Have you ever said in a panic, “Where are those flashlights?!” Or, “Don’t open the refrigerator!” If so, it’s likely you have experienced a power outage. And, perhaps you mumbled to yourself, “We should have bought a generator.”

Yes, there are many reasons to invest in a generator, either a portable, standby, or inverter unit. Here are five important reasons to consider:

Natural Disasters

Natural disasters – storms, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes – often trigger power outages. According to EM-DAT, the database maintained by the U.S. Foreign Office of Disaster Assistance, natural disasters have increased in frequency over the past several decades. Our dependence on power has increased too. It includes lighting, HVAC, refrigeration and appliances, water, media entertainment, computers, and device charging.

The FDA recommends disposing of food in a refrigerator lacking power for as little as four hours. Houses with sump pumps rely on those systems during heavy rains. Without power, these pumps are useless to prevent flood damage.

Technology Reliance

The 2017 State of Telecommuting Report, commissioned by FlexJobs and Global Workplace Analytics, found the number of individuals telecommuting increased 115% in the previous decade. Telecommuters rely heavily on computers, phones, printers, tablets, and fax machines to connect with employers and clients. Significant power outages mean missed deadlines, confused communications, and lost opportunities.

Well Water

Loss of power affects homes and businesses dependent upon individual wells for their water. Filtration systems and well pumps cannot deliver fresh, safe, potable water during a power outage.

Electric Vehicles

Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular, but they need to be charged regularly. A significantly long outage can jeopardize your personal transportation.

Insurance Benefits

On the plus side, owning a generator can save you money. These generators protect your home from outage-related emergencies while you are away, avoiding costly property repairs and insurance claims. Some insurance providers offer discounts to homeowners who install generators. (Homeowners need to provide documentation their generator was installed by a licensed professional.)

The forces of nature are unpredictable – and can wreak unexpected havoc. Accidents and technical or shortage issues with electric providers can also jeopardize your home’s power supply. Now is the time to consider backing up your supply with the right generator for your home.