SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A Santa Barbara man sitting in the dark recently used his car to bring an energy source to his home and get beyond the power outage.
Dean Holden says his Toyota Prius has a battery available on its own and it can be recharged by the gas engine when the supply goes low.
Holden used the plan when he lived in Massachusetts.
"It does really help a lot. It's nice to know because if the power had gone out for many days or in a big area it would have been a big help," said Holden.
In the back of his car he has hooked up a 2300 watt inverter that comes with two plug outlets.
"It came with all the cabling and I just had to connect it and because I am just running an extension cord through the window. I'm not connecting to the power of the house. It's not a dangerous thing," said Holden.
The extension cord goes directly to a power strip. That brought power to his computer, lights and refrigerator. It is not strong enough for a microwave or floor heater.
Holden says for other cars, you can add an inverter but you must remember to start it up occasionally or you will drain the battery and have a dead car. The Toyota, he says, starts up on its own when it senses the need to recharge the battery.