ALVA, Fla.-- Back in 2004, a lot of people were unprepared for Hurricane Charley. Without electricity for days, people scrambled to get their hands on generators, including the owner of an electrical contracting firm! But it's what the owner has done since that fateful August that he hopes will make all the difference in the world the next time a storm hits.
"I should have planned for it but I was caught with my pants down like everybody else," Chipper Fitz, owner of Elite Electrical Contractors tells WINK News about Hurricane Charley.
At the time, Fitz was hunkered down with his extended family with no electricity and no generator. Despite owning an electrical contracting firm, Fitz says getting his hands on a generator was still tough.
"The employees all had them at their homes so I had to basically go to one of the employees that was staying with someone else and get it off his truck so we could run it at our house," Fitz says.
That's when Fitz decided he had to take action.
"I decided when we built the new house I would put in a system that would give me some relief; some piece of mind."
So Fitz brought in the mother of all generators.
"This system will run up to two weeks uninterrupted with your house just the way you live-- always live. It runs the pool, the AC, the t.v., whatever. It's like it's no different," Fitz explains.
Now, Fitz's whole house could lose electricity and his family would never even know; except for a minor 3 second delay and light flicker. Nowadays, generators like Fitz's are more common.
He says, "Now it's kind of a standard. In the high-end homes, the multi-million dollar homes, they'll all try to design a generator into the system."
The most popular generators are still the machines that are more affordable. At a price tag of about $40,000 a generator like the one in place at Fitz's home isn't for everybody. Some of the cheaper options out there will run between $500 and $1300 and will be able to run a couple of appliances at a time-- not your whole house.