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Figures Show Power Outage Cleanup More Costly Than Properly Preparing a Home


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May 24, 2013


MILWAUKEE (May 23, 2013) — The cleanup and repair costs that result from a prolonged power outage can cost homeowners more than if they had taken preemptive measures to prepare their home for hurricane season, according to GE Generator Systems, a leading manufacturer of home standby generator systems.

Power outages are a common occurrence after a hurricane or powerful storm. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, food starts to go bad after four hours without power, so any type of thawing meat or poultry should be discarded, along with soft cheeses and dairy. For a family with a full-stocked freezer and fridge, those guidelines could easily result in more than $200 worth of tossed food. 

May 26 marks the start of Hurricane Preparedness Week, sponsored by the National Weather Service’s Hurricane Center. Hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through Nov. 30. 

“A homeowner can incur costs from a single prolonged power outage that equates to several times that of what it would cost to invest in the installation of a standby generator system ahead of hurricane season,” said Amanda Grandy, marketing manager for Briggs & Stratton® Standby Power, which is the exclusive licensee of GE Generator Systems. “A standby generator protects a home’s appliances from losing functionality when utility power is knocked offline and gives families’ peace of mind after a hurricane or strong storm.”

In addition to spoiled food replacement, costs typically associated with a power outage include basement and appliance repairs, and extended hotel stays. GE Generator Systems found that the average costs1 associated with a single power outage can equate to: 

• $150.25 per night for a full-service hotel 
• $21,890 to repair a 2,000-square-foot home’s basement under 5 inches of water
• $3,000 to professionally remove household mold 

“Installing a home standby generator helps ensure these types of costs aren’t incurred every time a storm knocks out a home’s power this summer,” Grandy said. “With emerging technology on the market that is making backup power more affordable than ever, the units pay for themselves by avoiding a single prolonged power outage event in some cases.”

1 Estimates are for illustrative purposes only and should not be used to estimate power outage loss. Cost estimates were pulled from US News, 2012; STR Global, 2012; MoldReporter.org; and FloodSmart.gov. Costs vary from state to state and home to home. Briggs & Stratton is not liable for any damages that occur during a power outage. See www.homestandbygeneratorsystems.com for more information on warranty coverage.

About Briggs & Stratton Corporation
Briggs & Stratton Corporation, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is the world’s largest producer of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment. Its wholly owned subsidiaries include North America’s number one manufacturer of portable generators and pressure washers, and it is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of lawn and garden and turf care through its Simplicity®, Snapper®, Ferris®, Murray®, Branco® and Victa® brands. Briggs & Stratton products are designed, manufactured, marketed and serviced in over 100 countries on six continents.

About GE
GE (NYSE: GE) is a diversified global infrastructure, finance and media company that is built to meet essential world needs. From energy, water, transportation and health, to access to money and information, GE serves customers in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide. GE is Imagination at Work. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.ge.com

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