ROANOKE,Va – The strong winds have left more than 400,000 people across the commonwealth without power.
Many have turned to generators to keep the necessities running.
One local generator installer, Bob Garrett, says safety is key when it comes to your backup power source.
"Always have the generator at least 15 feet away from the house,” said Garrett. “Don't have it in the garage or in the basement with it pointing out of the door, because we have seen this before and seen tragic results.”
Garrett says the safest route for an alternative power source is a whole house generator. The newer models are equipped with lights that can indicate a problem and a transmitter that will alert the provider.
“Sometimes when you go to start that portable that you had running last year, it won’t start, because it needs to be professionally disassembled and reassembled,” said Garrett. “Then you must be put in a gas preservative so the gas won’t turn into jelly.”
Generators are just like cars and require regular maintenance. Also, there's still time to get a portable generator if your power is out now, but whole house generators take longer to install.