Basically, there are 3 types to discuss: Whole house generators, Construction type generators,
and super quiet Travel Trailer generators.
I'll leave out the Whole House generators simply due to cost and amount of fuel
If you already have one, congratulations, you're in great shape.
Construction generators: These are the very noisy generators that many people already have.
However, they do have some benefits. Many produce over 7,500 watts of power and both
120 volt and 220 volt power. (which you'll need to run your deep well pump)
They also are fairly cheap. A 5,500 watt Predator at Harbor Fright is about $490 and will easily
run a well pump with proper hook ups.
If you don't need to run a 220 volt well pump, there are 3,200 watt versions
for $340 which will runs things such as microwaves and refrigerators.
Lastly, the Travel Trailer generators. They are more expensive but the added advantage of
very quiet and depending on size, use very little fuel in comparison to
I see Harbor Freight 3500 Watt Super Quiet Inverter Generators on sale all the time for $700.
The disadvantage is they only produce 120 volts.
The advantage is, with low power consumption, they'll run 11 hours on 2.6 gallons of gas.
Another big plus is they are electric start.
If you need 220 volt, be very careful to only get a generator that produces both 120 and 220 volt.
This is very, very important.
People have purchased a 120 volt generator when they needed to run a 220 volt deep well pump.
Hooking up your generator.
In the case where you need to power a well pump,
I suggest you
hire an electrician to do this.
It can be a very complex procedure and one size does NOT fit all.
In the case of 120 volt only generators, the easy way is to just run an extention cord
from the generator to a 20 amp outlet strip inside your house. Use 12 gauge extention cord.
Smaller gauge cord will actually drop the useable voltage somewhat and may heat up.
You do have the option of running more than one cord. Generators have multiple outlets.
In closing I'll tell you what I'm doing at my home.
I have an old construction generator that produces both 120 and 220 volts.
This generator is tied into my house panel just so I can run my well pump now and
If power was going to be out a LONG time, I could have it wired directly to the pump.
It uses a lot of fuel but it only takes 5 minutes to fill my water jugs to last several days
My main power source is my Harbor Freight 3500 Watt generator.
This I use for my regular appliances, when I need them, and hooked up as I stated above.
Any time the generator is running, for any reason, I make sure I'm charging any batteries
at the same time.
The above system, along with my Inverter Setup, make Hurricanes a none event for me.
In the case of a SHTF event, I'd just conserve fuel more. I have plenty in storage.
I also have a very basic 200 watt solar setup I can set up.