My electrical service is a rural electric cooperative, and we also find ourselves subject to prolonged weather related outages. We installed a whole house natural gas powered stand-by generator about one year ago, and have been very happy with it. It starts up automatically any time the regular power fails, and all household appliances,including our cpaps and humidifiers resume running after only about a 8-10 second delay.
I also manage three group homes for developmentally disabled adults, and was able to install standby generators in each of them, thanks to a generous donation. Our community had an F2 tornado last May, which took down many power lines, substations and damaged the local power generation plant leaving most of the town without power for several days. During this time, we had full power to cook, take showers do laundry and enjoy radio, computers and television. Many of our groups home residents also use cpap. I went to sleep each night knowing like me and my husband, they could sleep well with their cpaps and humidifiers.
Our electric cooperative offers year round discounted rates on electric power in exchange for a contract to allow them to switch our home to generator power on peak-load days during peak hours.
If you decide to install a generator, locate it as far as your lot will allow from the house. It does sound about like having a lawn mower running when in operation, so don't locate it near your sleeping area.
And get ready for lots of company during the next ice storm. Put on a big pot of stew because you will meet all your neighbors.