Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricane Idalia
Hurricane Idalia, image credit NOAA/RAMMB/Colorado State University

Our nation is buckling up for a new tropical storm/hurricane season. Florida had it’s first major hurricane of 2023.
Hurricane Idalia became a category 3 hurricane when it made landfall on August 30th. California had tropical storm Hilary bring heavy rain and significant flooding. The NOAA is forecasting 12 to 17 storms in the Atlantic. Five to nine of those storms could become hurricanes, potentially becoming major 3 or 4 category hurricanes.

While some residents won’t get the brunt of the storms, many still feel the effects. Surrounding regions often have power outages that can take days to weeks to restore.


How storms form

Often, tropical storms begin as a tropical wave. This low pressure
area moves through the tropics, that can form showers and thunderstorms. As these storms continue to move across the ocean, warm air rises into the storm.

The air rushing into the system rises and cools, forming droplets in the clouds, which feeds more heat to power the storm. Winds then steer the storm.


Storm surges

This is when water is pushed towards the shore, rising the water level creating significant flooding. A storm surge
doesn’t just affect the coasts, it can also travel inland through rivers and bays.


A lot of rainfall in a short amount of time can create significant flooding. Flooded streets pose a deadly hazard for those traveling on the roads. This is why it is important to evacuate before the storms make landfall.


You hear forecasters talk about hurricane categories. Each category has a range of wind speeds. While all hurricane
force winds are life-threatening, the higher the category, the more catastrophic the damage will be.

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale

174-95 mphSome Damage
296-110 mphExtensive Damage
3111-129 mphDevastating Damage
4130-156 mphCatastrophic Damage
5157 mph or moreCatastrophic Damage


Thunderstorms most often occur well away from the center of a hurricane, but sometimes can develop around the eyewall.


Rip tides can be deadly from distant storms. Always be aware of the weather further away, just because it is nice on the beach where you are, doesn’t always mean it is safe.


First and foremost, everyone’s safety is the priority. Please listen to evacuation notices. Have an evacuation plan before you need it. If you are not in the path, but could still live with the aftermath, we want you to be prepared. Having an emergency kit is an essential, for all homes.


Storms can impact the safety of city water with contaminants or could be shut off. Having a stock of water is a necessity.

Non-Perishable food

Food that have a longer shelf life, such as beans, nuts, peanut butter, granola bars, powdered milk, etc.

Solar-Powered Phone Chargers

With cellular phones being the most popular forms of communication, having non-electrical ways to keep your phone
powered is key to stay connected with emergency systems.

First Aid Kit

Your kit should be more than a few Band-Aids. Invest in a complete kit so you will be prepared for injuries.

Personal Needs

Take in consideration of you and your family’s needs. Make sure you have enough of your medication or other health
related items you may need.

When stocking up on food and water, it is always a good idea to periodically check your inventory’s expiration dates.
Even bottled water expires within a year. Games, books, and puzzles are other items to have on hand. Let’s face it, without technology, we can get bored pretty easily. Be aware of your personal circumstances too when getting an emergency kit together.


Power outages can affect appliances that remain plugged in when power is restored. This could damage the equipment and/or be unsafe for use afterwards.

Small Electronics

TVs, computers, game consoles, and other small appliances should be unplugged until power is restored.

Large Appliances

Refrigerators and freezers should remain plugged in. Food in the refrigerator is safe for only four hours without
electricity. To reduce loss of food, keep doors closed as much as possible and add blocks of ice. Discard perishable foods if they have reached 40°F or higher.

Surge Protectors

When power comes back on, the network voltage may be higher or lower than the ideal amount. A surge happens
when voltage coming in is too high and it can damage appliances and electronics. Surge protectors are recommended
for appliances or electronics that cannot be unplugged.


A generator can pay for itself, especially if you live in an area that is prone to power outages. For instance, spoiled food in the refrigerator will have to be thrown away meats. Electronics and appliances could get damaged from a power surge.

There are different types of generators to consider:


Portable generators can be light enough to move around, or have the ability to attach a wheel kit. These are also great if you need power around the house for odd jobs or for a home shop. You can find portable generators that use fuels other than gasoline, such as propane or natural gas, too.


A permanently installed generator can give you piece of mind if the power goes out while you are asleep or away from home. With the addition of a transfer switch, a standby generator will start running once the power goes out. Home
units are typically run on natural gas or propane, but diesel is another fuel source option.


For those who already have a tractor or are in the market for one, a PTO generator can be a cost effective way to get portable power.


Municipalities, farms, and businesses could benefit with a prime-powered, mobile generator. Mobile generators are able to provide power for larger, critical applications, and can be taken to the exact location.

Click to download

The season has already been busy with storms, stay safe!


WINCO Summer 2023

As Minnesotans, we have to take advantage of the warm weather. This summer has brought on some fun activities.

Le Sueur County Golf Classic

At the end of July, we are happy to sponsor a hole and send out a team for a round of golf. This was the 18th year Le Sueur County Veterans Service Office coordinated the golf outing. All of the proceeds from the event went towards the Veterans Vans/Veterans in Need Fund. Dale Riebel, Clint Korteum, Ryan Prososki, and Brandon DePolis enjoyed a beautiful day of 4 person scramble. They may not have won the tournament, just happy to be able to play for a great cause.

WINCO’s Big Dog Challenge

On August third, we had our first annual Big Dog Challenge. Departments competed against each other in team building challenges. The afternoon started with lunch from a local food truck, speakers from each department with quarterly updates, and a drawing for prizes. Then it was game time. We had a Jenga challenge, yard pong, and human bumper balls, the winning team won the most games. Our giant maze had participants blindfolded and their department lead standing on the outskirts giving directions. It was a pretty warm day, so the dunk tank was a hit for those that were dunked. The winners received two tickets to Valleyfair and a plaque to display in their department for bragging rights. We can’t wait for next year’s challenge!

Le Sueur County Fair

This year marked the second time we had a booth at our local county fair. The fair always has great food, rides, local vendors, and animal barns. We enjoyed meeting everyone who stopped by for games and prizes! Big Dog was especially happy that it didn’t rain this year!

Dozinky Days Parade

The Dozinky Days Parade in New Prague, MN is the largest parade we participate in. The weather was perfect, not too hot and not snowing. This year, we brought one of our RP35s to the parade. We are excited about the RP line up, which we are working on expanding to bigger power nodes. It is always a great time to get out and meet our surrounding communities!

Next Event

November 30th – Torchlight Parade, Montgomery, MN

Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn to see what else we have been up to!

See you soon!


Nitrogen Tank Installation

It is our goal to provide the best quality generator available. To achieve this, we sometimes have to look at our current machines and see if there are ways to improve.


Problem: Nitrogen generator creating down-time
Solution: Install liquid nitrogen tank


Our laser cutter uses a nitrogen generator to take air in from our factory and produce compressed nitrogen, creating clean and paintable edges.

Even though the laser was doing a great job, we were finding that we were having down time in the humid months for the nitrogen generator to cool down and take in enough nitrogen. It was up to our manufacturing engineers to find a solution.


After some research, we found that installing a liquid nitrogen tank would eliminate the down-time and keep us running consistently in our day-to-day operations. By switching to the liquid nitrogen, we found the laser improved its speed and produced an even cleaner cut. Something we didn’t think was possible!

The project went off without a hitch! The weather cooperated and they had it running in one day.

You can watch our video about how the laser works here.

Stay tuned for our next project!

See you soon!


Find the Right Generator for You

As electricity demands grow, we are experiencing more power outages. Having a generator can keep you going.

As with anything, there are a few factors to take into consideration when deciding on the right generator for your needs:

What is your application?

Job site

Do you know your power needs?

Having the correct size generator for your application is crucial. You want to eliminate any opportunities to overload the generator. The best way to find out how much amperage you use is to contact an electrician.

Here is a simple explanation on the behavior of electricity.

Electricity Infographic

What fuel source will you be using?

Gasoline, propane, natural gas, diesel, or power take-off from a tractor


Gaseous StandbyDiesel StandbyPrime PowerPortablePTO
8kW – 150kW12kW – 600kW12kW – 400kW3kW – 22kW10kW – 165kW
NG or LPDieselNG, LP or DieselGasoline or DieselTractor Driven

Gaseous Standby


Standby generators are usually permanently installed with a transfer switch to automatically switch power from utility to the generator very quickly. This limits the amount of time you are without power. These are becoming more favorable for residential applications and popular for off-grid living.

Diesel Standby


Diesel standby generators are similar to the gaseous standby generators. They are usually permanently installed with a transfer switch to automatically switch power from utility to the generator very quickly. This limits the amount of time you are without power. Diesel standbys are offered in larger power nodes, available up to 600kW!

Prime Power

Mobile Prime

Prime power generators are used as the sole source of electrical power. Mainly seen as mobile or trailer-installed units. These types of generators allow the user to confidently power a days worth of work. Don’t let a power outage ruin your day or bottom line.



A portable generator is primarily used as prime power on job sites or shops. They can also be a backup power source for your home or business in the event of an emergency, paired with a manual transfer switch.


30 pto generator

PTO generators are driven by a shaft attached to a tractor’s PTO. These generators serve as back up or prime power, depending on the need. Every 2 HP you get 1 Kw. There can be cost savings. You might already have a tractor, plus there are low servicing maintenances. WINCO has been building number 1, world-wide, generators since the 1950s. We also have propriety gearcases, which we mill in-house.

Why Winco?

In-house engineers
In-house parts, warranty, tech support
A knowledgeable sales staff
Hands on factory, we each have a hand in it
Every unit is tested before it leaves our factory
Family and Veteran-owned company

Still have questions on what is the right generator for you? You can find a dealer near you with our Dealer Locator or contact us at 507-357-6821.


It’s a Sign!

At WINCO, we enjoy looking for ways to not only promote ourselves, but our community. When you come to visit us, take Highway 99 so you can see our newest addition, an LED sign.

Project: Watchfire LED Sign
Purpose: Brand awareness, as well as, promoting company highlights and community events.
Challenges: Winter, system interruption

Ground Breaking

Even though we started the project in the heart of a Minnesota winter, we were able to get the support beam in place and secured with concrete. A local electric company was able to get wiring ready as well.


It was an exciting day when the sign was delivered! Installation was very quick and the sign was ready for content right away. The next day, though, we found out we had the same IP address as another company and were displaying information about Maine. It was a one in a million chance, but the software company worked hard to get everything working correctly. A few hours later, we were up and running.


It has been fun creating content to display. The sign is a way for us to post products, company information, and promote local events and fundraisers. Adding a bit of whimsy, we display what National day it is. Pictured was our National Pet Day display. We were able to display pictures of all of our furry family members.

We have another project in the works. Stay tuned!