Publix Put Backup Generators at its Hurricane Zone Stores

State officials are trying to have a backup plan for when that electricity does go off.

Thursday, Gov. Jeb Bush signed a new law requiring certain gas stations to have emergency backup generators, but other businesses are also taking extra steps to be ready.

The new law requires any company with more than 10 gas stations in a county to have generators at those stations. The hope is if a hurricane knocks out power, you won't be left in the dark.

But if power is out longer than a few days, those generators will run out of gas, so the new Florida law is aimed at keeping the tanks full by requiring some gas stations to have their own generators.

Legislators want stations to be up and running immediately after a hurricane hits.

Florida's largest supermarket chain has created its own initiative to make sure its stores can open after a hurricane. Publix is spending $100 million to install 500 kilowatt generators at every store in hurricane prone areas.

In 2004 alone, Publix lost $60 million from groceries that went bad after hurricanes knocked out power to its stores.

But those generators won't do Publix or its customers any good if they don't have gas to operate them, so the new gas station generator law will be crucial in keeping the fuel and the food moving to people who need it.

Publix says the straw that broke the camel's back and forced the company to buy the generators was Hurricane Wilma. Wilma shut down 226 south Florida Publix stores, leaving only 10 open for business.