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Best Generator for Emergency Preparedness (2021): Reviews & Buyers Guide

Emergencies!

Those are something we never think about until it’s already too late.

That’s exactly why we have to pay more attention to them.

 

On that note, we decided to prepare a list of the best generators for emergency preparedness for you.

 

If you’re in a hurry, quickly jump to our Editor’s Picks!

 

It’s cliché to say, an emergency can come up at any time.

However, this saying being a cliché doesn’t make it any less true.

 

It’s a cliché because it’s something important that we have to pay more attention to.

Emergencies can come in a variety of ways and each can have its own solutions.

 

One of the more common emergencies is storms and technical issues that cause power outages.

That is exactly why you should invest in a generator for emergency use.

 

So, what are the best generators for emergency use you might wonder?

Well, there are plenty of fantastic options.

 

Some will suit you better than others.

Which ones?

That’s what we’re going to help you find out in this article.

 

First, we’d have to understand your situation.

What is the exact use you have in mind?

 

Do you want a generator for whole-home use?

Or maybe a generator that can just power some appliances or just a room or two?

 

Do you care about the portability or the run time of the generator most?

These are important questions we should ask.

 

And we will do so while taking a look at the best generators for emergency preparedness on the market.

 

We’ll be going into great details for each of these.

In the end, we’ll get you matched with the best emergency generator possible.

 

Of course, we hope you don’t have to use this generator a lot.

But when you need it, you’ll have a good time using it.

 

So, let’s get to it then!

Best Generator for Emergency Preparedness | Best Portable Option

 

Jackery Explorer 240


This power station is light and compact and can be brought with you anywhere and will give you an excellent power source while camping or in your car!

Read the review section for in-depth tech details and pros & cons!

Best Generator for Emergency Preparedness| Best Affordable Option for Apartments

 

WEN 56200i


This is an affordable, small generator that can provide you with excellent power and run time for its low cost!

Read the review section for in-depth tech details and pros & cons!

Best Generator for Emergency Preparedness| Most Powerful Emergency Generator for Apartments

 

Honda EU2200i

 

This is a small generator that offers more power and is light and portable!

 

Read the review section for in-depth tech details and pros & cons!

Best Generator for Emergency Preparedness| Best Big Tank Mid-sized Emergency Generator

 

Champion 3500-Watt

 

This generator has the largest tank among the mid-sized options, is affordable, and offers dual-fuel options!

 

Read the review section for in-depth tech details and pros & cons!

Best Generator for Emergency Preparedness| Best Portable Mid-sized Emergency Generator

 

Westinghouse iGen4500

 

This is the lightest and most portable mid-sized generator, it is also the quietest and features a long run time on one tank!

 

Read the review section for in-depth tech details and pros & cons!

Best Generator for Emergency Preparedness| Most Powerful Mid-sized Emergency Generator

 

Champion 3800-Watt

 

This is the most powerful of the mid-sized generators with its high starting and running wattage, is also affordable and offers dual-fuel options!

 

Read the review section for in-depth tech details and pros & cons!

Best Generator for Emergency Preparedness | Most Affordable Large Emergency Generator for Home Use

 

Durostar DS10000E


This is a large generator that is very affordable and also has, by far, the biggest tank size!

Read the review section for in-depth tech details and pros & cons!

Best Generator for Emergency Preparedness| Most Powerful Large Emergency Generator For Home Use

 

Westinghouse WGen9500DF

 

This is the most powerful generator here, it’s quite portable even for its large size and it offers dual-fuel options!

 

Read the review section for in-depth tech details and pros & cons!

So, the best generator for emergency preparedness?

Well, there’s no single answer to this question that suits everyone.

It will depend on the situation.

 

We have 8 different awesome generators for emergency home use that you can choose from.

But which one you’ll choose entirely depends on your situation.

 

Details are really important here.

How many rooms and appliances are you going to power with your generator and for how long?

 

Portability can also play a factor.

Are you going for a big generator that’ll be stuck in your house or are you going to constantly move it around in your RV?

 

Also, how many people live in your house and how big is the house?

 

If you’ve already thought about some of this stuff, great.

If you haven’t, that’s alright too.

 

Either way, make a small checklist of these things for yourself.

Perhaps prioritize it if you can.

 

And don’t worry.

Even if you’re not sure where to start, you’ll figure it out along the way.

 

By the end of this article, you’ll have a list of multiple emergency generators that have checked your checkboxes.

Whichever has the most checkboxes ticked, will be the one you can safely go for.

 

So let’s get this over with before any emergencies come up!

What's the Best Generator for Emergency Preparedness in 2021?

Quick Answer:

Comparison Table for the Best Generator for Emergency Preparedness (2021)

Generator View on Amazon Starting Wattage Running Wattage Weight Tank Size
Jackery Explorer 240 200 W 200 W 13 lbs N/A (Electric)
WEN 56200i 2,000 W 1,600 W 48 lbs 1 gallon
Honda EU2200i 2,200 W 1,700 W 40 lbs 1 gallon
Champion 3500-Watt 3,500 W 3,200 W 105 lbs 3.8 gallons
Westinghouse iGen4500 4,500 W 3,700 W 93 lbs 3.4 gallons
Champion 3800-Watt 4,750 W 3,800 W 119 lbs 3.4 gallons
Durostar DS10000E 10,000 W 8,000 W 260 lbs 8.3 gallons
Westinghouse WGen9500DF 12,500 W 9,500 W 220 lbs 6.6 gallons

Best Generator for Emergency Preparedness [2021]

1. Jackery Explorer 240 | Best on-the-go Generator for Emergency Preparedness

Let’s start with the most unconventional option on this list.

 

Unlike all other options, this one is electric.

Also, it’s something in-between a generator and a power station rather than a simple generator.

 

This is the Jackery Explorer 240.

You’ll notice the extremely low cost of $250 making this the least expensive option on the list.

 

It does however have a more specific use case than other options.

Let’s see why.

 

TECH SPECS

This generator from Jackery has a 200 W starting and running wattage.

 

It’s much lower than the other generators we will be looking at but that’s because this isn’t a stationary generator stuck in your garage.

 

This is actually the best generator for emergency use when you are camping or in a similar situation.

 

It’s something you keep in your car in case your car runs out of gas or dies in the middle of nowhere.

 

This generator is extremely portable, only weighing 13 lbs.

You can keep it with you at all times, in the trunk of your car, on your campsite, wherever.

 

The dimensions are roughly 5 x 9 x 8 inches, so this will easily fit where ever it is you want to keep it.

 

Even if you have a teeny-tiny Prius, you can still easily fit this anywhere in the car.

 

As we said, you also don’t have to worry about carrying around extra fuel for this generator as it’s electric.

 

See?

It’s a perfect match for you and your climate-loving Prius.

 

It has a 240 watt-hour lithium-ion battery pack which comes in handy while charging your gadgets or powering up appliances.

 

And as a kicker, if you pair it up with the Jackery Solar Saga 60W or 100W you can recharge this little generator with the power of the sun!

 

That’s right, you can basically have infinite green energy in your safari.

Take that global warming!

Pros

Cons

2. WEN 56200i | Best Affordable Emergency Generator for Apartments

Moving on to the more typical generators, we will look at the WEN 56200i Portable Inverter Generator.

 

This is one of the smaller generators but definitely can get some great work done for you, especially if you like that it’s an inverter generator.

 

This option costs around $420 making it the least expensive generator after the previous option.

 

Let’s see what $420 can get you.

 

TECH SPECS

With this option from WEN, you will be afforded a 2,000 W starting wattage and a 1,600 W running wattage.

 

It is portable, so this also isn’t a bad option for camping.

Note that it is heavier than the last one.

 

This is a nice option for running a few appliances in your home if there is a power outage, like say, your refrigerator for instance.

 

As mentioned, this is heavier than the Jackery but still quite light in comparison to the remaining options.

 

At about 48 lbs it can be carried around to suit your needs where ever your needs may be.

 

With dimensions of 18 x 11 x 18 inches, you can also fit it into plenty of places.

It has a 1-gallon tank for fuel, which is on the lower end of course.

But it still gets the job done in most cases.

 

It can supply power for roughly 9 hours in case you’re enduring a long power outage or need some power for a good amount of time on your campsite.

 

It has a noise level of approximately 53 dBA which is fairly quiet.

Pros

Cons

3. Honda EU2200i | Most Powerful Emergency Generator for Apartments

Next, we have another generator of a similar size.

Meet the Honda EU2200i Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator.

Another inverter generator that’s also portable.

 

This one costs quite a bit more, running around $1,000.

Let’s take a look and see what details it offers you from this trusted and amazing brand of Honda.

 

TECH SPECS

The starting wattage of this generator is 2,200 W and the running wattage is 1,700 W.

 

This makes it considerably more powerful than the last option from WEN.

 

Roughly in the same area, but if you need every little bit of wattage from a portable generator, this may be the best generator for emergency use for you.

 

This is another small and portable option, weighing less at just 40 lbs This is the lightest generator on this list when excluding the power station we first reviewed.

 

And the dimensions are 16 x 20 x 11 inches so it’s quite a small and compact generator that’s easy to bring anywhere.

 

This is another option with a 1-gallon tank size to hold a bit of fuel.

 

The tank isn’t that big.

But it’s more than enough to power up some appliances at your campsite.

 

Depending on the load you run it at, it can last anywhere from 4 to 9 hours.

 

One of the big pluses about this generator is the quiet operation as it generally operates at around 48 dBA, making it ideal for camping.

 

If you want quiet power that comes in a light and portable package, then this may be the best generator for emergency preparedness in your eyes!

Pros

Cons

4. Champion 3500-Watt | Best Big Tank Mid-sized Generator for Emergency Preparedness

We’re going to move up a level to a more medium-sized group of generators.

First, we will look at this Champion 3500-Watt generator.

 

Of the medium-sized generators, this one is on the inexpensive end.

It costs around $510 and has a lot to offer.

 

TECH SPECS

Moving up a level in terms of the wattage you get here, this generator has a starting wattage of 3,500 W and a running wattage of 3,200 W.

 

With more running wattage, you can run a lot more appliances.

 

Yes, your drinks in your refrigerator can still be kept cold while you cook some food on your electric stove.

 

This Champion generator weighs around 105 lbs so it’s heavier than the smaller generators we were just looking at.

 

And with dimensions of 23 x 19 x 20 inches, it’s a bit bigger but not too big.

 

The tank size on this mid-sized generator is an impressive 3.8 gallons, making it the mid-sized generator on the list with the biggest tank.

 

And it’s a dual-fuel generator so you can use gasoline or propane, your choice.

It should be able to last you around 10 hours on 50% load, maybe even closer to 12 hours.

 

The noise level is around 68 dBA making it noisier than others.

Still, if you want that long run time, you have to make some compromises.

Pros

Cons

5. Westinghouse iGen4500 | Best Portable Mid-sized Generator for Emergency Preparedness

Another mid-sized generator to look at comes from a different brand that’s just as good.

 

We are talking about the Westinghouse iGen4500.

This option is much pricier, currently running around $1,400 at the writing of this article.

 

Somewhat due to the brand name, but those prices may drop at times when it isn’t in such high demand.

 

Either way, this generator does offer a lot.

 

TECH SPECS

The starting wattage for the Westinghouse iGen4500 is 4,500 W while the running wattage is 3,700 W.

 

Though not the highest of all the medium-sized generators, you can see that these totals are much higher than the last option from Champion.

 

More power means you can run more large appliances.

You could run an even bigger air conditioner unit than what the previous Champion can handle, or power a few more rooms in your house.

 

Maybe this is your option for an RV, it works there as well.

With a weight of 93 lbs, it’s the lightest of the mid-sized generators making it very easy to carry around.

 

It’s still close to 100 lbs though, so don’t forget to lift with your legs.

And with dimensions of 18 x 10 x 16 inches, it’s considerably smaller than the last Champion.

 

The 3.4-gallon tank is a bit smaller than the last option, but the same size as the upcoming mid-sized option.

 

And it is still plenty big to hold enough fuel for all your needs.

 

And it’s engineered in such a way that it gets you maximum efficiency, the variable engine will produce only the power you need at any given time.

 

With no power going to waste, this means it can last up to 18 hours!

That’s almost all day on one single tank, making this an excellent option if you need a power source for a long period!

 

And with a 52 dBA noise level, it is much quieter than the competition.

Want a generator for emergency power with a long run time with a low noise level?

 

Just go out there and buy this one.

No need to keep looking anymore!

Pros

Cons

6. Champion 3800-Watt | Most Powerful Mid-sized Generator for Emergency Preparedness

Here is our third mid-sized option.

This is the Champion 3800-Watt Dual-fuel Generator.

 

Another option from the brand Champion.

This one will cost right around $515, which is just about the same cost as the first Champion we looked at.

 

This one is slightly different in a few ways.

Let’s see if these differences are to your liking or not.

 

TECH SPECS

The starting wattage is 4,750 W and the running wattage is 3,800 W making this the generator of the medium-sized options with the highest wattage in both cases.

 

So, if it’s a mid-sized option you want and you prefer to have the most power, go with this champion right here (no pun intended)!

 

Air conditioners, electric stoves, refrigerators, toasters… it can power up anything you throw at it.

It’s RV-ready, works great in the house, quite versatile.

 

It is, however, the heaviest of the mid-sized generators, weighing about 119 lbs So, keep that in mind, along with the dimensions of 26 x 25 x 23 inches, which also make it the biggest of the mid-sized choices.

 

The 3.4-gallon tank matches the Westinghouse’s tank and is just a bit smaller than the last Champion.

 

But with dual-fuel, you can choose gasoline or propane and fit plenty of it in this generator.

 

This should be able to last around 9 hours on 50% load if you’re using gasoline and about 11 hours on 50% load if you’re using propane.

 

That’s quite an impressive period to run at such a high wattage.

This generator also has a 68 dBA noise level like the other one, so again, not the quietest.

 

But if you’re looking for long run time paired with optimum power in terms of the wattage in a mid-sized generator for your house or RV, then this is the best generator for emergency preparedness.

Pros

Cons

7. Durostar DS10000E | Best Affordable Large Emergency Generator for Home Use

Let’s take a look at some bigger options because we need to consider that some of you folks out there need a lot of power.

 

We’ll start with the Durostar DS10000E which is large but still portable.

It will cost around $950 which, of course, is a bit pricier.

 

But considering what you get with this product, we’d say it’s for sure worth the money.

 

TECH SPECS

Right off the bat, we see this Durostar generator has a starting wattage of 10,000 W and a running wattage of 8,000 W.

 

That’s quite a bit more than the previous mid-sized and smaller-sized generators.

This is a great choice for whole-home backup power.

 

The 72 dBA does make it a bit louder, but you’ll likely forgive the noise when you’re powering your whole home.

 

If you live in an area where storms, inclement weather, and the like cause power outages often and don’t want your family to be stuck in the dark for long, this is probably the best you can get.

 

At 260 lbs, it’s not portable but rather movable if you got a helping hand.

And with dimensions of 40 x 29 x 28 inches, it’s large.

 

Of course, the sheer size and weight are justified considering how powerful this generator is.

It needs to be large to harness that massive 8.3-gallon tank after all!

 

Thanks to having the largest tank on this list, at 50% load, this generator should be able to run for a full 10 hours!

 

Considering what 50% load on this big generator can still power, 10 hours is a lot of time to be able to power a lot of appliances.

 

If you need the best emergency generator for home use, definitely consider this one.

Pros

Cons

8. Westinghouse WGen9500DF | Most Powerful Large Emergency Generator For Home Use

Lastly, we have one more large generator.

This is another generator for whole-home use.

 

This is the Westinghouse WGen9500DF Portable Generator.

Another portable and large generator.

 

This one costs around $1,150, making it the more expensive of the two large generators we are reviewing here.

 

But let’s see just why it costs more.

 

TECH SPECS

The first thing to note as to why this generator is so impressive is the increase in wattage compared to the previous one.

 

The starting wattage is 12,500 W and the running wattage is 9,500 W, making this the most powerful generator on this list.

 

Like the generator we saw before, this is a large and portable generator that is excellent for whole-home use.

 

This generator has an edge on the last one though, in that it has higher starting and running wattage.

 

You can power more things with it.

You won’t have to worry about perhaps not having enough power.

 

In this tier of large generators, if you’d prefer not to skimp on money and want to make sure you have enough power, then the Westinghouse is for you.

 

Impressively, it also weighs a good deal less.

Weighing about 220 lbs makes it still heavy, but for a large generator that isn’t so bad.

 

40 lbs less can make a difference when you’re wheeling it around.

And with dimensions of 27 x 26 x 27 inches, it’s right around the same size, but a good deal smaller.

 

It does pale in comparison to the Durostar in the tank size, however.

The tank size is 6.6 gallons which is almost 2 gallons less, but still plenty big.

 

This is a dual-fuel generator.

If you run on propane, at 50% load you can run the generator for about 7 hours.

However, using gasoline, at 50% load you should be able to run it up to 12 hours!

 

And of course, being that this is a larger generator, the noise level of 74 dBA makes this a noisier option.

 

Technically a bit noisier than the last generator.

Again, when using during a power outage, you may not be so concerned with noise.

 

But if your idea of the best emergency generator for home use is something that is large and can power a whole home, with great run time, and is still portable, then this may be the perfect fit for you.

Pros

Cons

Best Generator for Emergency Preparedness — Buyers Guide

There you go, we have reviewed 8 different generators.

All of these are different and claim to be the best generator for emergency preparedness in their unique ways.

 

For some people, breaking down each choice in this way could be enough for them to choose the best emergency generator for home use

 

For others, you may need some more information.

So, don’t worry.

We aren’t done yet.

 

We’re going to continue to assist you in figuring out which is your best emergency generator for home use, for camping, for RV’s… everything.

 

Let’s go over some frequently asked questions when people are searching for the best generator for emergency preparedness.

 

Answering these questions will help clear up the confusion you might still have after reading the reviews.

What’s the best portable generator for emergency power?

This is a situation many people can identify with.

Perhaps you’re camping or simply driving your car anywhere.

 

In these cases, it’s not a bad idea to have some power in case you get lost or put in a bad situation.

And if you break down or get lost and you need power, you need the Jackery Explorer 240.

 

It’s small, light and inexpensive.

Keep it charged and in the trunk of your car to get you out of a jam.

What’s the best emergency generator for apartments?

Here, I’ll give you a few different answers that will each apply to specific scenarios you may be in living in an apartment.

If you don’t mind spending some more money, the Honda EU2200i could be the best bet if you want the lightest, most portable, and quietest generator for your apartment.

Living in an apartment, you likely have to consider the noise due to neighbors being close by.

And to be able to move it around easily and tuck it into a corner neatly could be big for you.

Now, let’s say you’re looking to spend much less and just want something that will provide enough power for a few appliances.

The WEN 56200i is also quite light and quiet, much less expensive, and it is going to power appliances for you with a 1,600 W running wattage and will last quite a while if you are without power for extended periods.

If it’s power and runs time you’re most concerned with, then the Champion 3500-Watt would be your best bet.

It can power more appliances, it can run longer than the other two generators, but it’s heavier and louder.

Maybe consider this option if your apartment has thick walls or you don’t have neighbors.

 

See also: Best Generators for Apartments

What’s the best generator for emergency preparedness if I want to power a few larger appliances?

If you don’t require a big generator, the mid-size generators are more than capable.

 

Of the mid-sized generators, the Champion 3500-Watt is the least expensive and has the biggest fuel tank.

 

If it’s power in a mid-sized generator you’re most desiring, then choose the Champion 3800-Watt which has the highest starting and running wattage and can power plenty of appliances.

 

This is also fairly inexpensive.

If you’re OK with spending some more cash, the Westinghouse iGen4500 may be the choice for you if you’re looking for any of the following three things:

 

  • The lightest and most easily portable mid-sized generator
  • The quietest mid-sized generator
  • The mid-sized generator that can run for the longest period

What’s the best emergency generator for home use if I have a large house?

You’ll want to go with a large generator in this case.

The Durostar DS10000E is a fantastic option that is the less expensive of the two large generators on this list and it has the larger tank size.

 

The Westinghouse WGen9500DF is also great, though more expensive, it’s lighter and smaller by a bit and most importantly it offers more power.

What’s the best generator for emergency preparedness if I want something quiet?

The quietest small generator is the Honda EU2200i which runs at about 48 dBA.

 

The quietest mid-sized generator is the Westinghouse iGen4500 running at around 52 dBA.

 

The quietest large generator is the Durostar DS10000E with a noise level measured at about 72 dBA.

What’s the best dual-fuel generator for emergency preparedness?

The Westinghouse WGen9500DF allows both propane and gasoline and is your choice for a dual-fuel large generator for your whole home.

 

In terms of mid-sized generators that are dual-fuel the Champion 3500-Watt is the best option if you want a lighter more portable generator.

 

It also has a big tank.

And the Champion 3800-Watt is the best option if you just need more power.

 

This offers a ton of power among mid-sized options.

Best Generator for Emergency Preparedness — Conclusion

There you go.

Eight different generators that all give you something different when it comes to emergencies.

 

But each one can claim itself to be the best generator for emergency preparedness in one way or another.

 

Once you know your very specific situation, you can pick a generator from this list easily.

 

It’s all about what you need most, what you want and the order of importance for your needs and wants.

 

Consider your budget, the power you need, if you expect to need a long run time, if noise factors in, if the type of fuel factors in, portability… and arrange it all in terms of importance to yourself.

 

This purchase isn’t just about picking ‘the best option.

It is specific to you.

 

So, don’t worry if you know a few people buying one type of generator but you have your eyes on another one.

 

Their situation may vary greatly from yours.

Whether you got a big house or an apartment or if this is for camping or RV use, there is a phenomenal choice on this list just waiting for you.

 

So, pick out your best generator for emergency preparedness and bring it home.

 

The sooner the better.

Then, when the next emergency comes about, you are prepared and you are confident that you have an amazing product that is going to help you through it.

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Mike has a PhD in Engineering and is currently a Scientist in an international research institute. He is 39 and loves researching about interaction of light with solid materials. Application of his research includes but not limited to solid state lighting, white-light emitting diodes (LED)photodetectors and optoelectronic devices

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