By Patty Wazick
Just received an email from a friend of mine who lives in Hollywood, Florida which is near Miami. He thought he was prepared for the hurricane season but he had his eyes opened when hurricane WILMA came for a visit.
His house did okay. They just have to have the roof redone but they lost their fence and his wife’s shiny new convertible, which she bought for herself for her fiftieth birthday, got pretty scratched up. My friend is an entertainer. He does DJ and live entertainment for private parties and his business was affected pretty bad. If nobody has electricity, nobody is going to have any parties and that puts him out of work.
He did do one gig for some “VERY rich people”. They had a fifteen foot long, diesel generator he says hummed along quietly out in front of the house. After the gig, he talked to the lady who owned the house and found out the generator was costing her only $4000 a month! My friend said, “Yeah, baby…four big ones and you can have all the power you want.”
As for him, earlier in the year, to be prepared, he bought a nice, big, powerful 15,000 watt generator that would run his whole house. He had it hooked up to his main panel. He figured all he had to do was to flip the breaker, hit the switch, and he’d be in business. He’d have lights, hot water, AC…he thought he was ready for anything. What he didn’t have was enough gas to run the generator. He said he didn’t read far enough into the manual to get to the part about “Fuel Consumption.” It would consume an average 1.6 gallons PER HOUR. A sixteen gallon tank would get you about ten hours of power. The gas stations weren’t pumping any gas because they had no power either. He only had six, five gallon cans. When he used up that supply, he drained about twenty gallons out of his van. After a couple of days the power came back on and they were up and running again.
His neighbor told him they too bought a generator and FEMA paid them back in full. So my friend called FEMA and they told him, since he bought his generator back in July, at that time he wasn’t in an emergency situation so they can’t reimburse him.
It’s just an interesting story that makes me glad I live in the Smokies.