they can try to slow the demand for new power generation. Unfortunately, summers are getting hotter and we’re no more comfortable with the thermostat at 80° than we were ten years ago. This has made rolling brownouts or blackouts a common occurrence when the summer temperatures soar.

You may need a generator to power your air conditioner when brownouts keep killing the compressor. Generators will allow you to run the air conditioner if the power goes out completely. Furthermore, you could get points from the utility company if you disconnect from the grid and rely on your generator when they beg for people to start conserving energy. Or you could use the generator to run equipment like the pool pump that the utility company would otherwise force you to turn off during mandatory conservation periods.

When You’re On the Road

Portable generators are versatile because you can take them anywhere. While they are essential to being able to power your life when the power is out, they are great to be able to take with you. Take a generator with you to your next tailgating party so you can run lights, charge your laptop and cell phone and keep the mini-fridge cold. Or take the portable generator with you when you’re camping. Then you can charge batteries, power lights and run any small appliances you’ve brought with you.

If you don’t have a permanent backup generator, you need to consider having a portable generator. They can dramatically increase your quality of life when things are difficult, and they could save your life in a disaster.

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