From Minnesota to Florida, helping a veteran's family rebuild

After sustaining devastating water and wind damage as a result of Hurricane Michael, the Patron family's home was barely livable.

In the upcoming season of "Military Makeover," Cummins employees rally together to help a Florida family rebuild their home. 

Cody Patron and her daughter, Layla, are re-building their lives, the result of Hurricane Michael severely damaging their home in October 2018. But Hurricane Michael is just the second tragedy that Cody has experienced in the last decade.The first took place eight years ago and more than 7,000 miles away.

Cody’s husband, Sergeant Daniel J. Patron, who served more than a decade in the Marine Corps, earned the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star Medals for his heroic service. On August 6, 2011, he was killed in action in Sangin Valley, Afghanistan. 

Since her husband's death, Cody has drawn on her military family to cope and adapt. With the help of a strong support system and some kind strangers, she’s trying to not let Hurricane Michael get in her way. Sometimes, however, that can be a tough one to overcome.

Cummins and "Military Makeover," a home improvement series airing on Lifetime, recently partnered to help the Patrons overcome this latest challenge by renovating the family’s home in Panama City Beach, Florida. Cody and Layla have peace of mind in their renovated home, knowing that a Cummins QuietConnect home standby generator is there to keep their lights on and appliances running during the next power outage.

A total team effort

Bringing this peace of mind to Cody and Layla was a team effort, and we recently sat down with three team members who helped design, manufacture and install the Cummins home generator for the Patron family.

Dan Priem, of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota and an Engineering Manager at Cummins, was part of the team that designed the Cummins QuietConnect generator sets.

Cummins Military Makeover
Several Cummins employees, including those pictured here, helped design, manufacture and install the Cummins home generator at the Patron family's home in Florida. 

"It makes me proud to work for a company that supports veterans and their families, and is willing help those who have made the ultimate sacrifice," Priem said. "Partnering with Military Makeover to help Cody and Layla was a great opportunity for Cummins to demonstrate our gratitude. I’m sure the Cummins QuietConnect will bring many years of security and comfort to the Patron family."

Raam Thiyagarajan, also of Maple Grove, Minnesota and a manufacturing leader at Cummins, manages the team that assembles Cummins QuietConnect generator sets.

"At Cummins, we always focus on giving back to the community. My team and I are proud and honored to hear that one of our products is keeping the Patron family safe, secure and comfortable regardless of the weather outside," said Thiyagarajan. "As always, we will continue to support our communities and customers by producing the best products." 

Jonny Miller, owner of Cummins-authorized dealer Ronco Generators in Destin, Florida, led a team that helped install the Patron’s new Cummins generator.

"We are pleased to have been a part of this special project," Miller added. "After suffering back-to-back tragedies, the Patron family will have confidence knowing they have a Cummins back-up generator to power their home and lives in the event of another power outage." 

Where to watch the episode and learn about career opportunities at Cummins for veterans

If you are interested in learning more about Cody and Layla’s experience with "Military Makeover" and their Cummins QuietConnect generator, follow us on Facebook or watch the upcoming episodes featuring the Patron family’s journey starting Friday, August 30 at 7:30 a.m. ET on Lifetime.

Active duty members of the military and military veterans can can learn about career opportunities at Cummins by visiting our careers website

If, like the Patrons, your family lives in an area susceptible to severe weather and power outages, use our online generator size calculator to understand how much power your family needs. 
 

Aytek Yuksel - Cummins Inc

Aytek Yuksel

Aytek Yuksel is the Content Marketing Leader for Cummins Inc., with a focus on Power Systems markets. Aytek joined the Company in 2008. Since then, he has worked in several marketing roles and now brings you the learnings from our key markets ranging from industrial to residential markets. Aytek lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife and two kids.

Hypothermia: The hidden danger you should prepare for

Hypothermia: The hidden danger you should prepare for

Have you ever been really cold? Like teeth-chattering, shivering like crazy, cold? Would you believe that, at that moment, you were suffering from mild hypothermia?

If you are like most people, that probably sounds crazy. And for good reason. Except for people climbing huge mountains, or hiking in Alaska, hypothermia is just not something you’ve ever had to worry about. Right?

Now, what if you were told that the CDC recorded an average of 1,301 hypothermia deaths per year in the US between 1999-2011? That many of those deaths were regular people in regular places, who just ventured out or were otherwise unprepared during a severe winter storm?

What if you were told that you can get hypothermia in your own home during a winter storm, and you might not even realize it was happening? 

Not only is hypothermia a very real danger to anyone in a home without heat during a winter storm, but that danger can happen anywhere it snows. So recognizing the signs of hypothermia, how to prevent it, and also how to treat it, can prevent one of your loved ones from becoming another number on that CDC bar chart.

What Is Hypothermia, Really?

Hypothermia is a condition where your core body temperature falls below 95° F, and your body is losing heat faster than it can produce it. To better understand the idea, think of the human body like trying to fill a bucket with holes in it. The holes let a certain amount of water escape the bucket, and as long as you fill the bucket at the same rate, the water level will remain in the same place. In balance. Well, if you make the holes bigger, without increasing the amount of water being poured, the bucket will empty faster than it can be filled. Simple.

The human body is just like that bucket. Our balanced temperature is 98.6° F. To maintain that balance and keep us alive, our body can either produce heat through shivering, or give off heat through sweating. 

But when we are exposed to cold temperatures, our body starts losing heat faster than it can produce it. Sticking with our analogy, the holes are made bigger but the water can’t be poured any faster. The bucket is destined to empty out.

Back to our body’s, when heat is lost faster than it can be produced, hypothermia is the eventual outcome. And without intervention, hypothermia is fatal.

Since you can’t treat what you don’t recognize, it’s time to learn the symptoms.

Symptoms of Hypothermia

The interesting thing about hypothermia is it’s a deceiving and sneaky condition. When a person is first exposed to cold, they start shivering. That's the bodies natural way of trying to keep warm. If they don't seek shelter, the shivering will increase in strength to try replacing the heat being lost. 

At this point, the individual doesn’t realize anything is wrong besides being uncomfortable. What they don’t know is that hypothermia is already taking hold. As the person stays in the cold, and hypothermia gets worse, the individual may become confused and start to suffer from poor judgement. They will have slower movements, and may even be clumsy. Their hypothermia-fueled confusion will likely prevent them from realizing something is very wrong.

With their core body temperature continuing to fall, their body will make a last-ditch effort to conserve vital energy and stop shivering. This person is now in need of immediate medical help to prevent death. During all of this, the victim likely won’t ever realize how bad their condition is getting. 

If you didn’t realize how important knowing the signs of hypothermia were before, you sure do now. Below is the full list of symptoms: 

Mild hypothermia

  • Pale skin that is cool to the touch
  • Lack of concern about their condition
  • Clumsiness 
  • Slurred speech
  • Difficulty performing routine tasks
  • Poor judgement

Severe hypothermia

  • Stiff muscles
  • Slow pulse
  • Sleepiness or Unconsciousness
  • Severe confusion
  • Shallow breathing
  • The shivering stops

Any, or all, of these severe symptoms may occur. If even a single one of these symptoms is noticed in a cold person, you should assume they are experiencing severe hypothermia and help them get warm immediately.

So, as long as we stay inside this won’t happen. Right? If only that were true...

Hypothermia In Your Home

During a severe winter storm, there's a chance that power could be be knocked out to your home. In fact, a recent Department of Energy report noted that the aging U.S. power grid is no match for the increasingly severe storms that are happening. Without a major overhaul, power outages will only increase.

If you’ve never lost power during a winter storm before, it’s only a matter of time before you do. And, if you’re one of the majority of Americans who heat their homes using some type of fuel-fed burner and pump system, without power, you have no heat.

Depending on how insulated your house is (many are unknowingly, sub-standard), the temperature inside your house can drop to uncomfortable levels in just a few hours. As time goes on, the temperature will continue to drop as heat leaves the house through drafts, leaky windows, and poor insulation. Even with a brand-new, fully-compliant, super insulated home, the heat will still escape. Think about it, if the house could maintain a constant temperature, why would they still have heat?

With that indoor temperature inevitably falling, hypothermia risks start to climb. According to the University of Michigan Medical Center, hypothermia starts to become a real risk at temperatures as high as 50°

Eventually, over a period of time, the inside of your powerless house will try and match the temperature outside. That means you can be sitting on your living room couch, but that couch might as well be in your front yard.

Hypothermia also doesn’t have to be a fast event, either. It can set in slowly, over a period of days, as your body slowly loses its heat edge. Little by little. You may have even experienced this yourself after being in the cold for a long time. Even after coming inside, you just don’t feel warm.

Treating Hypothermia

The #1 treatment for hypothermia is warming the person up! For mild hypothermia, treatment can be as easy as getting the victim to a sheltered spot and wrapping them in blankets. The added insulation gives their body a much needed boost against heat loss, and they will eventually warm themselves back up. For advanced or severe hypothermia, however, you have to be much more aggressive.

In severely hypothermic people, their body’s defense mechanisms have been stretched to the absolute breaking point. In this situation, active warming is needed. An external heat source like an electric blanket, warm water bottles, or even skin-to-skin contact with a warm person, will be required to prevent further damage and reverse the condition. This is not a matter of preference, either, it’s a matter of preventing a critical medical emergency and even death.

And if this occurs during a severe winter storm, with trees and power lines blocking roads, transport to a hospital may not be an option. The truth is, if conditions are bad enough, even 911 can’t respond.

Recognizing and treating hypothermia are two huge steps towards saving a loved one’s life during an extreme winter storm. What if we prevented the situation from even getting that bad in the first place?

Preventing Hypothermia

The best defense against hypothermia is obviously adequate shelter and heat. As long as your power stays on, and the heat keeps pumping, your home will serve your every need towards preventing hypothermia. It could be a blizzard outside, with every road around you blocked up with trees, and you’ll be just fine as long as that power stays on.

That is, after all, how we avoid hypothermia all winter long on a normal basis. We stay inside and we turn on the heat.

The only problem is, that means you are relying on a 50-year old power grid that has created more power outages than any other developed nation, on Earth. Not only do blackouts happen during every significant storm, but the Department of Energy says that rate is on the rise. In the last decade, power outages due to storms have increased 124%. 

So, if keeping the lights on and the heat working can be the difference between life and death during a severe winter disaster, the best prevention tip is to take matters into your own hands by securing your own electricity. 

Whole home standby generators are the single most important investment a family can make towards preparing their home for severe winter weather.

Permanently installed and wired directly into your house, these generators start automatically the moment power is lost, and pick up the slack without missing a beat. No lugging a portable generator out into the snow, no messing with dangerous gas cans with freezing cold fingers, and no worries about carbon monoxide leaking into your house because the generator is too close.

They are the safety net every modern family should have.

And reliable generators, like those built by Cummins Home Generators, are specifically engineered to run like crazy until your power is restored. That could be in an hour, a few days, or even a few weeks. It won’t matter at all to your generator. Cummins has over 100 years of industry experience designing engines that work hard. 

Just like the Cummins generators that protect emergency operations centers, hospitals, and military bases overseas, your home will never be without power or heat. You can go right back to never having to worry about hypothermia again, because your house can’t lose power.

But the good news is, now you know how to recognize hypothermia and treat it. So you can check that box off on the list of things you should be doing to prepare for severe winter weather. And if you want to check off the box labeled “never lose power again”, then locate your nearest Cummins dealer, and get a painless home estimate with financing through Synchrony Bank. 

James Warnet

James Warnet is a freelance direct response copywriter and digital marketer who specializes in the emergency services and first responder markets. With almost two decades of experience as a firefighter, James combines professional experience and deep research to help brands connect with their most valued customers. 

How to prepare before the next big ice storm freezes you in

Ice Storm - Winter - Power Lines

The weather is getting worse and your family may be at risk. Here are some tips to help you and your family prepare for the next big ice storm. 

If you’re anything like the rest of us, at some point this year you were scrolling through your favorite feed and passed an article about the latest severe weather event. The headline probably exclaimed something about the “worst storm on record” or “strongest storm in history”, and it was likely followed by some images of sheer destruction. We’ve all seen them.

And again, if you are anything like the rest of us, you probably thought to yourself “wow, the weather has been crazy lately!” 

Trust us, you are not alone. 

But did you ever pause over that image of devastation and think to yourself “how would I guide my family through something like this?” or “what would we do if this was happening here?”

You should be.

That feeling of “this is crazy” is not wrong. Far from it. In fact, severe weather events are getting more intense and more frequent. You’ve seen it for yourself. 

And as we’re staring down the eventual arrival of winter, the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction center is now favoring a wetter-than-normal winter for the northern half of the United States. With above-average temperatures.

In other words, a weather pattern that is very favorable for producing strong ice storms.

Despite the somewhat magical image of the sun shining off fresh icicles in the crisp morning air, ice storms can actually be the most dangerous and damage-causing storms on the planet. In just a few hours an entire region can be paralyzed by icy roads, no power, and so many downed trees that it can take weeks to clear.

The scary part is, these fast-hitting storms can sweep in with little warning, taking trees and power lines with them. And once the power fails, your once-warm and inviting home can transform into an icebox where your loved ones huddle under blankets, struggling to stay warm. Thousands of dollars worth of food will spoil in your freezer, and one after another, freezing pipes will burst, cascading freezing water through the walls of your home.

Only, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Proper preparation, like the information you’ll find below, can see you and your family through ice storms in comfort and safety. 

That is, as long as you listen to that little internal voice that said “what will we do if this happens here?” and accept that the weather you’ve already seen, isn’t the weather you’ll see in the future.

Severe Weather Is Getting Worse, And More Frequent

Most of us can remember several severe weather events that happened in the last few years. It seemed like every few months we were hearing about the latest “Storm of the Century” or “storm of a lifetime”. 

Here are a few severe weather events from just the last nine years:

  • Halloween 2011, a Nor’easter you might remember as “Snowtober," incapacitated the entire northeast region. The storm set snow accumulation records in at least 20 cities. 3.2 million people in 12 states went without power, some lasting over 10 days.
  • January 28-29, 2014, a very rare severe weather event crippled the deep south, dropping inches of ice in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. The storm was so severe that 233 consecutive miles of Interstate-10 was closed in both directions.
  • March 2017, a severe Nor’easter blanketed the entire Northeast with snow, breaking several records. Snowfall accumulations topped 30” in many spots, with a staggering 48.4” recorded in Ostego County, NY.

A recent article in The New York Times explored the multiple scientific research studies being published that show a strong upward trend in the frequency of severe weather events. 

So our eyes are not deceiving us: severe winter weather events are definitely on the rise. And when they do hit, there is a good chance they will be more severe and damaging than any winter storms we’ve already lived through. 

Why Ice Storms Should Concern You More Than a Blizzard

Reality: an ice storm is not “just another winter storm.”

First: ice is heavy. A half-inch of ice can add 500lbs to power lines or trees and a full inch means 1,000lbs hanging from everything. Even big trees can’t deal with that amount of weight, and it doesn’t take long before they all start falling. Often taking the power lines with them. 

There is also no getting around the fact that the United States is living with a power grid mostly installed in the 1950’s and patched together with “fixes”. A recent Department of Energy report plainly stated that the increasing severity of weather events is guaranteed to continually increase power outages in affected areas. 

Meaning, during an ice storm, power outages are inevitable. 

Second: We aren’t talking about a few trees falling here. We’re talking about dozens of trees per street, all blocking roads, driveways, and houses. And it can take an hour or more to remove larger trees. If there are live power lines tangled in the tree, that tree has to remain untouched until the power company can cut the power.

Buried under their own mountain of emergency calls, the power company may not get to that tree for days. So, if your house is blocked by that tree, you aren’t going anywhere.

That scenario can repeat thousands of times across a region after an ice storm blows through. 

The final factor is the most obvious one: after an ice storm, everything is covered in ice!

Ice makes it difficult to even go outside, let alone clear roads and downed trees. Iced-over streets are nearly impossible to drive on, and icy driveways and walkways lead to falls that break bones or dislocate joints. 

The reality is, if you can’t go somewhere safely, neither can the power company. Or tree workers, firefighters, police officers - even gas station attendants. Everyone is affected by ice.

It’s not hard to see how these three factors can quickly turn a fun “snowstorm” into a nightmare scenario. 

So what can we do?

We prepare.

Preparing for Ice Storms

When it comes to dealing with ice storms, the most important thing to prepare against is the bitter cold.

Without electricity or another heat source, the temperature inside the average house can fall to uncomfortable levels within hours. Left unchecked, a house can get into the 30's in just a few days.

Don’t fool yourself. It doesn’t have to be arctic-frigid in your house for one of your loved ones to start getting hypothermic. The CDC tells us that hypothermia can set in above 40°. Hypothermia is nothing more than your body losing heat faster than it can produce it. So if your loved ones feel cold, then they can also get hypothermia.

Don’t leave that to chance by saying “well that will never happen to us”.

In 2019, a Milwaukee woman’s body was found frozen in her home after her heat went out during a severe winter storm

Prepare For The Cold With These Easy Tips:

  • Keep a stockpile of warm blankets in central locations. Pick blankets of thick wool, feather down or fleece because they offer the better best insulation.
  • Find a central spot in your home you can close off. Smaller rooms, with the windows, doors and hallways blocked off with blankets, can be much easier to heat. Pick this ahead of time and put blankets there.
  • Make sure you have enough fuel for alternate heat sources and be very clear in how to operate them! Using a fuel-burning heat source indoors can very easily produce deadly carbon monoxide gas, which is colorless and odorless. A buildup can spell death for everyone in the house. Read all warning labels and instruction manuals, closely. 
  • Keep enough water and food on hand for at least a week. Without power, your pipes may freeze, so fresh water may become a limited resource. Store extra. Easy-to-heat meals and simple carbohydrates are also easy to store and can become go-to snacks that will keep your family fed. Malnourished people are more likely to develop hypothermia, and shivering requires energy. Don’t be afraid to store more than you think you’ll need.
  • Create plans for your more vulnerable loved ones. Small children and older adults are at greater risk for cold-related injuries and death. Put together plans ahead of time to get to your at-risk loved ones before the storm and get them to a place where they will be safe. 

The Ultimate Step in Ice Storm Preparation

If you noticed earlier, most of the risks from ice storms come from having no electricity in your house. Power outages rob your home of all the resources you would normally use on a cold day to stay warm, stay connected, and remain productive. 

Reality: Once the power goes out, you are on your own to solve your own problems.

So, instead of relying on the aging power grid that suffers more power outages than any other developed nation, on earth, you can take matters into your own hands. Armed with a good standby generator, you can guarantee your family’s safety on your terms by keeping the power on no matter what happens. 

Widely considered the gold standard in storm preparation, whole home generators are the single most important investment a family can make against winter disasters. Fueled by a nearly limitless supply of natural gas, these generators automatically turn on, and take over during a power outage. 

Out of town on business? Trapped at the office? Welcome to a worry-free storm. Your generator is right there, ready to take over without anyone having to lift a finger.

Working from home? Kids remote-learning? Keeping the power on means staying connected. Cell sites and communications centers all have backup power sources, so many connection options are still available. 

And picking the right generator can make all the difference. We’re talking about your safety net to prevent disaster. This is the time to go for the best you can find.

For instance, Cummins Home Generators are backed by over 100 years of industry experience building engines and generators designed for extreme conditions. If you’ve seen a firetruck, semi-truck, or even a diesel Ram pickup truck, then you’ve seen a Cummins engine at work. They also make the generator of choice for data centers, major hospitals, and US military bases overseas. If Cummins keeps the lights on at a major hospital, your family will be in the best hands.

Before you can even say “hey the power is out” your generator will be running and providing power. Your lights will come back on and your heat stays running. No matter what.

Just imagine, your house is surrounded by a completely dark neighborhood during a severe ice storm. What is your family doing? They’re grabbing a cold drink from the fridge, microwaving some popcorn, and watching a movie. Warm, safe, and provided for.

Guarantee Your Sanctuary

There is no denying that winter storms are getting more frequent, and more severe. 

The “storm of the century” seems to happen once a winter now, and each one is stronger than the last. With no end in sight, we should worry about making sure our loved ones have what they need to survive the next severe ice storm. We should take those extra steps to prepare for the worst. Because it is coming.

As storms get stronger, losing power is no longer just a possibility. It is an eventual certainty.

How you respond when that storm arrives and cuts off your power, is a matter of how you prepare today. 

Take the tips we provided seriously. Get your plans in place. 

And consider finding your nearest Cummins Dealer for a painless estimate on that gold standard of storm preparation: a reliable whole home generator from a well-known company that also offers financing through Synchrony Bank. You’ll never know if it’s worth it until you need it. 

Don’t wait until that happens.
 

James Warnet

James Warnet is a freelance direct response copywriter and digital marketer who specializes in the emergency services and first responder markets. With almost two decades of experience as a firefighter, James combines professional experience and deep research to help brands connect with their most valued customers. 

Gas expertise taken to extremes in southern Myanmar

Eight Cummins QSV91G lean burn gas generator sets provide continuous gas power to the city and region of Dawei in southern Myanmar.
Eight Cummins QSV91G lean burn gas generator sets provide continuous gas power to the city and region of Dawei in southern Myanmar.


 

In Dawei City and the surrounding region, a new 16MW power plant is equipping the residents, visitors and businesses of this growing trade hub and tourism destination of southern Myanmar with reliable, Always On power from Cummins.

Faced with inadequate grid infrastructure, the government awarded Petro & Trans power company the project, which selected Cummins DKSH Myanmar (CDM), Cummins local distributor partner, to support with the development and execution of this power project. Despite the tight project schedules and short lead times, CDM was able to supply eight Cummins 2000kW QSV91G lean burn gas generators within a very short timeframe as opposed to other competing generator manufacturers, which was one of the reasons CDM was selected for this project. In addition, CDM provided ongoing support throughout the duration of the project from the equipment deployment up until the installation phase, which was another critical customer requirement.

The QSV91G generators’ proven reliability, coupled with the best-in-class load acceptance and high electrical efficiency, were some of the key reasons for choosing the QSV91G series to cover the power plant’s energy requirements.

Read the case study on cummins.com.

Adam Sidders Marketing Communications Leader Power Systems

Adam Sidders

Adam Sidders is the Marketing Communications Leader for the Power Systems Business Unit of Cummins Inc. Prior to joining Cummins in 2012 Adam worked in Financial Services for Europe’s largest independently owned insurer as their Marketing and Communications Manager. [email protected]

Cummins OEM provides outstanding service for more than 20 years

Southeastern Specialty Vehicles, a Cummins Commercial Mobile OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer), understands the impact that essential workers can make during a pandemic. Based in North Carolina (USA), they have provided quality service to emergency care providers for over 20 years. 

EMS

Southeastern Specialty Vehicles started in 1996 as a chassis manufacturing company for ambulances and rescue vehicles. Not long after, the manufacturing company transitioned from up fitting trailers to building the whole vehicle. Today, they build around 100 emergency, rescue and law enforcement vehicles each year. 

Since their beginnings, Southeastern Specialty Vehicles has relied on Cummins as their power provider. The Onan QG 7500 and the Onan QG 4000 are the generators that they use for their commercial mobile applications. “The Onan system is what we utilize for our products due to its robust system,” said Tony Tyler, Vice President, Specialty Vehicles. “I personally like the product since I have been involved in manufacturing” 

Click here to learn more about Southeastern Specialty Vehicles.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

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