Emergency Power Options and GoalsTo generate normal 120-volt power on an emergency basis, you have two options:
- You can buy an engine-powered generator. The engine can burn gasoline, diesel or propane.
- You can buy an inverter and power it from your automobile battery or a deep-cycle battery you have purchased for the inverter.
- I want to provide a very minimal set of creature comforts -- I want to be able to power a few lights so I don't have to burn candles, power my cell phone, power an emergency radio and operate a fan.
You can do this with a small generator or with a small inverter that plugs into your car's lighter socket.
- I want to be able to operate a microwave oven, a TV, some lights and my computer so I can eat and get some work done.
You can do this with a small 1000-watt generator and plug things into it with an extension cord.
- My main goal is to keep my refrigerator and/or freezer running, but I would also like to run some lights and small appliances.
You can do this with a 2,500- to 3,500-watt generator and plug things into it with extension cords.
- I want to be able to power my well pump and water heater, the blower in my furnace, a room air conditioner, my refrigerator and other basic appliances.
You can do this with a 5,000-watt generator that is wired into your home's circuit panel.
We'll talk more about understanding your power needs in the next section.