FLASH safety initiative educates residents about hurricane preparedness
Online PR News – 02-June-2014 – Kohler, WI – Kohler® Generators, a premium manufacturer and marketer of world-class generators and automatic transfer switches, and the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH®) welcome homeowners to share their power-loss stories for a chance to win a KOHLER standby generator and automatic transfer switch. Participants can enter as part of FLASH’s fifth annual Great Hurricane Blowout generator sweepstakes at http://www.greathurricaneblowout.org/generator.php now through Nov. 30, 2014.
Along with providing their contact information, entrants should explain, in 25 words or less, how a standby generator would help their family. Complete contest rules can be found at http://www.greathurricaneblowout.org/docs/2014_Great_Hurricane_Blowout_Generator_Sweepstakes_Rules.pdf.
Home standby generators are recommended by emergency preparedness experts to help protect residents and their homes from the effects of hurricanes and other severe weather. Weather-related power outages have doubled since 2003, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
"Hurricanes and other storms can severely damage homes and put people at risk when they hit, but post-storm power outages often affect a much broader region and often are more than a mere inconvenience," said General Russel Honore, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general who coordinated the Hurricane Katrina disaster response and is now an activist for emergency preparedness.
Honore said many Americans cannot afford to be without electricity, relying on it to power medical devices, refrigerate medications, keep cooling and heating systems functioning, operate basement sump pumps for water mitigation, and power computers and cell phones to stay in touch with family members.
"The potential for losing power after a major storm is significant, and if you invest in backup power for your home, you could save the life of a family member or someone in your neighborhood," he added.
In addition to a backup home generator, Honore encouraged all Americans to have evacuation plans based on disaster risks in their area, whether hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, flooding or other scenarios. He also recommended storing enough food and water to last 3-5 days and purchasing a weather radio.
The Great Hurricane Blowout is an outreach campaign that FLASH began in 2010 to educate families about preparing for hurricanes. The campaign provides an approachable way to make an evacuation plan, build an emergency kit and understand how to keep homes and families more disaster resilient, including information on the role standby power plays in being ready for the next big storm. Kohler has sponsored the campaign and contest since its inception.
Homeowners can also make other home improvements to prepare for wet and stormy weather. Ed Del Grande, master contractor, syndicated home improvement columnist and host on the DIY network, recommends these additional four tips:
• Make sure gutters and downspout extensions are in good shape to carry water away from the home’s foundation.
• Check sump pumps every year to be sure they are in good working order to reduce the likelihood of basement flooding.
• Hire a professional roofing contractor to inspect shingles and roof gutters for any damage that might cause leaks during heavy rains.
• Trim back limbs that hang over the house, or remove trees completely if needed, to ensure that branches will damage the house or nearby utility lines during a storm.
About Kohler Power Systems
Kohler Power Systems is a division of Kohler Co. and provides complete power systems, including generators (portable, residential, industrial, and marine), automatic transfer switches, switchgear, monitoring controls, and accessories for emergency, prime power and energy-management applications. Kohler Power Systems has delivered energy solutions for markets worldwide since 1920. For more information, visit www.kohlergenerators.com or www.facebook.com/kohlergenerators.
Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH)®, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is the country’s leading consumer advocate for strengthening homes and safeguarding families from natural and manmade disasters. FLASH collaborates with more than 100 innovative and diverse partners that share its vision of making America a more disaster-resistant nation including: BASF, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Florida Division of Emergency Management, The Home Depot®, International Code Council, Kohler® Generators, National Weather Service, Portland Cement Association, RenaissanceRe, Simpson Strong-Tie®, State Farm™, USAA® and WeatherPredict Consulting Inc. In 2008, FLASH opened the interactive weather experience StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes® in Lake Buena Vista, FL. Learn more about FLASH and gain access to its free consumer resources by visiting www.flash.org or calling (877) 221- SAFE (7233). Also, get timely safety tips to ensure that you and your family are always well protected from natural and manmade disasters by subscribing to the FLASH blog – Protect Your Home in a FLASH.
About Kohler Co.
Founded in 1873 and headquartered in Kohler, Wis., Kohler Co. is one of America’s oldest and largest privately held companies comprised of more than 30,000 associates. With more than 50 manufacturing locations worldwide, Kohler is a global leader in the manufacture of kitchen and bath products; engines and power systems; premier furniture, cabinetry and tile; and owner/operator of two of the world’s finest five-star hospitality and golf resort destinations in Kohler and St Andrews, Scotland. For more details, please visit kohler.com.