Kansas City has had two crippling snow storms in five years, yet few homeowners have backup generators.

“We’ve had enough long-term power outages here that people after 1996 were talking seriously about it and then they forgot it,” said John Tann, president of Tann Electric, which handled about 250 service calls during the ice storm. “This might make them think more about putting up a permanently installed backup system or a temporary backup system. They can roll a generator outside, bring a cord in, throw a transfer switch and be powered back on.”

Tann said this disaster reminded him of the ice storm of 1996, which also left many homes without power for several days.

“Kansas City had the same problems in 1996, but the difference between that ice storm and this one is the sheer magnitude,” he said.

The snowstorm in October 1996 created similar tree damage and power outages. However, the entire storm recovery effort cost $5.8 million in 1996, while the cleanup for this year's storm could cost the city from $15 million to $20 million.