Whether the power grid in your area is overtaxed at times, or you live in an area that has natural disasters causing power outages, you need to find a way to keep the power on in your home. Sure, you could light candles, use extra blankets, or strip down to your underwear, and cook on a grill, but things could bet ugly in the home without any power at all. If your home loses power once or twice a year for less than a day, you probably have learned to muddle through. You may have even turned it into some kind of game your family plays to while away the time. However, if power outages are frequent or last more than a single day, you may want to consider buying a generator. Here is a bit of information to help you choose which type you should purchase.
Portable generators are good for short-term usage or when you only need to keep power to a few items. They are easy-to-use and much less expensive than stand-by generators. However, you will need to put in the gasoline to keep the engine running. This may mean waking up in the middle of the night to go add more gas. You will also need to make sure you have plenty of gas on hand for when the power goes out. You may choose to have a breaker for all the items you want the generator to power and then have the generator hard-wired to that breaker as an alternative power source. The alternative is to run extension cords from the items you want to power to the generator. While it might seem better to hard wire the generator, running extension cords allows you to change what has power as you need it. In other words, you can have power to the television and a light, and then swap the extension cords to power the stove or oven. Of course, you will want your refrigerator to always have power to keep the foods from spoiling.
A stand-by generator is larger than most portables, so it can provide power to more things in the house. You decide how large of a unit you want, enough to power just a few things or rooms, or enough to take care of the whole house. It is hard-wired to the breaker box and will turn on automatically when the power goes out. These units can run on propane. You can have a large propane tank installed underground on your property and hooked up to the generator for continual use. After every use of the generator, it is a good idea to have the propane tank topped off to ensure it is always ready for the next power outage.
Unfortunately, society is such that electricity is used for most daily activities. Many people do not have enough candles to adequately see around their house at night. Cooking, food storage, and a lot of entertainment requires some form of power. If you live in an area that loses power a lot, having a generator may be an actual necessity to survival.
For more information, you will want to check out companies such as Northwest Power Services Inc.