Generator etiquette at its best

Just when we got comfortable again after the loss of power from Hurricane Irene, the Hallowinter storm hit, dragging down power lines.

People who didn’t buy a generator before flocked to the stores Saturday and Sunday. That included my son who lives in Allentown. All the box stores were out, but one little hardware store in Brodheadsville still had one. Hooray for the little guy! It was like Christmas! With snow and everything…

When Erik stopped at the house and got the generator out of the box, it gleamed like a shiny new toy.

They watched football with us and then headed home to hook it up to the fireplace blower. Just one problem…It was too loud to use at night. I told him to go ahead anyway. My granddaughter is 3 and she needs to stay warm.  The generator worked, but just what would the neighbors say?

One woman at the office complained the next day that her neighbors ran the generator day and night. It was loud and stinky. Here’s the objectionable part: They were running it just so they could watch TV. Probably football.

Is there such a thing as generator etiquette? Maybe, it’s the golden rule. “Do onto others as you would have them do to you.”

Sergio Santos of East Stroudsburg tried to be considerate. “Yes, I ran my generator from 4 p.m. Saturday to about 10 p.m.  I shut it off because it’s pretty loud and the house was still around 65° by the time we went to bed.”

He added, “My neighbor ran his all night and it did not bother us.”

I remember my neighbor running his generator all night in the aftermath of Irene. He needed to run his sump pump. Frankly, the sound was soothing in the all-too-quiet night.

I went to sleep dreaming of the power coming back on.

Sergio started his generator back up on Sunday morning with the intention of keeping it on as long as the power was out(came back around noon that day). “The house was down to 58° by morning and with a 12 and 2 year old in a cold home, neighborly consideration was out the window.”

He didn’t want to be rude, but it was cold and he had to look out for his family. Understood.

Jeff Steiner of Dingmans Ferry gave us the definition of generator etiquette. “Generator etiquette is throwing a long extension cord over to your neighbor and telling them to plug in their refrigerator and the coffee maker….”

Now that’s my kind of neighbor…


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