Bringing Power When and Where it is Needed Most
As the US hurricane season gets underway, American businesses, individuals and state bodies are ensuring their diesel generators are at the ready.
Every May across America, the National Weather Service promotes a campaign to encourage preparedness for the hurricane season, which starts on 01 June. Last year, Americans saw one of the most devastating seasons on record, with some seventeen hurricanes. Five were Category 5 storms, including Harvey and Irma, which attracted global media coverage.
Mention hurricane preparedness and you get a mental image of people literally “battening down the hatches,” but there is more to it than that. Harvey and Irma alone resulted in more than two billion customer hours of electricity being lost. Backup power is crucial, so every generator hire company in the most at-risk states is likely to be approaching its busiest time of year.
Providing power when it is needed
There is more to diesel generator power than getting the lights back on and the broadband running again in domestic homes. Generators are also an essential part of the emergency kit used by first responders at sites that have been hit by natural disasters.
Fire and emergency services are often working in the harshest imaginable conditions. When Hurricane Harvey swept a swathe of destruction across Texas last year, it dumped more than 60 inches of rain in four days. That’s almost unimaginable. Of course, pumps were working flat out for days on end, and they were all powered by diesel generators.
Keeping the essentials working…
In conditions like these, one of the biggest risks concerns the public water and sewage systems. Having safe drinking water coming out of the tap and an operating waste system are fundamental needs for a civilised society. Lose these and the impact on public health could be catastrophic. Again, it is diesel generators that come to the fore, keeping the drinking water flowing in and the waste water flowing away, whatever the weather and conditions.
It is not just these public services that rely on diesel backup. Hospitals, schools, police stations and other public buildings are kept powered and functioning when Americans need them most. The same applies to things you might not immediately think of, but that are just as important to keep powered, such as nuclear power plants, zoos, animal shelters – the list goes on.
…. and working
In some parts of the US, diesel generators are far more than just a backup. For example, as the Caribbean struggled to recover from the effects of Hurricane Maria last October, the generators kept the infrastructure up and running for months. In fact, on some islands, they proved to be more reliable than the primary power infrastructure.
Are you ready?
In many parts of the US, extreme weather is a fact of life, so homes and businesses are accustomed to getting as prepared as possible. The fact that these kinds of weather events are less common in the UK can mean the effects are even more devastating. You need only look at the effects of Storm Desmond in 2015 and Storm Katie in 2016.
it pays to be prepared, and a diesel generator is the most important part of your emergency kit.