One of the things a lot of preppers invest in is a generator to power their homes when the grid goes down. Picking the right kind of generator is very important, because some types are only good for the very short term.
A lot of people head out to their local bigbox home improvement store, buy a cheap generator and think they are set. They might put away a little fuel for it and call it good.
The problem with these cheap generators is that they are not made for continuous hard use. Even the bigger cheap Chinese diesels are made with inferior parts and will break down with continuous usage.
Another big problem with gasoline generators is the problem of fuel storage.
Gasoline will start breaking down in a couple months of storage. Even if you add an extender like Sta-bil, you can usually only count on it for a year or so.
The other problem with gasoline is that it is one of the first things to disappear in an emergency. In super storm Sandy they were rationing gasoline to people who had to stand in line for hours, just to get a gallon or two.
On the other hand diesel stores well for a few years, especially if you add an extender. Diesel generators (if you avoid the cheap Chinese ones) are built for the long haul.
Another option is to get a propane fueled generator. A whole house standby rig can be had for a couple thousand dollars.
They run on standard propane that you can pick up for your grill, or in bigger portable tanks, or even 500 or 1000 gallon tanks that fuel your home furnace. These generators may be your best option since they power the whole house just like the grid.
Propane deliveries will not be as rationed as gasoline.
If You Must
If you must buy a gasoline generator, talk to a local contractor and see what he uses on his building sites. They use a lot of power on these sites and a contractor grade generator is least likely to leave you in the dark. But donâ€™t forget the fuel problem.
For a home generator your best bet is investing in a propane system that will keep you in power and comfortable.