Guest blog post by Kris Kiser, president & CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute and the TurfMutt Foundation

Texas storms can pack a powerful punch, but having the right power equipment on hand, such as a generator or water pump, can aid a faster recovery.

Generator Safety Tips

  • Ensure plenty of ventilation. Place the generator outside and away from windows, doors, and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors. Never use it inside your home or garage.
  • Keep it dry. Cover and vent the generator with a generator tent or cover.
  • Plug in safely. A transfer switch connects the generator to your circuit panel and lets you power hardwired appliances, helping avoid overload by displaying wattage usage levels. If you don’t yet havea transfer switch, plug appliances directly into the outlets on the generator. And use a heavy-duty extension cord.
  • Avoid back feeding. Do not use the generator to “back feed” power into your home electrical system. Plugging the generator into a wall outlet is reckless and dangerous. You could hurt utility workers and neighbors served by the same transformer, start an electrical fire, or damage personal electronics.

Water Pump Safety Tips

  • Get the right pump for the job. Use the right-sized pump for the water and/or debris that you are trying to clear.
  • Follow safety procedures. Make sure all safety guards and shields are in place before operating. Never use a water pump in a flammable or explosive environment, and don’t pump substances the pump isn’t designed to cope with. When in doubt, refrain from pumping.
  • Store your water pump safely. Flush the pump case with clean fresh water, then completely drain to prevent damage. Cover the intake and discharge ports to prevent debris from entering during storage.

Kris Kiser is president and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) and the TurfMutt Foundation. OPEI is an international trade association representing manufacturers and suppliers of power equipment, small engines and battery power, utility and personal transport vehicles, and golf cars. It is also the creative force behind the environmental education program TurfMutt. For more information, visit and