Prepare for power outages

Published 8:53 am Thursday, October 16, 2014

Are you prepared? I know my power flickered recently and made me think about this week’s tip from Do 1 Thing. Power: Acquire and learn how to safely use a portable generator.

Using a properly connected generator of adequate size during a power outage will reduce or almost eliminate the impact a power outage has on your life. Before you buy a generator, talk to an electrician about the size and type you need. Think about what you want your generator to run. Generators can be used to keep food cool, provide lights and electricity for phones and television, power furnace blowers and pumps.

The best way to use a portable generator is to connect it to your home using a transfer switch installed by a licensed electrician. This will keep the power from overloading the wiring in your home. It will also keep the power from your generator from traveling back into the power lines, which can injure or kill people working on power lines, or can unexpectedly re-energize downed power lines near your home. You may also connect equipment directly to the outlets on the generator, but be sure that any extension cords are of the proper length and gauge to handle the power requirements.

Remember: Always run generators outside. Never use a generator inside a house, in a basement, or garage. Never use a cord from a generator to back feed a circuit in your house.


Hunter safety

I remember being a 7th grade student and sitting at school on a Thursday and Friday night and a Saturday morning attending a hunter safety course. I couldn’t wait to get my hunter orange vest and get my patch sewn on. Last week, as a Hunter Safety Instructor, I participated with another hunter safety course. It’s always exciting seeing young people, and their adults, sitting there learning of Michigan’s proud history of hunting and safety. The following is copied from the DNR’s Hunting Guide:

Michigan has a long, rich tradition of hunting. In Michigan, hunting contributes to wildlife management and conservation, provides a positive family experience and increased recreational opportunity, and is good for the economy. Safe hunting begins with hunter education. Michigan’s hunter education program has had a dramatic impact on reducing hunting incidents in our state. Courses are offered year-round throughout the state, though most occur during August, September and October. The typical course consists of two sessions with a total class time of 10-12 hours.

Students also can use the Internet to complete a part of the hunter education course. The online course can be found at


Rob Herbstreith is a Michigan State Police trooper. Questions or comments can be emailed to