Lots of folks have been worried about how to make it through and several friends have gone and purchased generators to keep their refrigerators on. Our neighbor shared his generator the last day before electricity was restored and after plugging in the refrigerator the next thing we wanted was a working fan. The last people in our area without electricity seem to have finally gotten it back this week.
Through this all my wife and I considered whether to get a generator or not. They were available and we could have gotten one but when I thought about it we have been without electricity for an extended period three times in the last 12 years. That hasn't seemed particularly terrible, despite the inconvenience and trepidation at the time. We have lost much of what was in our refrigerator and freezer each of those times. When you consider the cost of a generator at around $600 and then the cost of putting gasoline in it (one friend told us it was costing about $30 for every day and a half), that seems like a lot of money. Especially when you have to travel around to find a gas station that is open and can pump gas due to the electricity being out. So the cost of the gas to travel to and from the station added as well. It is not like you can store any significant supply of gasoline on your property without additional risks. All-n-all it hasn't seemed worth it to us yet at this point.
I suppose if one of us had medical needs that required electricity then that would very quickly change the equation. But with our current ability to roll with the punches and not be endangered by it, I think that a generator isn't helpful and doesn't save us much in comparison to the cost. I'm sure other folks feel differently based on their needs. For example we have a couple friends with young children who are here for school for a semester who purchased a generator here despite having one at their own home in another state. They felt like it was worth the expense in their situation. Ultimately we haven't seen where a generator would be worth it except in convenience...maybe.
I must admit I am a little reluctant to write this wondering if the next blow of mother nature might convince me otherwise, but I guess a little embarrassment isn't as tough as a hurricane...is it?