5 Best Generators For Hurricane Season

Living in an area that experiences a hurricane season can have you living on the edge for a large part of the year, but a good way to ensure you and your family are prepared for this time of year is by having a backup generator at your home.

A generator will be able to supply power to your home when the power goes out and help you and your family stay comfortable for however long it takes to get the power back on.

Best Generators For Hurricane Season

However, not every generator is suitable for homes during hurricane season and it can be difficult to find the right for your needs.

That’s why we did all the groundwork to bring you this article, so you can find out the 5 best generators for hurricane season to keep your home powered.

OUR TOP PICK

Jackery Portable Power Station Explorer 240, 240Wh Backup Lithium Battery, 110V/200W Pure Sine Wave AC Outlet, Solar Generator (Solar Panel Not Included) for Outdoors Camping Travel Hunting Emergency

This lightweight generator from Jackery is a popular choice amongst campers and backpackers who’ll be without access to power and still want to have their smartphones and other devices to stay connected to the outside world.

That being said, it’s our best choice as a generator for devices to be charged inside the home so you can stay alert of what’s happening outside during the storm.

The Jackery generator will struggle to power anything more demanding than your TV so you won’t be able to use it for appliances (anything over 200W) in your home and should be used as a power source for entertainment when the power is out. 

The generator offers 24 phone charges and 17 hours of continuous lamping light (depending on wattage) and can also be kept inside the house during the height of the storm.

The power station explorer can be charged in 3 ways, through the wall outlet, car outlet, and also by solar panels, however, the solar panels are not included with the model.

If you do decide to invest in the solar panels, then once the hurricane has blown over you can choose to recharge the generator and charge your devices each time by sitting it in the sun whilst you wait for your home’s power to return.

The generator is only 6.6lbs and comes with a carry handle so you can quickly grab it from outside before the hurricane arrives. 

The generator is equipped with protected layers of technology to ensure the current or voltage does not damage the unit or your devices. 

Pros

  • Efficient use - Can charge devices whilst being recharged itself 
  • Lighting capabilities - Offers 17 hours of continuous lamp lighting 
  • Lightweight and compact - Easily stored and transported into the home

Cons

  • Not very powerful - Can only be used for devices/appliances under 200W

EDITORS CHOICE

WEN 56235i Super Quiet 2350-Watt Portable Inverter Generator with Fuel Shut Off, CARB Compliant, Ultra Lightweight, Black

The WEN 56235i produces 2350 watts to keep your electronics running for around 10.5 hours whilst your power is out. 

It’s equipped with an eco-mode so you can adjust fuel consumption to extend the running time of the generator if the power is taking longer than you expected to return. 

The body of the generator weighs 39lbs so will be easy for one person to transport when a storm is coming and also convenient to store when it’s not in use.

The WEN inverter generator is super quiet so won’t keep you or your neighbors awake when you’re using it to keep your home’s power on during a power outage.

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, it can be compared to a normal conversation.

The WEN is efficient and maximizes lifespan via its automatic shut off which will use up the remaining fuel in the carb before shutting down and also protecting the circuit between the generator and appliances. 

The quiet generator has a 12V DC outlet, a NEMA 5-20R outlet, and 2 USB ports for versatile connectivity. 

It’s also backed with a 2-year warranty so you’ll be able to make sure it’s fit to serve your family in times of need. 

Pros

  • 3 types of outlets included - Versatile use
  • Quiet operation - Won’t cause disturbance to your home or neighbors
  • Eco-mode option - Extends the running time of your generator

Cons

  • Not the most reliable - won’t be able to run larger appliances for a long time

BEST VALUE

Westinghouse Outdoor Power Equipment WGen9500DF Dual Fuel Portable Generator-9500 Rated 12500 Peak Watts Gas or Propane Powered-Electric Start-Transfer Switch & RV Ready, CARB Compliant, Blue

This is a heavy-duty generator that’s equipped with enough power (125000 peak watts to be exact) to keep appliances like refrigerators and freezers running in your house for a few hours until the power returns.

It has an average run time of 12 hours on a 6.6-gallon gas tank to minimize refueling during a storm. 

It supports 30A and 50 transfer switches so you can connect it to your household’s power circuits by using an extension cord and also has an air-cooled overhead for cool and safe operation.

It has dual-fuel capability, with gasoline offering a more powerful and efficient performance than propane. 

It has a remote start with a key fob so you’ll be able to get your home up and running again without having to put your safety at risk by going outside and will work for up to 260 feet away. 

This model is powerful enough to keep your AC or heating system running during a power outage so you and your family can stay comfortable within your home. 

The VFT Data center display on the generator will be able to show you the volt output and lifetime hours so you can apply the necessary maintenance when required. 

It comes with heavy-duty wheels and a lift bracket to make transportation to and from storage much easier when you’re restricted to time. 

Pros

  • Equipped with VFT data display - Makes maintenance easier
  • Remote start via a key fob - No need to go outside to turn on
  • Dual-fuel capability -  More convenient when supplies are low

Cons

  • Manual is not specific enough - Can be difficult to operate if not familiar with this type of equipment 

RUNNER UP

Champion Power Equipment 100302 4000-Watt RV Ready Open Frame Inverter, Yellow

The advanced open frame inverter by Champion Power offers 3500 watts of power and is designed with an economy mode to save fuel and extend the engine life.

It can run for up to 17 hours depending on what you’re using it to power and is capable of being able to run refrigerators, freezers, and TVs, however, doing so simultaneously will reduce fuel quickly.

It produces clean electricity for sensitive electronics like smartphones or tablets that are charging via the USB adapter.

It’s also equipped with a household outlet and a DC outlet for maximum versatility during a power outage.

For high power output, its parallel ready so can be connected to another inverter to increase the power output for demanding appliances. 

The inverter is manually started by pulling so you will need to leave the house to begin operating the generator, however, it starts instantly and won’t require numerous goes to get it running.

It’s pretty quiet so won’t be noticeable during the night when running outside your home or by your neighbors. 

Champion Power offers a limited 3-year warranty with this model, so you’ll be able to make sure it works effectively or get your money back. 

Pros

  • Parallel ready - Can connect to another inverter for increased power output
  • Quiet operation - Not noticeable inside a home when it’s running outside
  • Versatile operation - Can be used for USB charging and household appliances

Cons

  • The manual start could be inconvenient - People will have to leave their home to operate

RUNNER UP

DuroMax Gas Powered Portable 12000 Watt-Electric Start-Home Back Up & RV Ready, 50 State Approved Generator

Another generator that can handle heavy loads such as running your home’s air conditioning unit, light system, and keeping your refrigerator going is this DuroMax model.

It’s equipped with 9,500 running watts for demanding tasks and also has idle control which lowers RPMs when the unit is not in use and allows it to preserve fuel and keeps the noise down. 

The generator is efficient and safe and uses its low oil shut-off function to automatically switch off the unit when it detects that the oil levels are too low.

It comes with 1 heavy-duty outlet, 2 twist-lock outlets, and 1 standard outlet but does not support USB charging directly from the unit.

The generator is pretty heavy but does come assembled on easy-to-roll wheels to make transporting nearer your home during an outage more convenient. 

It comes with a keyed electric starting switch, which is one of the major drawbacks as if you lose the key or can’t find it before the hurricane hits, you won’t be able to use the generator.  

Pros

  • High power output - Compatible with home appliances
  • 4 different outlets - Versatile use and powering
  • Low oil shut off function - Helps preserve the life of the engine

Cons

  • Keyed startup - Makes it more difficult when you’re limited on time

Best Generators For Hurricane Season Buying Guide

When looking for a generator ready for hurricane season, there will be several factors you’ll need to consider so you can find the right one just for you. Follow our buyers guide below, to help narrow down the generator you’ll need so you can retain power during the height of hurricane season.

Type Of Generator

There are three types of generators you’ll need to choose from in your search for one for hurricane season. Below is the information you’ll need about each one to help you make your choice.

Open-Frame Portable Generators

These are the conventional portable generators that you’ll find and they’re the most affordable choice out of the three types of generators available. 

You can get them in varying watt sizes depending on what you’ll be needing to power up in your home and they’re a popular choice amongst people who work on work sites away from a mains power source.

Despite their convenience, open-frame portable generators are fairly large and may require a larger enclosure in your yard to store. They can often be quite loud which could be annoying for nearby neighbors.

Inverter Generators

Inverter generators are opted for in circumstances where you’ll need a longer running time and want better fuel efficiency as the engine’s speed adjusts to how much energy is required from the appliances, however, for these conveniences you’ll also have to pay a higher cost to attain them. 

Inverter generators are often less powerful than portable ones, so you may have to pay the highest costs to have one with the most power to keep your home running after a hurricane.

They use advanced electronic circuitry to ensure minimal harmonic distortion to keep your home's appliances in check after a hurricane and allow you to continue with your lives.

They are quite lightweight and small and can fit in RVs and cars when you’re traveling, however, these will need to be secure properly during a hurricane to make sure they do not go airborne. 

Standby Generators

Standby generators will automatically switch on when the power goes out, this way you won’t have to head outside and put yourself at risk during a hurricane. 

They’re basically like mini power plants and are super powerful so will be able to keep everything running in your home even when you’re going through a power outage. 

Standby generators are used in safety systems in industries like the fire and medical departments to ensure they always have access to power regardless of the situation. 

These types of generators can perform weekly tests automatically to ensure that it is reacting to power loss correctly so you know it will always work whenever an emergency strikes. 

However, standby generators are very expensive despite being one of the best options and they’ll also require a professional to come and install it into your home when you do purchase one. 

Power Requirements

You’ll need to weigh up what appliances will be most important to run during a power outage due to a hurricane. Most people will choose to keep their refrigerator running so they can keep all their food fresh and also an electric stove so they can have hot food. 

If the weather is going to be bad for a few days, you may want to use the generator to power a TV or a laptop to entertain yourself as well as having a few lamps on so everyone can see when the sun goes down. 

Work out what wattage your appliances will require so you can ensure the generator you buy can provide enough to run them. 

Run Time

You never know how long you’ll be without power in the event of a hurricane so ensuring your generator has an adequate running time to keep your appliances on is important. 

You may have experienced a hurricane before and may have some idea about how long it takes workers to get the power back on afterward, so base your purchase around that. 

However, for maximum safety and security, find a generator with the longest running time possible so you won’t have to head outside and refuel it during the bad weather.

Quick Start-up

When a hurricane hits, you’ll only have a couple of minutes to secure things and then head for cover, so ensure you find a generator that can fire up instantly so you can return to a safe place.

Most will come with an electric push button which will turn it on with one push, others may have a remote button that will allow you to turn it on when you’re not right next to it.

Safety Features

Some safety features you’ll want to look out for on your generator are an automatic shut-off, which will turn off the generator when the fuel is low so it doesn’t mess with your home’s circuit or appliances. 

Find one with a carbon monoxide detector, especially if you have not kept it the recommended distance away from your home, this will protect you and your family from CO poisoning.

Noise Levels

Chances are, things aren’t going to be quiet in your area during a hurricane, but that doesn’t mean that people won’t want some peace when it all blows over. Try to find a generator that’s as quiet as possible to keep your neighbors happy. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Kind Of Generator Do I Need During A Hurricane?

A portable generator will be required for hurricane season so you can bring it inside your home within a safe space when the hurricane is due.

You’ll need to work out what appliances will be most important to run from your generator and what wattage they’ll need so you can choose the one with the correct power.

Can You Run A Generator During A Hurricane?

You should ideally only start your generator when the power goes out in your home and when it’s safe to do so i.e the hurricane has passed.

You should attempt to set up your generator ready if you know there is a hurricane coming in advance, so you won’t have to fuss about outside putting yourself in danger.

Where Should A Generator Be Placed During A Hurricane?

It should be in a well-ventilated enclosure to prevent it from flying in the area during strong winds or if the hurricane runs right by your home.

Do not run your generator inside your home and it should be placed at least 20 feet away from windows and doorways in your home to protect yourself from carbon monoxide emissions. 

I'm an environment and energy blogger who teaches outdoor and energy enthusiasts how to be better informed when it comes to purchasing or maintaining a generator, solar panel system, or anything else related to your energy needs.