Unfortunately, it is that time of year again; hurricane season is upon us. The question is, are you ready for it? Part of being ready for hurricane season is making sure that your power equipment is ready when you need it. There are many different types of power equipment that will help you get through the storms and make clean-up easier.
Equipment such as generators are used to help ride out the storm if power goes out. The chainsaw will probably be the number one power tool used to help clean up the mess left behind by hurricanes and/or major storms. Other equipment could include blowers, chipper/shredders, string trimmers, hedge trimmers, tractors, and more.
The first thing to do with all of the power equipment is to make sure that it will start and run properly when you need it. If the item has an electric start, make sure the battery is fully charged. For generators, not only ensure that it will start and run, make sure that it is putting out electricity. If you do not have a volt/ohm meter, at least plug in something that will draw a heavy load. A circular saw or a hair dryer are two items that draw heavy loads.
If the equipment has not ran for more than a month, pour a little Mechanic In A Bottle into the gas tank and prime the system by either the primer bulb or by pulling the rope. Even if the unit starts, adding a little Mechanic In A Bottle to the gas tank will clean any sludge or gum that has started to form.
Make sure that you have enough gasoline for all of your equipment. It is better to have too much gasoline than not enough. Any extra gasoline can be added to a car’s gas tank (as long as it has not been mixed with 2-cycle oil). An important item to remember is to treat all of the fuel with Ethanol Shield. This will ensure that the gasoline will not go bad even if it does sit for a while. Ethanol Shield will stabilize gasoline for up to three years as well as prevent issues that are related to ethanol. These issues include separation due to water getting into the fuel as well as keeping rubber and plastic parts fresh and pliable. Make sure to add Ethanol Shield to all of the power equipment in case the equipment is not used for a long time.
Spare parts and tools are also necessary. Chains on a chainsaw can dull very quickly; have the proper size file on hand (5/32” is the most popular) so that an edge can be put on the chain to help get through all of the cutting. It would be a good idea to have one or two extra chains just in case something happens to the original. Make sure to get the correct chain as there are many different choices available; one size does not fit all.
Finally, have enough oil on hand. There are three oils that should be on hand -- engine oil, bar and chain oil, and 2-cycle engine oil. Even if there is extra left over, it will not go bad.
The key is to be ready for the hurricane before it hits.