YOUNGSVILLE, La. — As tropical storm Ida moves through the Caribbean, make sure your generator is working.
Generators are one of those things that become out of sight, out of mind; but, as tropical weather heads our way, take the time to make sure it’ll run when you need it.
Mechanics have their hands busy with generators ahead of this weekend.
Your generator not starting is the last thing you want in the middle of a storm.
But with a few simple checks, you can avoid it.
“Start the generator up, while you’re sweeping or blowing off or cleaning your lawnmower. Let it run,” said Peter Ballew, owner of Ballew’s Outdoor and Repair. “Plug something in make sure the generator, the field side works, producing electricity.”
People are bringing their generators to his Youngsville shop. Most with the same issue.
“Probably 99 percent of it is all fuel related just from sitting and not being used,” he said.
He says every time a tropical system passes Cuba and enters the Gulf, things pick up for his shop.
“That’s when we start seeing a lot more action,” he said. “The closer it gets; we’ll start seeing more. Probably tomorrow we’ll pick up a bunch more, Saturday will be even more."
Plus, you shouldn't let your guard down when it comes to storm safety.
“Especially where we live at, I mean, we’re going to get hurricanes, it’s just how many you’re going to get and how bad are they going to be.”
Aside from the monthly test on the generator, he says year-round safety plays a role too.
“You want it in a well-ventilated area,” he said. “I’ve seen a lot of people put them in garages, really not a good idea. You want it outside."
He says this weekend won’t be a lot of people’s first time dealing with this, including him.
“I’ve been living here a long time,” he said. “It’s just another day, I guess.”
He encourages everyone owning a generator to test it.
If they have any issues, they should get it to the shop as soon as possible.
This is to avoid not getting it back in time for the storm.
“It’s best to be prepared, that’s all you can do,” he said. “It’s the only way you’ll make it through.”
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