Huh, new sub-forum, hadn't noticed but I hope something here is helpful... Long post because I have dealt with this a few times, and well, I haven't posted anything useful in a while so I'm trying to make up for it...
Mission = gear. I live in Michigan. Not so much for hurricanes, every now and again a wind event (and in the last some decades, significant tornadic activity, but it's not a "regular" thing like in the Plains states) and pretty much every winter at least ah blizzard or few. I have natural gas to the house; there's never been an indication it was in short supply or about to be shut off. I have a well for water and a septic system. I have overhead power feed to the house and the neighborhood grid is all overhead, with mature trees. This electrical architecture plays havoc. I'm not the immediate response area, so if The Man says "Customers will be restored within the next 8 days" I'm probably looking at 7 days...
So... A/C? Whatevah, not a problem. Heat? Probably going to want that, candles don't keep up at 10F and 40mph wind. Keeping frozen stuff frozen? Easy if it's winter, just set it outside in a cooler with the lid open... but important during some summer outages. Water? This is usually the biggest hurdle.
The inverter generators are the cat's pajamas - quiet, low fuel consumption, man (or wife, I'll come back to this point...) portable, easy to set up, easy to store, pretty easy to maintain (see above posts about cycling fuel, using stabilizer, and avoiding ethanol blends if possible.)
Water. Again, I have a well. It's 220VAC, I need a means to fire the pump, or I need to literally truck in water from elsewhere. I have a few drums dedicated to water, keep one full in the basement with a wife friendly 12V transfer pump, deep cycle battery, short hoses, and some buckets - this is just fine for a day or two outage. For the truck and other drums I've got some wood blocks and straps for that occasion, and I can head to someplace with movable water to top off drums such that I can cook, wash dishes, flush the toilets, take a camp shower (Zodi shower, like a stainless steel garden sprayer, easy to heat on a natural gas stove with nothing more than a Bic for ignition) and so on... But regardless water is a hassle. Much easier to just cycle the well pump - IF I'm home. Invariably this type of event happens when the wife is home, but I'm not, or worse I'm stuck elsewhere for the same reason the house is without electricity.
Water, continued: Hooking up my "little" generator (3500W Generac - nice little unit, I can pick it up but not be happy about it, but she can wheel it around no problem, and pull start it no problem) to my well requires re-wiring. See the initial post about NOT frying a line worker. This is not a place to guess. I do not have a "wife friendly" transfer switch (yet) and thus the only way the well is going to pump is if I'm home and re-wire out of the panel so that the pump is on the generator and off the house grid. Functional, safe, but not fool proof, so neither she nor friends are even considered to accomplish such. It's everything that generator has to offer to run the pump (220VAC * 15amp start = 3300W, not counting inefficiencies around 85%... it struggles.)
Heat. I wired an extra box at my furnace. The switch and fuse power a single outlet adjacent, but not electrically connected. The furnace and freezer leads are short plug ends, not connected electrically to the outlet unless the plugs are plugged into the outlet. Ordinary operation, leave the plug ends in the plug outlet, no drama. Power failure, unplug the plugs, plug them into the three socket extension cord I leave on the generator, furnace turns on, freezer stays frozen. No risk of her inadvertently whapping somebody with backfed voltage as the plug and plug end are electrically isolated. (upon review, I've said that three times... that electrical isolation bit is the important part.) I don't know what NEC would say, but they aren't trying to heat the house above freezing when I'm stranded someplace else in a blizzard. I did this after the second time I had to lean on a buddy to come "hotwire" my furnace while I was out of town so the house could stay above freezing.
Heat. Pellet stove. It needs 110VAC to operate (and will smoke out the basement if the voltage disappears, say, in a power outage...) This can run AFTER the furnace and freezer have cycled, by swapping what's plugged into the generator cord. It's nowhere near as effective as the furnace, but it beats nothing by a lot.
Heat, again... a tank top burner and/ or Buddy heater can take the edge off. Good to have a few 20lb propane tanks (you keep more than one for your propane grill anyway, right? Even though charcoal tastes better?) Propane will make your house soaking wet, condensation running/ freezing on the windows wet, on the inside during a long burn. Avoid if feasible.
Light. Small LED flashlights, a drawer full of batteries, LED lanterns, and my new favorite are the Milwaukee M18 LED work site lights - a few options, they're all slick. Plus I have an M18 radio, in the event there's anything useful (doubtful) being broadcast. Kids enjoy flashlight tag, even if the adults are sick of shagging extension cords and shuttling water.
Food prep. See natural gas stove + Bic. Propane grill. Charcoal grill. Not mentioned, but a good campfire is fun if it's not 1) 50mph driving wind and 2) at least a layer of clothes warmer than 10F.
Inverter-off-a-car generation. Mostly already mentioned, but my $0.02. 3000W inverter + car battery (must leave the car running - outside! - so the alternator is at least trying... or it'll kill the battery... right... now...) can run my furnace. Or freezer. Or fridge. Not "and." It can't cycle the well with 110VAC output. This approach got us through a number of dark (no electricity) times before I decided I had the scratch to buy a generator. (Parts considered, cost is near same-same...) This unit has battery clamps, I leave the wrenches in the box, the wife has done this without drama.
Inverter-off-a-car generation, small scale. You've seen or own the 300-500W units sold at truck stops. These can charge your phone, maybe cordless tool batteries, but not much else - my laptop gets all bitchy if I try to use a small inverter. Again be conscious what it's pulling from your car (110V output at 500W at 85% efficiency = still over 5 amps draw on your 12V battery... If I did that right, it's late... if not, it's still a lot. Don't draw down the vehicle battery where the vehicle won't start.)
Ventilation - I run anything gas powered outside, in a breeze if I can find it. (If the power is out, I have a breeze.) DO NOT RUN A GAS ENGINE IN AN ENCLOSED SPACE WHERE YOU AND YOURS BREATHE. EVER.
Propane. Cool if you can swing it. I have a propane genset, not even mentioned, because I haven't used it. If the whole town is dark, I'm driving a long way to get my tanks filled, or hoping that exchange tanks are available. Gasoline is easy. Just different maintenance.
Generators. Most run at 3600rpm. Propane or gas. Some have higher torque engines (maybe diesel at that...) and run at 1800rpm (like the Onan in somebody's land or water yacht.) The lower speed engines last longer. The higher speed engines get the job done, but at higher fuel consumption, more noise perhaps, and comparatively limited service life. My "go-to" is the small 3600rpm machine mentioned at the beginning. I shrug.
Security. My neighbor has a screaming meany that he fires up as soon as the lights go dim. Probably powering a bedroom nightlight off a transfer switch, but whatevah, that's his gig. This little generator is inaudible from the front of my house with it running in the back, especially if the neighbor(s) have theirs screaming. But I can chain it to something, like the truck that's parked right next to it.
Safety. Do not poison yourself. Or dead yourself by poisoning yourself. Do not fry a line worker. Do not fry yourself. If you have any doubt about any of these points, stop, ask somebody who knows how to not do these things on purpose.
Fun. Knock yourself offline once in a while when you don't have to be offline. "Kids, bride, we're going dark tonight, how's this going to play out?" Practice makes PITA less painful, and it can be fun... for a day or two anyway.