How to make sure your generator is hurricane ready

By Crystal Chen - Assignment editor/reporter, Jennifer Ready - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - As hurricane season approaches, it's important to know how to stay safe -- before, during AND after a storm.

A generator is one item that can make a major difference for families after a hurricane. But if you're unfamiliar with how they work, the results could be dangerous for your family and utility workers.

"It can cause death honestly, very dangerous,” said Joey Proctor, Store Manager of Proctor Ace Hardware in Ponte Vedra Beach.

Proctor said residents should never plug a generator directly into an outlet or house power box without a proper transfer switch because it could cause serious injury or death to homeowners or utility workers.

“It will send power from your house to the power lines and that can be a danger for the people working on the power lines,” explained Proctor.

For safety reasons, Proctor said residents should plug appliances into an extension cord that is connected to the generator. In addition, you should never use a generator inside because the exhaust releases carbon monoxide. It should be kept outside away from doors, windows or vents.

JEA reminds residents not to overload the generator and never refuel it while it is running.

Before hurricane season starts, experts say it's a good idea to run the generator and make sure there is no old fuel in it and it is working properly.

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