Safety Tips

5 Post-Storm Safety Tips: Protecting Yourself and Your Home

Homeowners likely know the steps to take when preparing for an oncoming storm, but what safe practices should they follow in its aftermath? Any damage to your home and its surrounding infrastructure could prove hazardous, especially if your home is without power, so it’s important to take caution as recovery efforts begin. Read our top 5 tips for protecting yourself and your home—even when the sky clears.


1. Assess Your Home for Damage


When authorities have determined that it’s safe to go outside, conducting a full assessment of your home, yard and surrounding space is key. Start with a walk around the perimeter of your home, checking for cracks in your foundation, broken windows and damaged eaves. As you work your way outwards, note any fallen or damaged tree limbs (especially on your roof), as well as live power lines.

Inside your home, check for signs of structural collapse, including cracks in walls and buckling beams or columns. Bubbling behind walls may be an indication of broken or burst pipes, while the smell of rotten eggs suggests a gas leak. Uncovering any of these signs during your assessment is cause to evacuate your home and seek shelter elsewhere until the damage can be addressed safely. 


2. Avoid Floodwaters


If a severe weather event leads to flooding, it’s important to remember that floodwater is likely polluted. Underwater wildlife, floating tree branches and debris from damaged houses may all be present. Plus, there are invisible pollutants, like harmful bacteria, that could be dangerous if they come in contact with your skin. Roads may also be compromised, so when approaching flooded areas remember, “Turn Around, Don’t Drown”. 

If your home has flooded, your home’s electrical wiring and many of your electric appliances may be affected. To avoid any contact with live wires, stay out of your flooded home; even when the water has receded, it may not be safe to search for your belongings. We recommend waiting for clearance from your utility company before entering your home again. 


3. Practice Safe Food and Water Habits


In the wake of a storm, power outages can last for days or even weeks, impacting your supply of tap water and perishable foods. Refrigerated food only lasts up to 4 hours after the power fails—and only if the fridge door is kept shut the entirety of that time. A full freezer can keep food safe for up to 48 hours; that number decreases to 24 hours if the freezer is only half full. To prevent consumption of potentially spoiled foods, stick to non-perishables like crackers, trail mix, cereal, peanut butter and canned vegetables or fruit. If your home’s water supply comes from a private or community well, stick to bottled water to stay hydrated during an extended power outage.


4. Operate Gas-Powered Machinery Outdoors


Gasoline-powered machinery emits carbon monoxide, a harmful gas that is both odorless and colorless. Appliances like gas grills and gas fireplaces should not be operated without proper ventilation—for grills, this means using them outside, where any outputs can be released into the air safely. 


If you’re running a portable generator, be sure to use properly rated extension cords (outdoor, electrical load and length). Also, ensure the portable generator is properly vented to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Do not place a portable generator in your home or an enclosed space with limited ventilation, like a garage or a screened porch.


5. Observe Power Outage Safety 


Depending on the severity of the storm, power outages may be extended long past the storm itself. Familiarize yourself with your main electrical panel. You may have to turn off the main breaker or reset circuit breakers after an outage. It’s helpful to leave one light on so you know when power is restored to your home. Also, ditch the candles for battery-powered flashlights or lanterns and keep plenty of extra batteries on hand. 


Do not connect portable generators directly to the electrical system of your home. Electricity could flow backward into the power lines and endanger lives. Either have a qualified electrician install a manual transfer switch or plug appliances directly into the portable generator.


Weather Any Storm With KOHLER

Want greater resilience to ride out the storm? KOHLER generators deliver quiet, reliable backup power to maintain critical and sophisticated appliances and systems in your home, including lights, heating/cooling systems, sump pumps, computers and more. Discover some of our most popular generator models and request your free quote to get started.     



September 25, 2023 7:06 PM

How to Make Emergency Preparedness Kid-Friendly

We all know how important emergency preparedness is, but it can be tricky to talk about something so serious with children. But talking about it is almost as important as the preparedness itself, since it can help reduce fear and anxiety, especially in younger kids. Children often thrive on a routine and an emergency can derail that, which may lead to some difficult emotions.

To help make these situations easier, we’ve compiled tips on how to speak to your kids before, during and after an emergency from trusted sources like, the CDC and the American Red Cross.


The best way to begin preparing your kids is by talking about the type of emergencies or severe weather your household is most likely to experience. Whether you’re in a hurricane-prone area, live in tornado alley or live in a part of the country that is susceptible to wildfires, it’s important to get your children familiar with what you might experience.

For example, if you’re likely to experience a hurricane, you might explain what a hurricane is, how long it may last and that it involves high winds and lots of rain. Explain that you may lose power and that they’ll need to stay in a safe spot in your home away from windows. In the event that you need to evacuate, be sure to outline the plan with your children and run through drills with them.

For emergencies that involve sheltering in place, let your kids help create your emergency prep kit and/or stock your emergency pantry. Allowing them to participate in this process will help them have a better understanding of the situation and ease feelings of anxiety knowing your household is prepared.

You can put a fun spin on things with’s resources for kids, including preparedness games and a workbook.


In the midst of an emergency, your children will look to you for cues on how to act. While emotions and stress are sure to be running high, try to display feelings of calm and control. If your children see that you are scared, they are more likely to feel scared. While validating those feelings of fear is important (they’re in a scary situation, after all) staying calm can benefit you and your little ones.

Since most children thrive on a routine and an emergency can derail that, your children may act out or become more anxious. This is normal and should subside once life is back to normal. If you have concerns about your child’s behavior after an emergency, speak to your pediatrician.


Whether the storm leaves a trail of damage or passes calmly, talking with your kids after the fact can help them process any emotions they’re feeling and leave them more prepared in the event of another emergency. Let them know you’re there to answer any questions or talk about anything that is on their mind.

Just like they did during the emergency, your children will likely look to you afterward for cues on how to act. By returning to your routine as best you can, you’ll reassure them that everything is ok and life will go on.

Be Prepared With Kohler

No matter what Mother Nature has in store, we’re here for you. Take your preparedness to the next level with backup power and check out more safety tips on our blog.

For additional preparedness tips and resources, please visit and The American Red Cross.

March 21, 2023 2:12 PM

How Much Does a Power Outage Cost You?

Getting caught in a power outage is never a fun experience, but even beyond the general inconvenience, a power outage can have other, more serious repercussions. When your home is deprived of electricity, there can be ripple effects that range from minor inconveniences to major repairs. Below, we’ve outlined a few of the most common costs that can be a direct result of a power outage.

1. Cost of Fixing Damage

Power outages may lead to issues like water damage from burst pipes, food loss due to freezer/refrigeration not working and basement flood damage due to sump pump failure. Some of the more common damage associated with power outages are the following:


  • Burst Pipes - Cost up to $2,000, not including any resulting water damage 
  • Flooding - Costs starting at $25,000 for just one inch of water for 2,500 sq. ft. home  
  • Mold Removal - Cost ranges between $500 - $30,000
  • Appliance Repair - Average cost to repair a single appliance is between $200 - $500

2. Loss of Food

A family of four spends on average between $1,166 and $1,263.50 a month on groceries according to U.S.News. In addition, many households store large amounts of food in freestanding freezers or additional refrigerators, adding up to additional household food value. When the power goes out, all of the food in your fridge or freezer is at risk of thawing and spoiling. 

3. Cost of Accommodations

If a power outage goes on for more than a couple of days, some people may need to take refuge in a hotel room or other alternative accommodations for comfort. A hotel costs, on average, $149.90 per night as of 2022, and if the power outage goes on for multiple days, that’s another cost that can add up quickly.

4. Loss of Earnings

If the power is out at your place of work or at your home, you may be forced to forego your normal shifts or take a couple of days of unpaid leave because you won’t be able to work. Based on the 2021 median household income ($70,784) in the US, that averages out to $259 lost per day for the household. So, not only are there additional expenses associated with a power outage, but there is the capacity for a loss of income as well. 

5. Cost of Ordering In

With the power out, it’s typically not possible to cook, particularly if you’re trying to save your food by not opening the refrigerator. For most Americans, that means ordering in. The cost of ordering takeout averages about $13 per person, plus a delivery fee and a tip. That means for one meal, the cost for a family of four will be over $60. When you’re talking about multiple days spent with the power out and multiple meals ordered per day, that bill can add up quickly.


While these types of costs are not necessarily going to be incurred every time the power goes out, when they do happen, they are unexpected and substantial. Risking damage to your home during a power outage is a stress you can do without, particularly when the entire experience of a power outage is so inconvenient.


Both your home and your family are affected when the power goes out in ways that can range from minor inconveniences to major damage. A standby generator can ease the uncertainty of an outage, as well as prevent damage from the power interruption. Depending on your home, you can choose a generator that will provide you with all the essential power you need to keep your family safe and comfortable during an outage. With the help of an authorized Kohler dealer, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that your home can sustain itself during an outage and that you’ll never incur the unexpected cost of a power loss again.



February 28, 2023 10:15 PM

Brownouts vs. Blackouts: Why Is Your Power Out?

Power outages, no matter their cause, are an inconvenience. But some may be more significant than others, depending on where you live and what measures your utility company employs to provide more consistent power. Let’s discuss the differences between blackouts and brownouts, and what they might mean for your home’s electricity needs.

What Is A Brownout?

With today’s overburdened power grid, some utility companies are employing strategic measures to reduce grid load and prevent grid failure. Brownouts are one such measure—temporary reductions in system voltage that may last for minutes or hours. This intentional reduction in voltage typically does not register as a power outage; brownouts rarely impact your home’s heat and lighting systems. However, smaller appliances or electrical devices may function intermittently during a brownout. Because the majority of brownouts are either planned or deliberately caused by an electric company, homeowners can often prepare for them and continue their activities with minimal disruption.

What Is A Blackout?

Many homeowners are more familiar with the term “blackout” and may use it to widely describe any kind of power outage. Unlike a brownout, during which system voltage is reduced and only minor devices are impacted, a blackout is the total loss of power in the affected service area. During a blackout, you will likely lose the ability to light, heat and cool your home using its electrical systems for an undetermined amount of time. Blackouts are usually unexpected and may come as the result of severe weather or damage to the grid. Because of this, grid system repairs are often required, and power may not be restored to your home until any repairs are complete.

Meeting Your Power Needs During An Outage

So, what can you do to prepare for brownouts and blackouts? We recommend outfitting your home with a backup power source, like a standby generator. Automatically power your whole home during long-term outages with an onsite generator that connects to your home’s electric panel and gas line or propane tank.  

Get Peace of Mind with Backup Power

With a backup power source from Kohler, you don’t have to sacrifice safety or electric stability during a brownout or blackout. Request your free consultation today and discover the difference reliable backup power makes during an outage. 

February 14, 2023 6:57 PM

How Do You Create an Emergency Preparedness Plan?

Being prepared is more important than ever. This year, we encourage you to make preparedness a priority by creating a disaster response plan. When we’re prepared for the unexpected, we can ensure the safety of those around us, while saving precious time and money. It also allows us to remain level headed in what may be a chaotic situation.

If you’re wondering what your family’s emergency preparedness plan should include, you’re not alone. That’s why we’re here to help! Here is how to create a plan for your household.

How to Create an Emergency Preparedness Plan

1. Identify Your Biggest Risks

The first step is to identify the severe weather that is most likely to impact your area: hurricanes, flooding, wildfires, winter storms, tornadoes, etc. If you live in an area that experiences more than one type of extreme weather, you’ll want to make a plan for each. This is especially important if you have recently relocated to an area that experiences severe weather that is new to you. 

When you know your risks, you can answer these key questions:

  • In the event of a storm or extreme weather, where is the safest spot in your home?
  • How will you decide if it’s necessary to evacuate?
  • How will you communicate with each other in the event you are separated?
  • Does your work or your children’s school have emergency plans that you should be aware of?

Having this information will help guide the rest of your planning.

2. Create Emergency Preparedness Kits

Now that you know what you need to prepare for, you can make plans and preparedness kits. There are a few kits that every household should have handy in case of emergency:

Ahead of a severe storm, make sure that your kits are stocked and easily accessible. If you anticipate evacuating, place a “go-bag” containing a first aid kit, non-perishable food, water, and important documents in your vehicle ahead of time.

We also recommend locating your local Red Cross chapter and bookmarking FEMA’s Emergency Shelter resource to help you locate assistance in the event you need it.  

3. Communicate Your Plan

A plan works best when everyone fully understands it. Meet with the members of your household to discuss your plan(s) and make sure everyone knows what to do in case of emergency. It’s especially important to ensure that children know what to do and where to go when severe weather strikes. For more information on how to discuss this with children, FEMA has a variety of resources

If severe weather is imminent, we recommend communicating with family members or loved ones that are not nearby to let them know your plans and how you’ll keep in touch.

4. Practice Your Plan

Every six months or so, make it a priority to practice your plan with members of your household. This ensures that your plan is always feasible and if it’s not, you’ll be able to make changes as needed. 

This is also a good time to check any backup power sources to ensure they are working properly and you have adequate fuel and/or oil on hand. If you own a KOHLER generator, we recommend contacting your local dealer to schedule a maintenance appointment at least once a year.

It Pays to Be Prepared

While preparedness cannot completely eliminate danger, it can help mitigate it and keep members of your household safe. For more information about emergency preparedness and backup power, we recommend consulting the resources provided by the American Red Cross and FEMA.

September 28, 2022 8:50 PM

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