This may be a great option for customers who do not need to run many items or are not ready for the expense of a dedicated standby generator. There are some great portable generators on the market that can be used for emergency power in the home as well as more common recreational uses.
Some customers prefer this option because they do not have natural gas or propane available at their home and are more comfortable running a gas powered generator rather than adding natural gas or propane service to their home.
What you will be able to run will depend on the size of your generator but even smaller models (2500-3000 watts) can be capable of providing electricity for basic household needs like a refrigerator, coffee pot and some lights during a power outage.
For lights and small appliance, it may be easiest to use the outlets provided on the generator and simply run an extension cord inside to the appliances. Remember, generators should never be operated inside the home and use caution to not overload an extension cord by plugging to many items into it.
If you would like to be able to run larger appliance like your refrigerator or don't want to mess with extension cords, you can connect the generator directly to your panel box and use it to run a limited number of breakers. (Your refrigerator and living room lights for example.)
In order to do this you will need a transfer switch to regulate receiving power from the generator into your electrical panel.