According to a recent national survey, almost 70% of U.S. adults who endure a power outage are saddled with subsequent household costs.

A Harris Interactive survey sponsored by Briggs & Stratton Corporation found 69% of U.S. adults surveyed, who had experienced an outage for more than 12 hours in the last two years, reported household costs ranging from spoiled food replacement to property damage repair.

"Power outages are sometimes regarded merely as an inconvenience that will be over shortly, but there are a lot of real-world issues that can occur when the power goes out," said Amanda Grandy, marketing manager for Briggs & Stratton. "This survey brings to light the issues that can affect a family when the home goes dark and hopefully gets people thinking about preparing now before the next outage."

According to the survey, 40% of respondents who endured an outage in the last two years identified replacing spoiled food as the most common outage-related cost. Supply purchases (e.g. firewood, blankets, candles, flashlights) were made by 29% of respondents, followed by portable generator purchases (16%), lost wages from work time off (13%), property damage (11%), and hotel stay during power outage (8%) were other outage-related costs reported.

The 11% reporting property damage (e.g. sump pump repair, basement flooding clean up and theft) had the highest costs. The group reported an average cost of $1,916. The second highest cost pales in comparison with the 16% who purchased a portable generator averaging $650.

"The survey showed the importance having lights on and appliances running properly in your home to ensure your family and home are safe," Grandy said. "Standby generator systems are the best way to prevent power outages from creating unwanted costs."

Standby generators turn on automatically when a utility power outage is detected and provides the home with a seamless supply of power. When utility power is restored, the home standby generator automatically powers off. In addition to the basics such as lights and refrigerator, other common home appliances operated by a standby generator include air conditioners, heaters, electric stoves, clothes washers/dryers.