Yuma, Arizona (NAPSI) - Despite increases in their frequency and severity, power outages are still viewed by many people as merely inconvenient. Short outages perhaps four hours or less certainly fall within that category. Beyond that, power outages can start to cost you a lot of money. Here are five ways an extended power outage can impact your checkbook:

• Lost refrigerated and frozen goods. The USDA recommends throwing away refrigerated foods stored for more than two hours at over 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Because refrigerators and freezers can’t stay cold without electricity, an extended power outage can cost you hundreds in spoiled and wasted food.

• Damage to your home. Without a sump pump to keep the basement dry, air-conditioning to prevent moisture and mold, or heat to keep pipes from freezing, you could suffer damage to your home in the thousands of dollars.

• Expenses from staying at a hotel or eating out. If you have no heat or running water, you might have to move the family into a hotel for a night or two. Add restaurant tabs to that and you’ve lost another couple hundred dollars.

• Additional costs for short-term goods. If you choose to remain in your home, you will need to invest in batteries for radios and flashlights, coolers to store food, and ice to keep that food cold.

• Loss of income. Depending on the impact on your home and family, you might have to spend a few days away from work. If you work from home, you stand to really lose income during a power outage.

To learn more about backup power systems that can help you avoid additional costs related to power outages, visit the Generac website at www.generac.com.