Michigan's most experienced air duct cleaner. Since 1969. Veteran owned. A fleet of monster power vacuum trucks NADCA certified technicians on every job. You can trust Safety King to take care of the air that you and your family breathe.
Did you know that global warming is now considered a security threat? In the Wall Street Journal on June 26, Thomas Fingar, an analyst for the director of national intelligence, said environmental problems such as extreme weather, drought, flooding and disease are likely to create chaos in developing countries and have a severe impact on our nation's infrastructure.
Nationally, we've all seen the television coverage of disastrous floods, tornados and hurricanes. In Michigan, we were lucky, but still had such severe storms that 51,000 people were without power in the tri-county area on June 26. Some lost power for the second or third time that month.
It might stretch the budget, but most of us can afford either a portable or standby backup generator. Two of the big names in standby residential generators are Generac, (888) GENERAC, www.generac.com; and Kohler, (800) 544-2444, www.kohlerpower.com.
Generac makes the Generac and Guardian lines. Prices for standby generators have gone down by about half over the past 10 years.
Generators are not "one size fits all." You should contact a company with trained personnel to size, install and service it. Two names to consider for Generac are Joe Pizik Electric in Troy, (248) 362-2608, www.joepizikelectric.com; and Ziller Electric in Lake Orion, (248) 340-6000, www.zillerelectric.com.
Bratcher Electric in Wayne, (877) 722-0037, services and installs Kohler generators.
If you can't afford a standby generator and are not intimidated by technology, you may well be able to afford a gas-powered, emergency portable generator. You can buy them at most hardware stores and home centers.
Unfortunately, most salespeople don't know any more about portable generators than you do. The Electric Generators Direct Web site, www.electric generatorsdirect.com, (866) 437-7998, includes an excellent tutorial that will help you decide what you need to do for some serious shopping.
Do not shop by price alone. It is very important that your generator has a dependable engine. Honda and Briggs & Stratton engines have a history of reliability. Weingartz, (586) 731-7240, is one of the largest Honda dealers in Metro Detroit.
If your house has a sump pump, the house, or at least the basement, can easily be flooded any time the power goes out or your sump pump breaks down. Houses with city water can have a water-powered backup sump pump installed.
Universal Plumbing, (248) 542-3888, universal plumbingsupply.net, has the largest selection of water-powered sump pumps in our area. RooterMD, (800) ROOTER MD, www.rootermd.com, installs, sells and services backup sump pumps. For the names of other installers, call the Michigan Plumbing & Mechanical Contractors Association, (517) 484-5500, www.mpmca.org.
Everything I've mentioned is a great idea, but it takes money. Things are tight right now for many of us. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has published a 204-page book, "Are You Ready? An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness," on potential hazards and the actions we should take.
It can be downloaded free. All you have to pay for is the cost of the paper and ink. If you do not have access to a computer, take this article and a ream of paper to your local library. The librarian should be able to hook you up in no time.
I have a link to it on my help site, www.masterhand yman.com, or you also can download the book at www.fema.gov/areyouready/. The book also is available in Spanish on the Web site.
"Are You Ready?" goes into detail about the different kinds of natural, technological and terrorist hazards we could face, what we can do to get ready for them, and how to handle them when they occur.
If you have older parents, download the book for them and have a family conference. Go over the beginning of the book page by page. Do the emergency planning together. Make a copy of your parents' plans for yourself and make sure that they have the necessary materials on hand if an emergency occurs.
Some of the helpful emergency planning checklists you'll find in the book include evacuation plans, what you should do before you leave the house, where you should take your pets, what you should have in a disaster kit and what type of hazards are most probable for our part of the country.
Our biggest worries, according to FEMA, are tornadoes, thunderstorms, winter storms and extreme cold. Extreme heat is a runner-up and will be more of a problem in the years ahead. Each of these conditions has a separate section in the book and a wealth of information on how to prepare for the problem.
You can't beat free. Our taxes have already paid for the book, so download it and take advantage of the information. Make sure your family is prepared.
Note: This article was accurate at the date of publication. However, information contained in it may have changed.
If you plan to use the information contained herein for any purpose, verification of its continued accuracy is your responsibility.