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Posted: 9/8/2004 7:03:56 AM EDT
Hey guys and gals,

I live on the west coast of Florida and just spent three days getting spanked by Frances. I lost power on Saturday 2pm and didn't get it back until this morning.

FEMA will give me $500 to buy a generator, but I don't really know much about them other than my neighbors who have them were in much better shape than me. I have read the Generator FAQ, but still don't know enough to make an informed decision. Can you all provide input on:

Type Of Generator
Number of outlets
230 volt
Places to buy on the net (there are no generators for sale around here right now)
Any other pertenant information.

Thanks all.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 7:07:01 AM EDT

I live in the desert, but there's always the possibility of losing power here, too.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 7:09:52 AM EDT
Here is some information on what to look for and some specific recommendations. It also covers the transfer switch to interface the generator to your home.


Link Posted: 9/8/2004 7:10:41 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 7:13:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Paul:
There's a generator FAQ pinned to the top of the Survial Forum.

Thanks Paul.

As I said above I have read it.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 7:16:46 AM EDT
How did you qualify for a FEMA grant?
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 7:25:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2004 7:29:37 AM EDT by DriftPunch]
I was out for 6 days last year with Isabel, but my primary concern is Ice Storms (they really suck, either snow, or rain, don't be wishy washy).

The survival forms generator FAQ is excellent, but it has a milimalist and SHTF tone. This is good stuff for emergencies, but I want more of an insulation barrier against altering my standard of living. Thus, I need 15,000 watts minimum and with that I'll have to exclude my two separate heat pumps. I have a kerosene heater for emergency heat.

People tend to underestimate the amount of power they consume. A 5,000 watt gen seems impressive, but it really isn't. My 230 volt well pump(at startup) and my running fridge could consume most of that.

My advice is to make a choice. Get a gen for emergencies, or get one for lifestyle maintenence. Then stick to the plan in terms of dealing with the compromises. The problem with a small generator is that it will not run enough, and the problem with a large one (apart from initial expense) is fuel consumption so have lots on hand. The small one would be best for long durations in the event of a serious infastructure problem. But the big one would be superior in terms of quickly fixable problems.

This is what I'm looking toward:


As a gasoline model, it's a poor SHTF choice, but probably a reasonable lifestyle maintenence during storm cleanup choice. I can rotate the fuel by putting it in my truck after a certain amount of time.

Link Posted: 9/8/2004 7:45:32 AM EDT
Q131A, you said you looked around a little so you know watts=E X I. like the other guy stated a 5000w will only handle maybe a pump and a freezer. determine your absolute needs you aint gonna be or own the southern company you just want power to survive. for instance i prepared my parents house for Y2K (remember that) at their request. they are old and take medications (very cold natured) and they had a freezer full of meat ($$$$). the priorities were set by them. also they do not have a pump and well (city water) so we prepared to run the freezer and one 120V outlet. this outlet powered the blower on the gas furnace. probably they could also have run a couple of lights. it is hot and very humid in southeast ga. so i would probably hook up enough power here for a small window unit and the well pump. i would have water and the whole family could sleep/rest in one room.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 7:45:52 AM EDT
If you hook it up to your breaker box do the power company lineman a huge favor and install a generator power cut off so the electricty from the generator don't back feed through the lines and shock the guys when they are working on the lines
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 7:49:31 AM EDT
Gee, how can I get some of that Gov't cheese?

Link Posted: 9/8/2004 7:53:43 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 7:57:43 AM EDT
One thing to note. If you need 15000 watts thats your continuous power consumption. Most devices will draw much more than they are rated for at start up. You need to add in a bit more to take this into account. Say you need 10,000 watts continuous output then you should get a 15,000 watt genny.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 8:04:26 AM EDT
if you already owned a generator, could you still have gotten the 500.00??

how does that whole process work?
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 8:36:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By torstin:
if you already owned a generator, could you still have gotten the 500.00??

how does that whole process work?

Don't know at this point how the process works. But here is a link with info:

My county has been declared a federal disaster area. I have damage to my house and lost substancial $$$ in frozen meat.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 8:40:03 AM EDT
Harbor Freight has the best prices and fast delivery.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 8:40:27 AM EDT
By the way, I think FEMA money is a loan. Not sure about the 500 bucks but some guy on TV the other day said FEMA money is a low interest loan. I would check if I were you.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 8:43:05 AM EDT
HOT!!! - At all Florida Pep Boys locations. I pulled this one from the Miami location:


Nikota® 3500 Watt generator $299.99 - this is a Yamaha engine
thru Sep 30

Delivers 3500 rated watts, 25 amps at 120 volts. 6.5hp OHV engine. Two 110 AC outlets, one 220 AC outlet. Efficient and quiet, for the die-hard do-it- yourselfer. #06041

Good luck everyone over there! (PS this is one of the most inexpenisive generators i have ever heard of... enough for the basics)
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 8:55:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SantiJS:
HOT!!! - At all Florida Pep Boys locations. I pulled this one from the Miami location:


That's a SUPER price! I may have to get another gen set. Mine does not have the 220 VAC out.

BTW, I used a 3500 watter to run fridge, chest freezer, battery charger, couple of TVs and two fans without any problems.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 9:00:17 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2004 9:02:06 AM EDT by DSVET91]

Originally Posted By Scottman:
Gee, how can I get some of that Gov't cheese?

Move to Florida and experience a hurricane.
Or just stay in Ohio, I'm sure a tornado will be along eventually and take care of that trailer your're living in.

Jeez, what a asshat.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 9:07:11 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2004 9:07:46 AM EDT by olyarms]

Originally Posted By Scottman:
Gee, how can I get some of that Gov't cheese?

I guess you don't pay Taxes,
I am sure he has bought 100's of generators over the years I don't see a problem.
Do you feel people who pay into SS should'nt get it?

Wow go Commies
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 9:15:27 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 9:22:19 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 9:44:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2004 9:45:39 AM EDT by Sidx]
in the same boat but the house didnt have damage

got one of these www.grainger.com/Grainger/productdetail.jsp?xi=xi&ItemId=1613546580&ccitem=

for $599

turned off the main outside and pluged the 220 into the dryer outlet to power the entire house (except the Air)

I have to turn off most breakers to power the hot water heater... but after the water is hot I turn the hot water breaker off and turn everything else back on.

Link Posted: 9/8/2004 9:51:51 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 10:04:13 AM EDT
Damn! Well, PEPBOYS is out of generators. They got ten in this AM and were gone by noon!
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 10:09:50 AM EDT
Wimps, you can do without electricity... it is CLEAN FRESH WATER that is most vital. Everything else is way down the list.

Certainly you aren't worried at this point about keeping lunch meat and such cold? CANNED FOOD and MRE's.

BUT water is #1, followed by #2... FIRE. If you have water and fire, the rest is easy.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 10:20:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By A_Free_Man:
Wimps, you can do without electricity... it is CLEAN FRESH WATER that is most vital. Everything else is way down the list.

Certainly you aren't worried at this point about keeping lunch meat and such cold? CANNED FOOD and MRE's.

BUT water is #1, followed by #2... FIRE. If you have water and fire, the rest is easy.

I have water and fire niether were an issue.

However, I have 4 refrigerator/freezer combos. I lost all the contents of 3/4 and most of the contents of number 4. Also, it would have been nice to run some lights, power a fan, recharge cell phones, and MAKE COFFEE! Which BTW, I was able to charge the cell phones and make coffee with a little work.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 10:25:52 AM EDT
I have a Generac 5000wt model. It has run well for years.

I would get anything less that 4000 to 5000 wt. for use around the house.

Will not run central air but with a fridge and small window unit its fine.

Link Posted: 9/8/2004 10:28:31 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 10:46:25 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CAMPYBOB:
I've had a PowerBoss for almost three years running it 15 mintues at a time once a month using it to run my 1500 watt lawn mower. Starts first pull everytime (I remember to put the choke on).

not to hijack, but...

paul, let me get this straight...you turn on a gasoline motor to drive an electric mower? why?

Because generators need to be run to keep the carborators from gumming up. That would be my guess.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 10:59:33 AM EDT
Get a bunch of 2" thick styrafoam and insulate your refrigerators & freezers.

There, for <$100, you just gained a few days of food storage.

Now, for power, you don't need: the toaster, the microwave, the VCR, the Nintando or the whole house air. Use a fan for a few days. People did for centuries and they survived.

Unless you are in the sticks, get a QUIET generator, and don't advertise that YOU have power while everyone else is out. (your lights will stick out like a sore thumb and everyone will say, "LOOK! A FEMA SHELTER" and your house will instantly have 75 new "friends" dropping by to visit.

I like the very good (and not inexpensive) Honda inverter generators. Expect to pay $1800 for an EU3000 or somewhere between 1/3 & 2/3 that for the 1000 or 2000 W models. They are probably sold out, so get a cheapie for this year ($299 HD special) and get a good one before next years storms.

Mayberry's used to sell Hondas, now they carry Yamaha inverter models so they may be as good.

Oh yes, keep a couple of the Igloo 5 day coolers handy so you aren't opening & closing your impromptu mummified fridges & freezers.

Link Posted: 9/8/2004 11:04:03 AM EDT
We have plenty up here in VA. I would help anyway I can.

We purchased the last one at 1-888-899-0603 Generatorsales.com. It was week turn around.

Any idea if you guess are getting UPS or other shippers working again.

Please IM me your e mail address I will send you a spread sheet so you can input your needs and it will tell you what size or watts you need.

Link Posted: 9/8/2004 2:20:03 PM EDT
Yes, UPS and Fed Ex came through the neighborhood today.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 2:24:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2004 2:27:56 PM EDT by Paul]
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 2:35:09 PM EDT
Q3131A Generac and Honda are very good generators. Stay away from the Coleman and other cheap brands as they have allot of nylon bushings instead of bearings and they wont last long.

Also please make sure you isolate your generator from the feed line into your house. If you don't you may well fry a lineman and/or it will fry your generator if the power comes back on.

Our home depot has many generators in stock if I can help please IM me or email me if you needed several generators I would pick them up and meet you or someone half way if need be.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 3:11:08 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 4:39:31 PM EDT
I believe FEMA will only pay for the generator IF purchased due to a hurricane and you do NOT have power.

If you purchase the generator before the storm or after power is restored, they will not reimburse you.
Link Posted: 9/8/2004 4:48:12 PM EDT
I'm sorry I must have missed something but why are people surprised that generators are hard to find in FL right now??

If you live in places like AZ, CA, FL you really don't need a big generator because all you really need to do is run your refrigerator/freezer enough to keep things cold. Then start adding for wells, medical equipment, amateur radio, other emergency radio/tv for news NOT ENTERTAINMENT. A/c is nice but not absolutely necessary. Heat is add another blanket
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