This year's hurricane season is predicted to be a busy one with above-average activity, according to a recent report released by Colorado State University. Sponsored by the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Preparedness Week aims to increase public awareness of emergency preparation and the upcoming season that runs from June 1 through November 30. Beginning on May 26, the weeklong emergency preparedness event provides a good opportunity for those living in hurricane-prone areas to take steps to help ensure their family and home is safe before a storm hits.

After a 2012 hurricane season that produced twice as many storms as projected, forecasters anticipate 18 named storms, nine hurricanes and four intense category 3 or stronger hurricanes for 2013.

"Taking the right precautions and planning ahead are especially important this year as families think about how to mitigate the damage of a hurricane affecting their home," said Amanda Grandy, marketing manager for Briggs & Stratton Corporation (NYSE: BGG). "An ideal way for homeowners to prepare for a power outage is to install a standby generator system such as the new Briggs & Stratton 8-10 kilowatt Standby Generator."

Fueled by liquid propane or natural gas, standby generators automatically keep the power on when a home's primary power source goes out, allowing homeowners to run appliances like air conditioners, heaters, refrigerators, sump pumps, clothes washers/dryers and lights.

"Our new 8-10 kW Standby Generator is an affordable option for families taking a stand against letting power outages interrupt their life," Grandy said. "Its compact design gives homeowners more placement options while its powerful Briggs & Stratton engine helps ensure all of the home's basic appliances are covered by backup power."

For those needing an immediate solution to power select key appliances during an outage, a portable generator, such as the new 6250-Watt Storm Responder, is the perfect solution.

Coupled with step-by-step startup, shutdown and storage instructions, the Storm Responder features a safety guide printed directly on the unit to maximize ease of use. Simple diagrams indicate the correct oil and fuel to use, which appliances can be plugged in and where the unit should be placed while in use.

"To avoid injury when using portable generators, it's important that homeowners follow key safety measures," said Eric Loferski, marketing director for Briggs & Stratton. "Portable generators should only be used outdoors and away from open windows or doors to avoid fumes from entering the home. To guarantee that the generator continues providing power when needed, homeowners should read and follow the manufacturer's operating and maintenance instructions."

In addition to preparing a home to maintain power following a storm, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Ready campaign offers a host of ways for families to prepare their home for a hurricane, including:

  • Cover all of the home's windows with precut plywood or hurricane shutters to protect windows from high winds and further secure the home by closing shutters
  • Bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down
  • Keep all trees and shrubs well trimmed to increase wind resistance

Visit for more tips on how to keep your family safe during a hurricane.