It's also important to note that usually stores quickly run out of portable generators in storm situations, so purchasing a portable generator before a storm arrives is the only way to be fully prepared.Standby generators: The long-term backup power supply Home standby generators are the ideal solution for homeowners wanting a backup power source that offers an uninterrupted power supply and eliminates the scramble to find a temporary solution. Because the standby generator and its automatic transfer switch are connected to a home's existing natural gas or propane line, they automatically turn on within seconds after detecting an electrical power outage—whether or not the homeowner is present—and provide a seamless transition and supply of power. When grid power is restored, the home standby generator automatically turns off. With a standby generator, homeowners can rest assured that their food won't spoil, air conditioning or heat will continue running and the sump pump won't turn off. "Homeowners with a standby generator installed will be the first to admit the unit provides a peace of mind that can't be replicated without one," said Amanda Grandy, marketing manager for Briggs & Stratton Standby Power. "However, unlike portable generators, standby generators need to be professionally installed. Homeowners need to allow for a few weeks of installation time and, therefore, need to prepare before a storm is already forecasted for their area." Additionally, standby generator installation is more difficult when the ground is frozen, so it's important to plan in advance of the winter months. Generator Safety To avoid injury, it's important that homeowners follow key generator safety measures. Portable and standby generators emit dangerous carbon monoxide fumes, so they should only be used outdoors and away from open windows or doors to avoid fumes entering the home. To guarantee that the generator continues providing power when needed, homeowners should read and follow the generator maintenance and manufacturer's operating instructions. Homeowners should also install and maintain a carbon monoxide detector in their home. To learn more, visit www.briggsandstratton.com/safetyfirst.