We live in a 'Residential Bushland' area with lot of large trees. So we each year we loose power, usually after a storm, for a day or two. No complaints as we choose to live here because of the trees but ... it is inconvieniant. So we got a generator. Great but to power the freezer, fridge, TV, heater, etc takes a lot of power cords. What we found was when we lost power we would not start the genertor as we needed to balance the effort of all the power cords against how long we guessed the power would be out. So we needed a way to make it all easier. So we got a changeover switch installed on the house to make it easy.
The change overswitch means that we run a couple of extension cables from the generator to the house (like powering a caravan). Flick the switch over to 'Generator' and the whole house is powered by the generator.
Now I'm just waiting for the next power outage so I can use it. Cost of generator and switch was about $2,500. Value of having TV, fidge, and all lights on during an outage ... priceless. Hmm, maybe we should hook up the christmas lights?