Generator safety tips ahead of Hurricane Dorian

Tracking the Tropics
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TAMPA (WFLA) – It’s not just gas that Floridians are picking up before Hurricane Dorian hits. Generators are flying off the shelves.

“We’ve been looking everywhere,” says Ciera Abundez.

It’s the end of a quest for Abundez; finding a generator as Dorian churns towards Florida.

“A hurricane comes and everyone starts scrambling to get everything. It’s ridiculous,” says Abundez

Some get ridiculously lucky as others go from store to store only to find empty shelves.

“I got the last one. I came in to get a weed whacker. I saw one generator and picked it up,” says Richie Alverio.

The Home Depot in Brandon had a fresh shipment of 50 generators come in. They were all gone in 30 minutes.

For those buying and using a generator for the first time, there’s more to just cranking it on; placement is key. It needs to be outside and away from an open window.

“Check the oil and gas in it. Make sure they have the right plugs, extension cords, and what they can actually run off of it and what they can’t run on it,” says Home Depot employee Frank L.

He says avoid filling up generators when they’re hot, and always have a fire extinguisher nearby. For those with generators still in the box from years past you can still use them.

“You put gas in it. You put oil in it. The machine will crank up. But you want to check your wattage on what you’re using. If its 12 years old you want to make sure that it runs what it’s supposed to run,” says Frank.

Store employees say if you don’t find what you’re looking for keep checking. New shipments are arriving every day.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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