Best Hurricane Generator for Storm Preparedness in 2021

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season started on June 1. This being the case, you may be concerned that it is too late to ensure you have a hurricane generator at the ready in case of a worst-case scenario. After all, it’s predicted to be an above-average hurricane season this year, and these storms are incredibly likely to threaten Gulf and East Coast states in the coming months, through the summer and into fall.

Within the past ten years, over a dozen hurricanes have hit coastal and island communities throughout the United States, Central America, and the Caribbean. Affecting everything from seaside towns to inland areas, islands to ships, nowhere seems to be safe from the devastating winds, deluges of rain, and massive storm surge.

In many cases, millions of residents have been forced to survive without electricity and potentially running water for days to weeks, until highly overwhelmed electric and utility companies can restore power. I can speak from experience. After Hurricane Irma hit Florida, we experienced damaging winds and extreme flooding in our area, that ultimately led to 48 hours spent without electricity. The temperatures in the house reached 88 degrees, and we pledged to set up the generator. A few hours later, luckily, the power came back on.

Don’t be like us. Now is the time to prepare yourself for these powerful storms. While there isn’t anything that can be done to control the weather and potential destruction caused by hurricanes, there are things that can be done to ensure you, your family, your home and your possessions remain comfortable and safe during and after tropical weather.

In addition to stocking up on essentials like batteries, flashlights, bottled water, and first aid supplies, investing in a hurricane generator is one decision that you will surely not regret when the potential for power outages are forecasted.

Note: Concerned about safety and maintenance of a generator during a hurricane? Our articles How To Use A Generator During A Hurricane: A Guide For 2021 and Great Generator Enclosures for Rain and Snow will help alleviate some of that associated stress.

Making Sure You Get the Best Hurricane Generator

With a high-quality, effective hurricane generator on hand, you will be able to:

  • Keep perishable foods cold and fresh
  • Operate appliances such as your microwave for quick cooking
  • Power small air conditioning systems and fans to keep your home cool
  • Light parts of your home once the sun goes down

Additionally, if you or your family members rely on medical devices running on electrical power, a good-quality generator is absolutely crucial, especially if you live in hurricane-prone areas in the Gulf Coast and East Coast, Central America, or the Caribbean.

So when is the best time to purchase a hurricane generator? Would you be surprised if we said that time was now? Grabbing a hurricane generator when availability is higher and prices remain moderate.

Conversely, if you wait until a swirling monster is chugging along and you’re in the cone of uncertainty, it is likely that you will rush to your local hardware store or big box retailer only to find empty shelves and seriously inflated prices.

Before things become too late, see below for our recommendations for the best hurricane generators for a variety of needs and situations. We split them into large portable generators, small portable generators, and permanent whole-home options.

The Best Large Portable Hurricane Generators

Below is a table for our four recommended large portable generators for hurricane preparedness. This includes our top recommendation, as well as three alternatives.


Our Top Recommendation: Generac GP7500E Large Portable Generator

generac gp7500eWith nearly every element of our daily lives depending on electrical power—from hot showers to charging our mobile phones—storm-related power outages can be incredibly stressful, especially when they last for many days. Having a large portable generator can help you maintain some semblance of normalcy in the days following a major storm, and the Generac GP7500E Home Generator is a well-rounded workhorse that offers excellent value.

The sturdy exterior of the Generac GP7500E is designed to last through many years of use, with a thick steel-tube cradle, rugged internal brackets and impact-resistant joints encasing the motor. A steel fuel tank provides longevity, and the unit includes a low-oil shutdown feature to prevent damage to the motor if the oil level gets too low.

When it comes to capacity, the Generac GP7500E is capable of powering multiple small appliances or several large, power-hungry items that need to run continuously, such as a refrigerator. The large fuel tank minimizes the frequency with which you’ll have to refuel it, which is particularly convenient after a hurricane when roads are often filled with debris and driving to a gas station may be difficult or impossible.

The unit comes with oil and detailed instructions, along with an intuitive design that allows you to go from box to operation in about 15 minutes. A convenient, easy-to-read fuel gauge and accessible controls make this generator extremely user-friendly, even to those not familiar with gas-powered devices, and built-in maintenance notifications ensure smooth operations for years to come.

For such a powerful generator, the Generac GP7500E is surprisingly easy to move. Weighing in at just under 200 pounds, a fold-down locking handle and heavy-duty, never-flat wheels allow you to take the unit where you need it. The relatively quiet extended-run engine minimizes noise and permits continuous operation with reduced noise fatigue.

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Comparable Alternative Large Portable Hurricane Generator Options

If the Generac GP7500E doesn’t fit the bill, below are some details of our three comparable alternative large portable hurricane generator options.

DuroMax XP12000EH Large Portable Generator

If you’re looking additional power and flexibility, the dual-fuel DuroMax XP12000EH can operate using propane or gasoline as its fuel source. Producing 9,500 running watts, this unit can handle heavy loads from lights and a refrigerator to a home air conditioner and power tools. The sturdy, all-metal frame includes an oversized noise reducing muffler and built-in spark arrestor for smooth and quiet operation.

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DuroStar DS10000EH Large Portable Generator

With this unit, you’ll be ready to weather any storm, thanks to a dual-fuel system that can use either gasoline or propane to produce 10,000 watts of power. The convenient keyed electric start and optional recoil start make it easy to operate, and the all-copper windings and three-year factory warranty guarantee longevity and peace of mind.

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Pulsar G12KBN Dual-Fuel Large Portable Generator

Like the previous two models, the Pulsar G12KBN can be operated from gasoline as well as propane, which can be easier to acquire and store during natural disasters. It generates 12,000 watts of starting power and 9,500 watts of running power, allowing you to keep your fridge, fans and other critical items running during an extended power outage. Other convenient features include electric push start, large fuel tank, drop-down handles and never-flat wheels.

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The Best Small Portable Hurricane Generators

Below is a table for our four recommended small portable generators for hurricane preparedness. This includes our top recommendation, as well as three alternatives.


Our Top Recommendation: DuroMax XP4400EH Small Portable Generator

duromax xp4400ehIf you’re not ready to make the investment in a large generator, a small portable generator can still provide enough power to get you through a multi-day power outage with significantly less discomfort.

The DuroMax XP4440EH offers hybrid technology that permits operation using either gasoline or propane. Producing 4,400 starting watts and 3,500 running watts, this generator provides 8 hours of use at 50 percent load. It’s ideal for running small appliances and lighting, but may not be sufficient to handle long-term operation of large appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners or water heaters.

The unit is highly portable, thanks to durable wheels attached to the base as well as its 116-pound weight and compact size, which also provides for convenient storage. The keyed electric starter makes it a snap to get going, although it also includes a recoil starter as an alternative. It’s also surprisingly quiet, which you’ll appreciate after a day or two of hearing the incessant drone of generators around your neighborhood.

Additionally, the unit is ideal for non-storm use, such as yard or shop work, camping trips and tailgate parties.

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Comparable Alternative Small Portable Hurricane Generator Options

If the DuroMax XP4400EH doesn’t fit the bill, below are some details of our three comparable alternative small portable hurricane generator options.

Briggs & Stratton 30676 Small Portable Generator

This gas-powered generator comes with the trusted Briggs & Stratton name along with 3,500 watts of running power to keep the lights on and your food cold after a storm. The Power Surge Alternator has the muscle to start large household appliances and tools simultaneously, while circuit breaker protection, rubber outlet covers and easy-to-read angled control panel ensure safe and smooth operation, even in low-light situations. The 115-pound unit is outfitted with 7-inch never-flat wheels for convenient portability.

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Champion 4000 Watt Generator Open-Frame Inverter

Weighing in at a breezy 82 pounds, Champion’s innovative Digital Hybrid is 50 percent quieter and 20 percent lighter than a traditional 3500-watt generator. Advanced features include Quiet Technology, Extended Run Time, Economy Mode and Clean Power, allowing for extensive use during power outages, camping trips and more.

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DuroStar DS4400E Small Portable Generator

This durable, dependable unit produces 4,400 starting watts and 3,500 running watts. The 7 HP air-cooled, gas-powered engine includes a low oil shutoff feature to protect your investment, and the strong steel frame and four-point isolated motor ensure longevity and smooth operation.

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The Best Whole Home Hurricane Generators

Below are our four recommended whole home hurricane generator options to ensure your home can run without a hitch if standard power goes out during a storm. This includes our top recommendation, as well as three alternatives. If you want a more all-encompassing guide outside of hurricane generator capacity, please see our comprehensive guide Diving Into the Best 5 Whole Home Generator Options.

Additional whole home generator resources can be found in the following articles:

Our Top Recommendation: Generac 7039 Guardian Whole Home Generator

generac 7039While the price tag is several orders of magnitude higher than its portable competitors, the Generac 7039 Guardian Series permanent generator may be a smart investment if you live in an area that sees one or two major hurricanes every season.

This hardworking unit is powered by Generac’s groundbreaking G-Force Engine, which includes cold smart start technology, a thermal safety switch, low oil pressure sensor, extended run times and maximum efficiency. It’s also the only engine in its class with an oil filtration system that removes debris from oil, enhancing its performance and extending its life.

Unlike smaller portable generators, you won’t have to pick and choose which appliances you can live without during a power outage—this 20,000-kilowatt monster can support the power needs of your entire house, allowing you to continue living your life as if the storm had never happened. It also comes with True Power Technology for clean, safe operation of delicate electronics and appliances.

Generac’s Evolution Controller features a multilingual LCD display that allows users to monitor battery status and maintenance schedules to keep the generator in prime operating condition, and Mobile Link Remote Monitoring lets you see the status of your generator from anywhere in the world with your mobile device or computer.

The Generac 7039 is protected by a five-year limited warranty, and the RhinoCoat finish ensures the unit will stand up to the elements for many more years of use.

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Comparable Alternative Whole Home Hurricane Generator Options

If the Generac 7039 doesn’t fit the bill, below are some details of our three comparable alternative whole home hurricane generator options.

Briggs & Stratton 40346 20kW Whole Home Generator

This highly efficient, compact unit uses Briggs & Stratton’s Symphony II Power Management technology to balance the needs of high-demand appliances, such as your central air conditioner and electric oven, with lower-demand items to maintain power to your entire house. An automotive-style exhaust system and sound-reducing technology make this generator 50 percent quieter than most portable generators. A five-year warranty protects your investment.

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Cummins RS20AC 20kW Whole Home Generator

This package includes a 200-amp service entrance rated automatic transfer switch, which connects the main meter and service panel for streamlined installation. Protected by a sturdy, weather-resistant aluminum and steel enclosure, the unit can operate consistently in temperatures as low as 0 °F, meaning you’ll stay comfortable even when an ice or snow storm knocks out power to the rest of the neighborhood.

A sound-dampening feature keeps noise to a minimum, while smart technology allows you to monitor the status of the unit from your phone, tablet or computer.

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Kohler 20RESCL 20kW Whole Home Generator

Within 10 seconds of a power outage, the Kohler 20RESCL comes to life to restore electricity to your entire house, including your air conditioner, major appliances and electronics. It’s powered by the reliable Kohler Command PRO engine, a heavy-duty, commercial-grade system designed to withstand extreme weather.

With noise levels on par with a typical air conditioning unit, your neighbors won’t even know you’re operating it—until you invite them over to cool off and enjoy a hot meal during an extended outage.

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Our Final Thoughts On Hurricane Generator Options

If you live in a region that frequently experiences hurricanes, tornadoes or other major storms, investing in some type of backup generator is a wise move. If you’re on a limited budget, a small portable generator may do the trick. If you can spend a bit more, a large portable generator will get you through an extended outage while still enjoying most creature comforts.

However, if price is no obstacle, purchasing a permanent backup generator will ensure that every aspect of your household continues running smoothly through storms, utility failure and other power issues—and it’s an attractive feature to add to your listing should you decide to sell your home in the future.

Note: Concerned about safety and maintenance of a generator during a hurricane? Our articles How To Use A Generator During A Hurricane: A Guide For 2021 and Great Generator Enclosures for Rain and Snow will help alleviate some of that associated stress.

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