Storm season is brewing. Here’s how to prepare before it arrives

3 simple steps to finding the ideal back-up generator for your needs

A load calculation will help determine the right generator for your home, says Garth Lilly, from Garth’s Electric in 100 Mile House.

A load calculation will help determine the right generator for your home, says Garth Lilly, from Garth’s Electric in 100 Mile House.

Cariboo residents know that when winter storms arrive, power outages won’t be far behind.

From bracing winds to rain, ice and snow, weather can take a toll on those things we take for granted much of the year, from clear roads to power and heat.

Being prepared can help.

An emergency plan should include “umbrella” items like an emergency plan for family members and an emergency kit in an easy-to-access location, including essentials like non-perishable food, water and medications you’ll need if you can’t get to a pharmacy.

While short-term outages can be dealt with with the addition of warm clothes, batteries, flashlight and battery- or crank-operated radio, outages longer that a few hours really require a more substantial solution: a backup generator.

1. Know how much power you’ll draw.

Extended power outages are common to the Cariboo and a backup generator can help run essentials like your lights and refrigerator, and heat your home – provided you choose a model with enough power, explains Janet Lilly, co-owner of Garth’s Electric, with husband Garth.

“The first thing we ask homeowners is what they’ll want to have running if the power goes out,” Lilly says. Based on the size of the home and residents’ needs, a load calculation will help determine the size of the generator they’ll need to do what they want.

For example, a few lights, fridge and your home computer can be handled fairly easily, but heat is a much bigger draw – especially during the depths of winter. Those without an alternative heat source, like a woodstove, will need to factor that into the size of generator they purchase.

2. Stay safe.

While home generators can be a vital tool during a power outage, choosing a quality brand and using it safely is essential. Be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions and ask the professionals at Garth’s if you have any questions.

As the only Kohler distributor in the Cariboo, the respected brand is Garth’s best seller, strong enough to power your entire home and recognized for both its reliability and price point. Additional quality options include the durable and dependable Guardian line, along with Generac, Onan and Aurora models.

3. Keep your generator operating at its best.

Just like your vehicle, a quality back-up generator can be expected to offer comfort and security for many years – used correctly and with the right maintenance.

Like any piece of mechanical equipment, routine maintenance will keep your generator operating at its best, when you need it. Confirm the recommended home servicing schedule and book directly with Garth’s certified technicians, qualified to service and repair every brand they carry, Lilly says.

And that means that if you DO have any issues – even during storm season – help is as close as a phone call away!

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Garth’s Electric has provided electrical services since 1981. Visit at 320 Industrial Ave. in 100 Mile House, where a full-time journeyman electrician is in the store weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Learn more at 250-395-2545.

 

Extended power outages are common to the Cariboo and a backup generator can be essential.

Extended power outages are common to the Cariboo and a backup generator can be essential.