A couple of years ago I spent less than $400 to have an electrician come to the house and wire up a transfer switch on my junction box. It allows me to start my 5k generator and run my house. I can't run everything but I keep the fridge up and can do a load of laundry or the dish washer in addition to charging the phones and have a few lights on. 5 Gallons of gas last about 3 days on use. Longest outage we had was about a week. That was a long week for some people without generators.