Do I Need a Backup Generator?

At the beginning of the year, Reno was hit with a massive power outage. Thousands of homeowners were without power for several hours. There’s never a good time of year, or a good time of day for that disruption. While events like that are rare, they do spark many homeowners to consider a generator.

A backup generator can be just what you need in those moments. Depending on the power and the amount of fuel, it can help you prepare a meal during an outage, or for those that work at home, they can continue working. That’s why this article is exploring Backup generators, so you can decide if the expense is worth it.


Many power outages stem from a weather occurrence. In our area, we get more thunderstorms than anything else…

  • THUNDERSTORMS: Nevada experiences about 50 thunderstorms a year, which cause about $3 million in property damage. 
  • TORNADOS: We see an average of two tornados a year in Nevada and most of them don’t cause any property damage. 
  • EARTHQUAKES: We do have a history of significant earthquakes in Nevada. Many of us remember the back-to-back quakes in 2019; July 4 and 5. Over 3,000 people lost power. There were also gas leaks, and fires in Ridgecrest and Trona. Earthquakes though are still few and far between for us, since 1960 we’ve only had seven significant earthquakes (with a magnitude of 5 or more).
  • HURRICANES: Thankfully we don’t see many of these, Hurricane Rosa hit in 2018, we were also affected by Hurricane Iris in 1998. 
  • FLOODS: Flooding is common in Nevada, with an average of 14 floods per year. They also cause significant damage, an average exceeding $5 million per year.
  • OTHER METEOROLOGICAL EVENTS: In 2008 and 2009 Nevada was hit with a North American storm complex, which are powerful meteorological events that typically bring large amounts of snow to our mountainous regions. 


This is a consideration for many customers in northern Nevada and the mountainous regions. We can get some cold nights, below freezing; having a generator to keep us warm would be awesome. However, for larger homes, there’s an extra consideration. These homeowners are prone to pipes bursting if the power goes out for an extended period in the winter. In this case, a generator might be your best friend. 


Examining your true need for the generator is important. For commercial clients, it would be recommended if a generator is required to keep your business running. However, if your business is dependent on customers coming in, you need to determine if they will still travel to your location during a significant outage.

Residential clients often consider a generator for that added level of protection. It makes a homeowner feel a little safer, for for that reason it’s worth the expense. 


  • PORTABLE GENERATORS: Many campers will purchase these, they’re also popular among the homeowners who want a generator “just in case”. The lower price tag is usually the biggest draw for portable generators but you should know they require a lot of fuel. You can use these small units to cook dinner or keep the lights on for a bit, but they are limited. 
  • STANDBY GENERATORS: Also known as “whole-house generators” are more expensive, but they use less fuel and can power all your appliances at once. Because of their reliability, they’re popular among business owners. They also have the ability to switch on automatically as soon as the power goes out. 

The best way to figure out if you should purchase a generator or not is to ask yourself “how much is this worth to me”? If you’re in an area that experiences a lot of outages and they’re significantly impeding on your work or lifestyle – then that needs to be taken into consideration. If you’re a business owner then think about the amount of money lost during power outages, this can help you determine the size or the amount spent. If you’re a homeowner, it’s often a matter of peace of mind, and that can be valuable too.

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