David Garcia knows what it takes to survive a disaster. He joined the fire department in the Gulf Coast city of Waveland, Mississippi, at age 19. During four decades of service, he helped neighbors recover from multiple hurricane-related disasters. After Hurricane Katrina dismantled the city in 2005, Garcia, then fire chief, surveyed the devastation. All municipal buildings were lost, including the police department building, fire stations and the city hall.  

Garcia knows first hand what it’s like to go without power for days on end. Portable generators are a common sight (and sound) in Waveland during hurricane season, and Garcia has become familiar with their benefits — and their dangers.  

“There’s nothing wrong with portable generators as long as the person using it is familiar with them and keeps it a safe distance from their home, not letting the fumes get back in their home, and always keeps a fire extinguisher nearby,” says Garcia.

As Garcia and his wife grew older and got into retirement age, he wanted to ensure they would be prepared for the disruptive weather and power outages without having to leave the house. He knew portable generators were a lot of work and he was looking for a more permanent, reliable option. 

Motivated by the uncertainty of the pandemic and the beginning of hurricane season, Garcia felt it was time to purchase a whole home generator. He was unsure of what the future held, but wanted to take control of his own situation by making sure he had power at all times.

Dependable service

Garcia purchased his generator through Bay Motor Winding, a dealer located in nearby Long Beach, Mississippi. When Garcia called about having a generator installed, he was impressed to learn that the Briggs & Stratton generator came with a 10-year warranty. He was already interested in the brand. 

“Their reputation speaks for itself,” says Garcia, and with the added benefit of the warranty, he purchased the 20kW standby generator without hesitation. 

In addition to a reliable product, Garcia appreciates that he was able to purchase the generator from a reliable local dealer and service provider. 

“They come out twice every year to change the oil on the generator, every two years to change the battery, and before and after every hurricane season to ensure everything is working properly,” says Garcia. 

As he grows older, Garcia appreciates the help needed to keep his generator well maintained. Fortunately, he was able to find a great servicer that comes to the property to do all of the work for him when requested.

"I’m proud to say the Briggs & Stratton generator ran so well for me for four days straight after Hurricane Zeta battered the city with high winds, downing power lines ... Their reputation speaks for itself."

Reliable backup power

The generator has served Garcia’s home well since the installation. Even with all the family’s appliances and devices plugged in, the power company tested the generator and found it was only using 18 percent of the 20kW available. 

“Every clock plugged in and every lamp, the lights and the ceiling fan on, and 3 televisions on. Everything was on as normal,” says Garcia, “You could even say I had power left over.” 

The generator kicked on during a 2021 winter cold snap, which wreaked havoc across the south. Before the Garcias could even get out of bed, they heard the device power on and found everything working normally. 

“I’m proud to say the Briggs & Stratton generator ran so well for me for four days straight after Hurricane Zeta battered the city with high winds, downing power lines,” says Garcia, “I didn’t even have to throw out a gallon of milk.”

Lack of power used to force the Garcias to evacuate their home during the intense storms of hurricane season. Now, thanks to a Briggs & Stratton generator, they don’t plan to leave their home unless necessary.

“Knowing how to track hurricanes and how they travel, we used to determine when it was best to evacuate,” he says. “But now we won't evacuate because I have a Briggs & Stratton 20kW generator safely anchored with an automatic transfer switch for my home, and as long as we're not getting storm surge, we have no plans to evacuate.”

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