If you just want fridge, some lights and phone chargers, really look at one of the Honda EU2200 generators.
I have a whole house 14kw for here in NJ. Used it for 25 hours during Sandy, 50 last fall and a smattering of sub 8 hour outages since 2012.
My house in Florida has none and as soon as I move permanently down there, I'm buying one of those Hondas. They are so quiet and the power is absolutely clean. It will do whatever you need it to do. If you ever go to a swap meet or the like, most vendors that have power use one. Super reliable, sips gas.
All that said, other generators will work just fine as long as you drain the gas after usage otherwise the carb will be garbage 2 years later when you want to use it. I had a Generac 4000XL and I kept a spare carb($19 on Ebay) for it. Every couple years I'd just replace the carb.
Things tolerate ethanol much better these days, but it's still an issue.
The best thing about those Hondas is that used, they sell for nearly as much as new. If you upgrade later, you can get at least 70% of what you have in it.
Funny this thread came up, my wife literally just said to me 30 minutes ago: "before hurricane season starts we need to get a generator."
Since we are still renting I guess it makes the most sense to get a portable - we're not paying for any upgrades or changes to the house electrical system. What do you guys recommend? Brands? I know we want to power the refrigerator, some lamps, a fan or two. Should I just use something like this to figure out the wattage we need? We then put it outside and run some extension cords into the house? Am I missing anything?
Flat trigger is installed. Went much smoother than on Sunday since I knew what not to do. Total operation well under 30 min, closer to 15.
Initial impressions are positive. Reserving full judgement until I can live fire. But I'd be surprised if I had any desire to put the factory curved trigger back in.