10 Best Portable Generators For Hurricane [Buyers Guide 2021]

According to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), the Atlantic hurricane started in early June and ran until 30th November. However, it’s challenging to get a 100% accurate prediction about mother nature, especially when the forecast is weeks away. The predicted hurricane period can either delay or come earlier than expected. When a hurricane strikes, whether it is powerful or mild, a power outage becomes inevitable. It’s because strong winds knock down power lines and cause other damages to power supply infrastructures.

The sad part is you never know how long you may be out of power. Living through a hurricane with no lighting, heating, and no fresh food because your freezer or refrigerator has no power can be disastrous. However, you can avoid such a scenario by investing in a reliable portable generator for a hurricane before it strikes. Don’t wait for that desperate moment to rush for any generator you will find in the market. Here is a review of the best portable generators for hurricane season and a guide to help you pick the right one.

Best Portable Generators For HurricaneHowever, before you go out shopping for a portable generator in preparation for the hurricane season, you need to know your power demands. What do you want to power when the main grid goes off? Is it the entire house or some essential household electronics such as lighting, well pump, refrigerator, and your AC unit? Portable generators have different capacities ranging from running essential appliances to one that can power your entire house. And are you looking for a portable generator that runs on gasoline, propane, or a dual fuel Genset that combines the two? You can decide to choose either of them.

Top Portable Generators for Hurricane

Light-Duty Category

If you don’t want to power your entire house when there is an emergency, you’re better off with light-duty portable generators. The light-duty category has generators that generate less than 5000 starting watts. These are generators that can only power essential appliances.

Westinghouse iGen4500 Inverter Generator

It’s our best inverter generator for hurricanes.

iGen4500 tops our light-duty portable generators because of its excellent features at a lower-priced than Honda. This generator has a rated noise of 52 decibels which is very quiet compared to other brands in this review. It’s the best generator to power your night. If you have anyone in your family with insomnia, it will not bother their light sleep.

This gasoline-powered generator delivers a peak wattage of 4500W and 3700 rated watts. This power output is enough to run your essential appliances in case of a blackout resulting from a hurricane. It can comfortably power a small AC unit, refrigerator, coffee pot, lights, and other small appliances. Because of its small power capacity, don’t power all devices at once. If you have short-term demands for more power, this generator supports a parallel connection; you can pair it with a similar. This generator can also power your most sensitive electronics since it has a less than 3% THD level.

The generator has a 3.4-gallon fuel tank capacity. When the fuel tank is full, this generator can power your household appliances for around 18 hours at a quarter load. If you have a small house or want to run a few household electronics, this runtime is satisfactory. iGen4500 has an electric start system and the conventional recoil starts mechanism as its backup. You can also operate this generator through a wireless remote. Going out to operate a generator doesn’t feel funny; this model saves you such inconveniences.

This generator has an LED Data Center that displays the amount of power you are using, runtime before the next service, and the remaining fuel. The data center information will help you plan your next refill and schedule service in time.

It has double household outlets and one outlet for easy connection with an RV. You can power your smartphones and camera through the dual USB ports on this generator.

Even though this model weighs around 98 pounds manageable, it comes with telescopic handles and wheels. With the telescopic handles and wheels, you can pull it around like a suitcase. It also has top-carrying handles, which increases convenience when moving it from one point to another.

Pros

  • The generator operates quietly.
  • You can operate it remotely.
  • It has a long runtime, which is essential because you don’t know when your main grid will be restored.

Cons

  • Its automatic choke has some inconsistencies; it is not reliable.

 

Pulsar G450RN 4500W Inverter Generator

It’s the best budget inverter generator.

This generator has similar features to the iGen4500 generator, but this one is more affordable than the iGen4500 inverter generator.

Pulsar G450RN remote operation feature that allows you to control the generator from 80 feet. This feature gives you the comfort of operating the generator from your house.

This generator runs on gasoline, and it produces 4500 starting watts and 3700 running watts. With this power output, you can run a window AC unit, heater, and freezers. However, it’s not advisable to run them concurrently. It can overload this unit. This generator is parallel-ready; you can connect it to another Pulsar G450RN to double its power output.

With a 3.2-gallon gasoline fuel tank, this generator can power your appliances for 15 hours when it has a 50% load. It’s an impressive fuel efficiency rate. This generator can power your AC unit and lighting throughout the night. And there will be enough fuel to last you for some hours in the day. This generator has electric and recoil start mechanisms. And it has a rated noise of 63 decibels when it is 10 feet away; the further you place it from your home, the quiet it becomes.

This unit roughly weighs 108 pounds; however, telescopic handles and never-flat wheels improve its portability. Its compact size makes it easier to store.

In order to power your appliances, this generator comes with duplex household outlets, a single 30A RV outlet, a single DC outlet, and a USB port. With the clean and stable power produced by this generator, you can power your delicate appliances, including a smartphone, via the USB port.

Pros

  • You can operate it from 80 feet, thanks to the remote operations feature.
  • It’s one of the most inverter generators you can invest in as you prepare for the coming hurricane.

Cons

  • It can be louder when it’s running on a full load.

 

Champion 3800-Watt Dual Fuel Portable Generator

If you live in a campsite or a small house with essential home appliances, plan for this generator before the hurricane strikes. It’s a traditional open frame generator equipped with modern dual-fuel technology to bring convenience whenever you need power. This generator can run on propane gas or gasoline. It has an easy-to-use fuel selector switch.

When this generator is running on gasoline, it generates 4,750 starting watts and maintains 3,800 rated watts. Running it on propane gas delivers 4,275 starting watts and 3,420 running watts. Both fuel sources provide adequate power for powering your appliances when there is an emergency. You can run a small-sized AC unit, refrigerator, and lights. This generator isn’t suitable for powering delicate devices, and its THD ratings are between 12 to 20% depending on its load.

The generator has a 3.4-gallon gasoline fuel tank. When the unit has a 50% load, it can operate for 9 hours non-stop on a single tank. A 20-pound propane gas tank will power this generator for about 10 hours when it has a 50% load. You can power up the engine through a conventional recoil start or electric start system. The electric start system saves you from pulling the recoil start option when it cold. This model also has a Cold Start technology which guarantees users a quick start in cold weather. The engine operates at a rated noise of 68 decibels.

It’s easy to monitor the generator’s running voltage and runtime thanks to its intelligauge. The intelligauge also updates you on when maintenance is due. The generator has different outlets for powering your household appliances and for connecting an RV if you have one.

The open frame and the 8-inch wheel kit make it easy to move this 120 pounds’ generator. The foldaway handles increase convenience when moving and storing this unit.

Pros

  • It’s a dual fuel generator.
  • The manufacturer offers lifetime technical support.

Cons

  • It is relatively noisy.

Heavy-Duty Category

Westinghouse WGen7500DF Portable Generator

It’s a dual fuel portable generator that allows you to switch to propane when there is a gasoline shortage during a hurricane.

It has three different starting mechanisms. You can start it through the conventional recoil system, electric start push button, or via the remote start option. With the remote start choice, you can control the generator from 109 yards away, thanks to the key fob that comes with the remote option. The remote option offers convenience, especially when running it during a storm; you don’t have to step out to operate it.

This model has a peak wattage of 9500W, and 7500 rated watts when running on gasoline. When running on propane, it delivers 6750 running watts and 8550 starting watts. You can run several home appliances concurrently with this generator.

With a fuel tank volume of 6.6 gallons, this unit can run for 16 hours at a quarter load on a single tank. The runtime is enough to power your AC unit and other appliances throughout the night. When running on a 20-pound propane tank, the generator offers 11-hours runtime at a quarter load. However, you have to put up with a 72-decibel noise level which is a bit higher than a working vacuum.

The control panel has a live data center that will update you on the running voltage, frequency, and generator’s runtime. A battery indicator light that displays the battery charge level, it’s this battery that supports electric and remote control system. Additionally, there are GFCI protected outlets that are covered when not in use. GFCI feature protects users from suffering electric shock when operating the generator in a wet setting. The power outlets are convenient for connecting the generator to your home.

As a safety feature to the engine, the engine will switch off when the oil level is deficient, thanks to the low-oil shut down aspect. This feature contributes to the extended lifespan of this model. The generator’s engine will have a short lifespan if it runs without oil.

The unit weighs about 201 pounds. Its portability is improved by a form-covered fold-down handle and a durable 10-inch wheels set of two.

Pros

  • It has an affordable generator and yet offers impressive runtime.
  • It has GFCI protected outlets.
  • It’s a dual fuel generator.

Cons

  • The commercial warranty is restricted to one year.
  • It’s not safe for powering sensitive electronics; it has less than 23% THD.

Honda EU7000iS Portable Generator

Even though it is an expensive brand, it’s the best single-fuel hurricane generator in the market today.

Check out this video review

This is an inverter generator with 7000 surge watts and 5500 running watts of clean and stable power. Even though it’s not powerful to run your entire house at once, its clean power is suitable for every appliance. It produces a pure sine wave with very minimal harmonic distortion. You can use this generator for emergency purposes and your outdoor activities when the hurricane season has passed. If you have more power demands, this model supports parallel connections. You can connect it to another model to double the power output.

EU7000iS has a fuel tank capacity of 5.1 gallons. This generator can operate for 18 hours when running at a quarter load on a single tank. Its fuel efficiency rate is impressive. Running it at 50% load will reduce the runtime. Even so, it will be sufficient to power your essential electric devices for the better part of the day or night. The loudest operating noise when the unit is at 100% load is 58 decibels which reasonably quiet. At 25% load, it operates at 52 decibels, almost the level of a typical home conversation.

You can start it through the conventional recoil system, a convenient electric starter, or remotely via the Honda My Generator app. Apart from the start/stop operations, you can monitor the generator’s performance and get maintenance reminders via the app. The application operates through Bluetooth.

The control panel has an eco-throttle mode switch for high fuel efficiency GFCI protected household outlets. Besides, it has a high voltage outlet for high power demanding connection. You can choose to utilize the high voltage outlet to run at 120 and 240 volts or a full 120 volts. A fuel gauge for easy monitoring of fuel level is also present.

Are you worried about rising carbon monoxide gas from the prolonged usage of this generator? Worry no more; this generator has a CO-Minder feature. It detects the rising levels of carbon monoxide around it, and it automatically shuts down the generator. It is an important safety feature in most Honda generators.

The rugged materials used on this model make it durable and resistant to different environmental settings. However, this has also contributed to its heavyweight of 261 pounds. The inclusion of challenging and all-terrain wheels and a fold-down handle makes its portability easy despite the heavyweight.

Pros

  • It has an excellent fuel-efficient rate which offers it high runtime than most generators within its power range.
  • It offers a 3-year warranty period for residential and commercial purposes.

Cons

  • It doesn’t have a 125V/250V 50A receptacle for a transfer switch. Considering its high price and power output, the manufacturer should have included such an outlet.

 

Pulsar PG12000B Portable Generator

PG12000B is a robust open frame dual portable generator designed to ensure you have adequate power even during a hurricane. The dual-fuel feature allows you to run the generator on either propane or gasoline should a disaster cause a power blackout. During most natural disasters, gasoline becomes a rare fuel source. It’s therefore vital that you have a dual fuel generator. Furthermore, you can store propane gas indefinitely, while you can’t do the same for gasoline. Gasoline has a limited shelf life.

When it’s gasoline-powered, this model delivers 12,000 starting wattage and 9,500 running watts. Propane provides a peak wattage of 10,800W and 8,550 rated watts. If you have more appliances to run, running the generator on gasoline will be ideal because it delivers more power. Thanks to the Switch & Go technology, you can switch from gasoline to propane and vice-versa while the generator is running, thanks to Switch & Go technology.

best portable generators for hurricaneThis generator has a gasoline fuel tank capacity of 8 gallons. This generator can operate for about 12 hours with a single fuel tank when it has a 50% load. When running on a 20-pound propane tank and at the same load, this generator can run for about 5 hours. In terms of fuel efficiency, it’s cheap to run this generator on gasoline than propane. However, the cheapness will depend on the availability of both fuel sources.

The starting options of PG12000B are either the conventional recoil system or an elegant electric starter. This generator has a rated noise of 74 decibels.

You can quickly tell the voltage, frequency, and runtime of this generator thanks to the hour meter on the control panel. It also has an in-built fuel gauge that makes it easy to monitor the fuel level as the generator is running. The generator won’t run out of fuel without your knowledge.

best portable generators for hurricanePG12000B has household outlets, a transfer switch ready outlet for easy connection of your generator to your home’s breaker box. It also has a high voltage receptacle for connecting the generator to heavy-duty power appliances. Apart from AC outlets, the generator also has a DC outlet for easy charging of batteries.

This model weighs around 205 pounds which can be heavy to move on your own. You can, however, move it on different terrains thanks to its 10-inch wheel set and folding handle.

Pros

  • It’s a dual fuel budget generator.
  • It has an impressive fuel-efficient rate giving it a good runtime.

Cons

  • It does not support remote operations.

 

A-iPower SUA12000E Portable Generator

It’s an inexpensive, powerful portable generator making it a must-have generator for anyone looking for a budget generator for a hurricane. The generator has a rigid tube-like steel frame for durability in different environmental conditions.

This generator has a 16HP engine, and it has a maximum wattage of 12,000 W and rated wattage of 9,000W. It supports both electric and traditional pull start mechanism. The power output is enough for most of your household electrical equipment in case of an emergency. You can also use this generator to run your power tools, and it can handle about five power tools.

A-iPower SUA12000E has a fuel tank with a capacity of 7 gallons and an in-built fuel gauge. With a 50% load, this generator can operate for 9 hours on a single tank. The runtime is still good, considering the unit’s power output. The built-in fuel gauge makes it seamless to check the remaining fuel level and schedule a refill if need be. When this generator is running at half load, it operates at 78 decibels. This noise output can annoy some people, especially if you live within an estate. But you can install sound mufflers to lower its noise output.

There is a digital data center on its control panel. You can quickly tell the frequency and remaining runtime of the generator by looking at the data center screen. There are GFCI 120V household outlets on the power outlets, 120/240V outlets one being transfer switch ready and DC outlet. GFCI outlets are essential in any generator suitable for a hurricane. They protect users from electric shock when operating the generator in damp weather. The DC outlet is ideal for charging batteries via an adapter plug or USB adapter.

The generator has an average weight of 222 pounds. However, 9.5-inch solid wheels and a factory handle make it easy to move it over rough terrain.

Check out this review

Pros

  • It’s a portable budget generator for a hurricane.
  • The electric start feature will give you an easy time to start this unit.

Cons

  • Its fuel consumption is on the lower end when likened to portable generators within its power range in this review.

 

Rainier R12000DF Portable Generator

A highly dependable dual fuel conventional generator that you can invest in before hurricane strikes. The easy electric start system ensures you have an easy time starting this generator, even during a storm. A conventional pull-start mechanism backs up the electric start system. Its dual-fuel technology ensures that you have power whenever you need it; you can either run it on gasoline or propane.

When running it on gasoline, this generator delivers a peak wattage of 12000W and maintains a continuous power of 9500W. This power output is sufficient for powering your kitchen appliances, lighting, AC unit, sump pump, and other small household appliances concurrently. When running on propane, it generates 10800 peak watts and 8550 rated watts. However, this power is not suitable for powering sensitive electronics because it has less than 23% THD. It can damage vulnerable electronics.

R12000DF has a 6.6-gallon gasoline fuel tank that can deliver 17 hours of continuous operation on a quarter load. It’s one of the best generators for hurricanes in fuel efficiency and dependability that you can get at a relatively reasonable price. 20-pound propane gas can power this generator for 11 hours at a quarter load. It still offers a good runtime even it’s running on propane. You are sure of sleeping with your AC unit on during a hurricane. The generator has a noise level of 72 decibels, which is understandable because it’s a conventional generator.

You’ll find a flexible fuel selector knob on the control panel, an electric start/stop switch, and a convenient meter displaying voltage, frequency, and runtime. There is a built-in fuel gauge for manageable fuel level monitoring. It has double GFCI protected receptacles, a transfer switch-ready receptacle, and two other high amperage receptacles to power your household.

Check out this review

This generator weighs around 196 pounds, but the 10-inch wheel kit and folding handle improve its portability.

Pros

  • It offers good runtime.
  • It has GFCI protected outlets.
  • An electric start for easy powering on of the generator.

Cons

  • It doesn’t come with a DC port for easy charging of batteries.

 

All Power America APGG10000GL 10000 Watt Generator

It’s a cost-effective dual generator that can power most of your household appliances in case of an emergency. You can operate it either on gasoline or propane gas. Intense hurricanes can affect gas supply; that’s why dual fuel running on propane comes in handy during such seasons.

When powered by gasoline, this model delivers a peak wattage of 10,000W and 8,000 running watts. Propane generates 8,500 peak watts and 7,000 running wattage. Both fuel sources produce an impressive amount of power for powering a wide range of your household appliances when there’s a blackout. You can’t power your delicate electronics with this generator because it has a high harmonic distortion rate.

This unit has an 8-gallon gasoline fuel capacity that gives is a spending runtime of 11 hours at a half load. With such a runtime, you can sleep easy, knowing your generator won’t run out of fuel in the middle of the night. You can start this generator using a pull-start mechanism or via its electric start button. APGG10000GL has a rated noise of 74 decibels. Even though this noise level is high, it’s still suitable for residential areas.

You can tell the running voltage by looking at the voltmeter. It also an hour meter that displays the unit’s runtime, helping you plan for your next servicing. On the power outlets, the unit has four household-style outlets and high amperage outlets for easy connection to your home breaker box and RV. There is also a DC outlet for convenient charging of batteries.

To improve on its portability, it never has a flat wheel kit and a flexible handle. The wheels make it easy to move on any terrain.

Pros

  • It has plenty of outlets that allow you to plug in multiple devices.
  • It comes along with a maintenance-free battery.

Cons

  • Even though it comes with a free propane gas pipe, it is of poor quality.

 

Generac GP7500E Portable Generator

It’s a reliable open-frame design generator made from a hardened steel-lube cradle to make it robust. The engine’s lifespan is extended by splash lubrication technology, enhancing this generator’s overall performance and lifetime.

best portable generators for hurricanesRunning on gasoline, GP7500E can deliver a peak wattage of 9,375W and 7,500 running watts. Its power output can power household electronic appliances, including refrigerators, freezers, lighting, AC unit, and sump pump. With this generator at home, you don’t have to worry about power blackout when the hurricane sets in. You can start the engine through the conventional pull-start mechanism or the simple touch electric system.

GP7500E has a 7.5-gallon fuel tank that can keep the generator operating for 11 continuous hours at 50% load. If you’re looking for a generator that can power your appliances all night long while you are asleep, consider GP7500E. However, you have to ensure that it has sufficient fuel before leaving it unattended for the night. This is where you’ll appreciate the built-in fuel gauge in this model that allows you to monitor fuel levels effortlessly.

It has a decent hour meter that helps you track the number of hours the generator has been running.  Are you worried about maintenance? The hour meter has a maintenance reminder feature. It will notify you when the maintenance is due.

There are multiple power receptacles for powering your house and other appliances during the hurricane. It has a powerful 120/240V outlet transfer switch ready for easy power connection through your home’s breaker switch. Additionally, there are double household outlets for plugging in your electric devices.

Even though it weighs around192 pounds, there are enhanced features that make it portable. The 9.5-inch solid wheels and a foldable handle make it easy to maneuver this generator on any terrain. The open-frame design makes it easy to share the load with your colleague or family member.

Pros

  • It’s a good value for money.
  • It can power multiple devices at once.

Cons

  • It overheats when used for longer hours.

 

Safety Generator Tips to Observe During the Hurricane Season

Investing in a reliable portable generator before the hurricane season is a rational decision. However, you need to know how to stay safe even as you’ll be running your generator should the electricity go out. Here is what you need to observe;

1. Ensure you know how to operate the generator:

If you are operating the generator for the first time, read the user manual before you start operating it. Doing so can save you from a lot of misfortunes, including being electrocuted and damaging your generator.

2. Know what you want to run with your generator and prioritize the essential appliances.

  • Don’t’ operate the generator indoors: Generators produce carbon monoxide fumes which can kill you and your family members. That is why generators are placed outside, several feet away from your house, vent, door, or window. Generators with a ‘carbon minder’ can save you from having dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in the environment. The carbon minder sensor shuts down the generator before carbon monoxide fumes around the generator become hazardous.
  1. Use heavy-duty power cords when connecting the generator to your home or appliances.
  2. For safety purposes, you should only power your home with a generator through a transfer switch. If your circuit board doesn’t have one, contact a certified electrician to install one for you.
  3. Stock enough fuel source before the hurricane hits. Propane gas has a long storage life compared to gasoline which can stale after 30 days.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What type of maintenance is needed for a generator for a hurricane?

best portable generators for hurricaneChange oil, oil filter, air filter, spark plugs, and fuel filter after three to four-month. If it has an electric start, consider replacing the battery after every two years. Regular cleaning of your generator can extend its lifespan.

2. How long will my portable generator serve me before needing a replacement?

Most brands are made to last from 10,000 to 35,000 hours of operation. Therefore, your generator can last from 10 to 15 years, depending on your usage.

Final word

Buying a portable generator before the hurricane hits will ensure you’re not affected by a power blackout, which is inevitable during hurricanes. This review has analyzed the best portable generators for a hurricane in the light and heavy category. Any choice from the above list will give you exemplary services. If you are looking for a budget and light-duty generator, Pulsar G450RN 4500W inverter generator will serve you well. If you need a heavy-duty portable generator, there are several of them in our review, including A-iPower SUA12000E, Honda EU7000iS, and Rainier R12000DF. Check your power requirements and make the best option from our review.

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