I used to live in Lexington, KY, and now live in Greenville, SC. I know all about ice storms and losing power!! We have one or two 24-48 hour periods every year where we lose power. A small camping or RV generator rated for 2500-5000 watts retails for as little as $500 (www.northerntool.com
) and is more than sufficient to provide life support for a decent size aquarium, as well as power certain appliances in your home. Follow the instructions on the generator carefully, They are not any more difficult to run than a gas lawnmower.
PLEASE DO NOT simply plug them into your house's electrical outlets - if the power comes back on and the generator is plugged into your home outlets the feedback WILL KILL YOU or start a FIRE in your home. Plug your appliances directly into the generator's isolated outlets instead. (You can also have an certified electrical install a transfer switch - $200 plus installation - which isolates your home from the main power grid to allow you to run your furnace blower or select lights in your home - if you like.) Or, you can even buy whole house generators which run off natural gas or propane, and automatically turn on when the power goes out. These run $2,000 and up, and require professional installation.
$500 is a lot to spend for some people, so do the math. My live rock for my 120 gal
cost about $500. My fish and coral frags
would cost about $1,000 to replace. So all in I have approximately $1,500 invested in livestock, plus the utter pain of having having to start my reef all over again, cycling the tank, etc. $500 sounds like pretty good insurance money. Also, imagine the envy of your neighbors when the power goes out and you still have lights!!!!