Most people associate generators with off-grid adventures or weekends spent camping. Unfortunately, generators can be called upon for more than just recreation. When hurricane season rolls around, losing power can become an annoyingly routine event. Having a generator at your disposal can make power outages a much more tolerable and safe experience.
However, not all generators are well suited to the task. The best generators for hurricanes include a specific set of features that make them particularly apt for long-term power during inclement weather. They need to be powerful, quiet, and efficient. Of course, affordability is a bonus as well.
We’ve looked through the choices and selected five of the best hurricane generators to help you weather the storm.
Products Reviewed in This Article
Last update on 2023-08-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Our Top 3 Best Generators for Hurricane Season Compared
Last update on 2023-08-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Best Generator for Hurricane Reviews
Having a massive generator to run your entire home during a storm is an undeniably lovely luxury. However, once a generator reaches a certain size, portability becomes a rather dubious concept. For many applications, having a generator that can serve multiple roles as a source of power while camping, RVing, or storm-induced power outages is a great idea. It allows one unit to fulfill multiple needs, eliminating the expense and maintenance of having multiple generators. As a jack-of-all-trades generator for camping or hurricanes alike, the Champion 3400 Inverter Generator is a great choice.
We have covered a lot of different styles and sizes of generators in this review. This was a purposeful decision. Different people have different needs and goals during hurricanes, and we wanted to choose a broad variety of models to reflect that. Some people want to power their entire home without compromises during a power outage. For those people, larger options like the All American Power are a great choice. Yet, some people simply want to keep the fridge cold and the lights on. For these more modest goals, a 3.4 kW unit like this Champion fulfills the role beautifully. This generator has plenty of power to run the basics and keep you comfortable, but it does so with greatly enhanced efficiency and quiet operation.
There are a lot of features that make this generator feel like a very premium product. As with the other models, it is dual-fuel capable of providing the greatest flexibility in a storm. The list does not stop there, however. This Champion also features electric starting. Although this is more common in larger models, it is a notable luxury in a unit this size. Champion even went one step further and equipped this model with an optional remote starter, allowing you to turn the generator on from a keyfob up to 80 feet away. Whether you’re camping and don’t want to go outside your RV or you’re in a storm trying to stay dry, this is an undeniably nice feature.
This is the only inverter generator we have covered so far. As we have covered in other reviews, there are a lot of advantages to inverter generators. Without getting too weighed down by the technical reasons, this generator will be quieter, more efficient, and provide a more consistent power signal than some other non-inverter models. At 59 dB, it fully delivers on that promise. Even at full load, you can hardly hear this generator from more than a few feet away.
Finally, the form factor of this unit is superb. It is fully enclosed and very compact, making it very clean and easy to store. And at only 98 pounds, this is a surprisingly easy to carry generator. It is rare to find a generator this powerful, and this well equipped, that weighs so little. While it might not have the raw power to run an entire home, this is an incredibly convenient and reliable generator for trouble-free power-outage mitigation.
- Very quiet
- Optional remote start
- Inverter technology
- Fairly small gas tank
|Start Type: Electric (Optional Remote)||Engine Size (cc): 192|
|Output: 3,400-Watts||Fuel Type: Gasoline or Propane|
|Voltage (V): 120||Gasoline Capacity (gal.): 1.6|
One of the primary obstacles with keeping a generator running during a hurricane season is making sure plenty of fuel is available. This can be a multifaceted problem because fuel shortages are extremely common during storm periods. Further, all types of fuel may not be available. Propane is significantly more stable for long-term storage than gasoline but may be harder to come by. For this reason, we generally recommend dual-fuel models as the best generator for hurricane use. These flexible models are capable of running off of gasoline or propane, making them much simpler to keep running in a difficult scenario. You can stock up on long-lasting propane to run them, but if you need more you can always revert to gasoline. Of the mid-size dual-fuel models, the DuroMax XP4850EH is a consistent favorite of ours.
Many generators claim to run off both gasoline and propane, but the process to switch between fuel sources is often complex or tedious. You certainly don’t want to be re-jetting a carburetor or swapping fuel lines during a storm, so the “flip a switch and your done” aspect of the DuroMax is hugely appealing. Beyond the ease of the dual fuel feature, this is a remarkably well-equipped generator at a very agreeable price. With almost 5kW of output, this is an excellent size for keeping your refrigerator cool and your lights on. A small window air conditioning unit is also very possible. It won’t power your entire home, but it is enough to get by comfortably.
The DuroMax XP4850EH is very quiet for its size. At 67 dB, it is among the quietest 5kW models we have reviewed. Noise can be an important consideration when looking at a hurricane generator. Slightly higher noise levels may be fine for a construction site, but a generator powering your home during a storm may have to run for days at a time. Choosing a quieter model will go a long way towards maintaining your, and your neighbor’s, sanity.
The electric start feature is another surprising addition here, especially considering the price. While having an electric starter is unquestionably a luxury rather than a necessity, it is a very nice bonus to not have to hassle with a pull-start in the rain. It also makes it possible to add an inexpensive remote-start system that would allow you to start the generator without going outside.
Overall, this is a fantastic mid-range generator for hurricane scenarios. It’s quiet, efficient, and affordable. The dual-fuel capabilities and efficient operation make it ideal for long-term use, and the quality of DuroMax products is an ever-present source of confidence.
- Electric start
- Fairly heavy
|Start Type: Electric||Engine Size (cc): 208|
|Output: 4,850-Watts||Fuel Type: Gasoline or Propane|
|Voltage (V): 120 or 240||Gasoline Capacity (gal.): 4|
If you live in a storm-prone area, sometimes just “getting by” during a power outage isn’t enough. When you may have to rely on a generator for power for a long time, having more capacity can be a great source of luxury and comfort. The All Power America APGG12000GL is just such a generator. With 12kW of power, this generator can go a long way towards powering your entire home. Just because the grid has failed shouldn’t mean you can’t continue with the comforts of home.
Like the DuroMax above, the APGG12000GL is a dual-fuel model, so you can easily run it off whatever fuel source is the most available and convenient. However, the size, capacity, and features of this model make it extremely well suited for use as a permanent home-backup generator wired into your breaker panel. Thus, you may even want to consider plumbing it into a propane system you already have. If your stove, heat, or dryer is propane-fueled, you likely have a very large reserve tank of propane. By having a professional plumb this generator into that source, you can have an extremely long-lasting source of fuel that is always ready to go. Of course, you can always revert to gasoline if the situation dictates.
The overall output of this model is its main attraction. With 12kW of power, you can easily run all of the lights, electronics, and appliances in your home. Even air conditioning is a distinct possibility. For the price of this generator, it is almost unbelievable how many possibilities it represents. As mentioned above, the features of this unit make it ideal for a permanent home-backup model. It has a 50-amp outlet, which is the standard input for the main circuit panel of a home. Further, it has an electric start for automatic switching. It even has its own breaker panel that fuses each circuit. This is a beautifully well thought out machine.
Even if you choose to use this as a temporary model, it still has plenty of advantages to offer. The electric start is via a key, providing additional security in more precarious situations. It is even fairly efficient, using less than a gallon per hour. The only notable drawback to this unit is noise. At 76 dB, the noise it produces will likely be fairly noticeable. However, given the otherwise excellent feature set and a great price, this aspect can be forgiven. Alternatively, there are very reasonably priced muffler kits available to deaden the drone if desired.
If you don’t want to sacrifice comfort during a storm but still want a great value on a hurricane generator, the All Power America APGG12000GL deserves serious consideration.
- Extremely powerful
- 50-Amp outlet
- Hour meter
- Keyed start
- Somewhat noisy
|Start Type: Electric||Engine Size (cc): 459|
|Output: 12,000-Watts||Fuel Type: Gasoline or Propane|
|Voltage (V): 120 or 240||Gasoline Capacity (gal.): 8|
As any regular of this site will notice, we’re big fans of Champion products. They have consistently delivered high-quality generators with thoughtful features at great prices. The Champion 100402 continues the theme. This is notably the smallest generator of this roundup. As a 2kW suitcase-style inverter generator, this is a fairly small generator by any measure. Thus, it obviously is not going to run your home HVAC or any other large loads. However, we thought it was important to include a small generator in this list because small generators can have a distinct advantage in hurricane situations.
A consistent theme throughout this roundup has been the issue of fuel availability. Quite simply, fuel can be a difficult commodity to source during a hurricane or during reconstruction immediately afterward. One way to combat this is to stock-pile fuel and use multiple fuel sources, as allowed by the dual-fuel models above. However, another approach is to simply use less fuel. It follows that the smaller the generator, the less fuel it is likely to use. This generator is shockingly efficient. It can run up to 11 hours on a mere gallon of fuel, or 24 hours on a 20 lb. propane tank. When fuel is at a premium, you will appreciate this unit’s willingness to sip rather than gulp.
Of course, the downside is that you cannot power as many devices. Champion addressed this issue by offering a parallel port on the 100402, allowing you to couple two of them together for double the capacity. When you need 4,000-watts you can have it, but when you need less you can cut your fuel consumption in half. It’s a great approach when fuel is scarce. Beyond its fuel-sipping attributes, there is a lot to like about this unit. It’s extremely light at only 47 lbs, and quiet at only 53 decibels. There is also a unique set of digital gauges, a first for this class of generator. These gauges make it extremely easy to tell at a glance how much load is being drawn, and how much fuel is left. It’s not a necessity, but it’s a nice touch.
If you are looking for the most efficient and versatile dual-fuel generator for use during the next hurricane season, this is a great option.
- Very light and quiet
- Parallel capable
- Digital gauges
- No 30-Amp output
|Start Type: Recoil||Engine Size (cc): 89|
|Output: 2,000-Watts||Fuel Type: Gasoline or Propane|
|Voltage (V): 120||Gasoline Capacity (gal.): 1.1|
Starting with the power output, this unit produces a staggering 22 kW. This is more power than most homes use in any circumstance, meaning that you’ll be able to continue life without any concessions to the storm brewing outside. Air conditioning, electric stoves, water heaters, and every other appliance should be able to run from this unit with little issue.
The beauty of the Generac units is how seamless they make the entire process. They have automatic switching modules, so they automatically detect when the power has gone out. They can then start, switch the power, and monitor the grid for changes. The 70422 takes this process even further by including WiFi integration. This allows you to monitor the generator’s status remotely and quickly determine its status and whether any maintenance is needed. You can even set it to automatically run periodically to keep the oil circulated and fuel fresh. It takes convenience to the next level.
Generac offers a variety of models that run off various fuels. The 70422 is designed for natural gas or propane, but diesel models are available as well. Although a Generac is a slightly more significant investment, it is one that will pay you back. Not only is a home backup generator an incredible convenience, but it adds value to your home. If power outages are a way of life in your region, getting a home backup unit is one of the best investments you can make.
- Fully automatic
- Powerful enough to run it all
- Can be plumbed to permanent fuel source
- WiFi monitoring
- Adds value to home
- Needs professional installation
- Significant investment
|Start Type: Electric/Automatic||Engine Size (cc): 948|
|Output: 22,000-Watts||F89uel Type: Natural Gas or Propane|
|Voltage (V): 120 and 240||Gasoline Capacity (gal.): N/A|
How to Find the Best Generators for Hurricanes
Purchasing a generator for an impending storm is often a rushed last-minute decision. While a hastily purchased generator may be better than having no power at all, owning a poorly suited generator is a frustrating experience. With a little foresight and information, it is easy to get a generator hurricane ready and properly equipped. Here’s what you need to know.
Consider the Fuel – And the Consumption
Fuel is often one of the largest limitations when trying to run a generator hurricane lengths of time. During a storm or other natural disaster, finding a reliable source of fuel can be tricky. The inclination may be to stockpile fuel ahead of time, but modern gasoline can go bad surprisingly quickly.
In contrast, propane has a much longer shelf-life but can be more difficult to find. To have the best of both worlds, we recommend looking at dual-fuel generators that can run off either gasoline or propane. This allows you to stock-pile propane, but revert to gasoline if needed.
The other consideration is fuel consumption itself. While it is nice to have a mammoth generator to run your entire home, larger generators naturally consume more fuel. Thus, a balance must be achieved between capacity and fuel efficiency. Many shoppers opt to purchase multiple smaller generators to combine the best aspects of efficiency and capacity. If your generators have a coupling or parallel function the utility is even greater.
Most people’s exposure to generators is on a construction site or perhaps while camping. When running a generator for a few minutes in these situations, dealing with a particularly raucous generator might not be an issue.
However, a generator for hurricane use will likely be running for hours on end if not days on end. Thus, noise matters. Storms can be extremely stressful in the best of situations, and adding the stress of a droning engine does not help. Thus, when shopping for the best generator for hurricane season, try to find a model that produces under 70 dB.
Your sanity, and your neighbors, will thank you.
Temporary or Permanent?
If you live in an area with frequent storms or power outages, you may want to consider a permanent home backup generator. Although they cost slightly more upfront, they add value to your home and represent an incredible convenience. They generally turn on automatically and are capable of providing enough power to run your home without compromise. The best generator for hurricane season may just be the one that is already primed and ready to go.
Hurricane generators are often considered a last resort. However, losing power in a storm is almost an inevitability, and having the right generator can make the situation significantly more bearable. Needs will vary, and you should always buy the model that suits your needs the best.
However, the best generator for hurricane season should combine convenience, efficiency, power, and quiet running. Although each generator in this roundup has advantages, the clear winner of the best generator for hurricane preparedness was the Champion 3400. It is not the most powerful, but the overall packaging, features, and convenience make it a true star.
- Dual Fuel – Operate your 3400-watt portable generator right out of the box on either gasoline or propane, plus the unit holds 0.6-quarts of oil (recommended 10W-30) and has a low oil shut-off sensor
- Convenient Electric Start with 3-Position Ignition Switch – Battery included, plus Quick Touch Panel allows you to access all your controls in one spot.Noise Level :59 dBA at 23 feet. Frequency 60 Hz
- Ultra-Quiet Operation – 59 dBA is perfect for RVs, tailgating, your next project or backup power for your home, featuring 3400 starting watts and 3100 running watts with up to 7.5 hours run time on gasoline
- Clean Power for Sensitive Electronics – RV Ready with a 120V 30A RV, plus two 120V 20A household outlets with clean electricity (less than 3% THD) and 12V DC outlet with dual USB adapter
- Champion Support – Includes 3-year limited warranty with FREE lifetime technical support from dedicated experts
Last update on 2023-09-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API