Worried about losing power? Don't buy a generator yet

Since Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast, alternative power has been a hot topic. But running out and buying a generator is not the first step you want to take.

Experts say getting your home electrical system ready is where you should begin. If your home is already set up with a transfer switch and is ready to go, you'll have the edge on everybody else when the power goes out.

You want to determine what essentials you'll want to power up in case of a power outage. Those are the circuits that a licensed electrician will wire up to your transfer switch. That might include the microwave, refrigerator, sump pumps, and lighting circuits.

For about $3500, you can have a high-quality generator and transfer switch installed that will provide enough power to ride out a long outage comfortably. Keep in mind that when the power is out, a lot of generators are stolen; so make sure you have your outside outlet in a place that's not easily visible from the street.

Whatever you buy, buy local. If you have problems, you don't want to deal with shipping the unit off for repair. See you next week!

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