Hurricane Dorian highlights booming market for power generators

Hurricane Dorian strengthened to a deadly Category 5 storm early Sunday, sending some Americans scrambling to prepare ahead of the Labor Day holiday.

Currently packing maximum sustained winds of 160 as it slams into the Bahamas, Dorian is expected to make U.S. landfall by Wednesday. While the current path of the storm means it will miss Florida, the Carolinas may be in jeopardy — and those citizens are looking for ways to protect themselves.

Thanks to weather events like Dorian, the global industrial generator sets market is in high demand. It is projected to expand its share by 200 thousand units by the year 2025, according to the latest research published by Market Study Report.

“What we typically see is people running these [back-up generators] for up to a couple of weeks, maybe even longer,” Generac Power Systems (GNRC) CEO Aaron Jagdfeld told Yahoo Finance during a recent interview.

Farah and Max Cicardini fill sand bags at the parking of the Big Easy Casino on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019 in Hallandale Beach, Fla., as they prepare for Hurricane Dorian.

“With Puerto Rico and Hurricane Maria last year we had people running our products for upwards of 6 months, but that is an extreme case,” he said, adding that power outages for the average household typically last for a couple of days.

“Having a product like this really makes a massive difference in whether you can stay in your home or whether you have to seek shelter somewhere else,” the CEO noted.

“We’re all so dependent on a constant source of electricity today that living in your home without power is really untenable,” he added.

‘Hard to ignore’ climate change impact

Generac Power Systems is up roughly 56% year-to-date — a stock rally fueled by natural disasters. Jagdfeld attributed the surge in Mother Nature’s wrath as a function of climate change.

“Temperatures are rising and a lot of those temperature increases manifest themselves in warmer water temperatures, warmer air temperatures —you get more severe weather on the back of that,” he explained.

About “70 percent of all power outages are caused by the severity of weather, so as weather becomes more severe you’re going to have more outages,” Jagdfeld said. “So a lot of homes and businesses have decided that they need to have a back-up plan.”

But at the end of the day, the executive reiterated it all comes down to being prepared.

“I think when it comes to an event like [2005’s Hurricane] Katrina or any major storm like Dorian we learn from things that have happened in the past — the preparedness aspect of this with any kind of weather system is incredibly important,” he warned.

“The more time you have to react, the more time you have to plan and, in particular, evacuate,” Jagdfeld said. “Heed those warnings because I think being out of the storm’s harm is really the best way to protect yourself and your family.”

Alexandra Canal is a Producer at Yahoo Finance.

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