Is it just me, or has this question been answered at
great length? How about Googling "generator recommendations
and advise" and getting back more good information than one
could ever hope for?
One thing that is rarely mentioned is how much gas is needed
to run a generator, assuming you're not paying out thousands
for a diesel unit.
If an ice storm hits the northeast and there's a massive power
outage, where's all that gas going to come from to power all
those appliances you wish to power?
We went without power for 15 days after Hurricane Charlie
tore our place apart. I ran a 10 hp coleman and could only
get 5 hours out of 5 gallons of gas, so we ran it 5 hours and
roughed it until the next evening. If you plan on getting gas
out of your vehicles, invest in a good quality siphon pump.
I bought a cheap $10 one and it leaked badly.
What most people don't consider is that during these times
of emergency, not only is gas scarce or not available, but
if there are some gas stations open, everybody and his brother
is there trying to get gas. It was a major pain getting gas
in our area during that time.
I know people who have big generators properly set to be
switched into the house breaker box, all set for that big
disaster.......but they are lucky to have 2 1/2 gallons of gas
hanging around! It's like whistling through through the
After the 3 major hurricane's (Charlie, Frances and Jean)
passed us by within a few weeks and caused all kinds of
havoc, I went out and bought a smaller, more quality Honda
2500 watt unit that will run much longer on scarce gas.
In a real emergency you'd be surprised how much power
need. I've been there/done that and would
rather have 12 hours of 2500 watts than 5 hours of 5000 watts
assuming gas is precious.
If you go without power for days in a real emergency, A
generator is just part of your need. Plan on storing a lot
of gas. Keep yourself stocked with food and water. '
If a disaster strikes, trust me- there will be no food, water,
batteries or any other related necessities available on
any store shelf, assuming any store will be open.
You had better have those things beforehand.
One thing that was helpful to us during many days of
power outage was the many rechargable flashlights and
batteries I had (from my dewalt and makita tool kits). They
give you great light for many hours, and can be charged
during the time the generator is running.
An important investment for anyone wanting a generator
would be the great rechargable flashlights that go with
cordless drill kits. You can buy these flashlights separately
and the batteries separately if you don't want the drill.
I have the Craftsman, Makita and Dewalt flashlights and
they were priceless when we needed light during those
15 days without power we had.
I know I've spouted out too much but only because I "lived"
this generator question in a real life disaster, with my home
and property badly trashed on top of it, along with my part
of the state.
A generator is great, but it's only a part of the survival puzzle.