If you haven't lived with 'no' power before, let me tell you---I have done it in the past [YES during the winter!!!] for almost 5 straight months, so I know what it is like!!
I therefore, feel qualified to at least tell y'all what can be expected, and I do not mean turning on a generator all the time. Oh sure, we had one, and even had a special box put in just for the generator to run the well. However, even if you don't have a well, you will at least need a few things to be organized, as I predict PGE will routinely shut off the power this year and next, any time they want to do so.....
So-- what are the basics of living with no power?
First--- if you have a regular job and are not dependent on lighting everything, or well water, then that's less work.
But if you only need "lighting" and you have a source that can (a) either charge power or (b) can charge power from your car, then you can get either an inverter for the car, or something more expensive that will store power enough for small lighting. For example, I just bought several lamps or lanterns that can be charged via USB...it may take up- to 4 hours, but you will likely have 4hr of lighting, depending on the lumens used........... OR, you can just buy a lantern that uses fuel (like for camping...........)
You can also buy various lights and lanterns that work with batteries, of course. I also recommend getting a camping stove which uses propane as they are widely available. In fact, if the weather isn't bad, you can sleep outside if you have a tent, pop up canopy or whatever. You could also actually live inside a Rubbermaid shed outside, just to see if you could do it? (True test of someone who can live outside but not necessarily in tent??!! LOL)
If you want to have your own coffee early in the morning, you can heat in on the stove mentioned, or be forced to buy drive through coffee....I will just drink the coffee without heating it. Heating is not required for me!!! and I don't really patronize Starbucks. Just Sayin'.........
IF the power is out long enough, and you need to use a computer for any length of time, you may need to get a power supply device which has stored power via batteries (for lack of better description)....these can run $500-$5k so you will need to decide what is right for you. Additionally, I recommend the inverter for your car, just in case, so you can charge smaller things. Of course, you can always go to Starbucks and use WIFI.
Or you can really prepare and look at this rack mount:
I was forced to sue PGE when they cut the power off illegally, this is how I know exactly what they will do, even when a bill is disputed and illegal.
Especially in rural areas, PGE has no qualms about simply cutting your power even if they never sent you a bill? I know, because I sued PGE for it.
Most people have never lived without electricity for 4-5 months. I must admit-- I have done it. I only used the computer once a week. Did most things once a week. Did buy an actual generator which PGE had to pay for (since forced to sue PGE..) SO-- let's just say I am more than qualified to say what it is like to use a generator once a week.
If you are not a rural type person, and you are spoiled and a yuppy type, you probably won't like living without power at all. You will probably be spending scads of money on gasoline, or you have already invested in an automatic generator for your house. If I was working 8hr per day in some job I might have had to buy that. But I am not working that much and would not buy it because I would not need it to survive.
IF you have scads of money and tons of food in freezers---you better get a generator that will be on constantly, or stop buying so much expensive food. Most of the food will be lost if the power is out for 3 days. My prediction is that PGE intends to shut off all power whenever it believes it can do so.
And I do not expect to see PGE stop doing it at all. NOT in foreseeable future.
IN FACT, I PREDICT PGE WILL SHUT OFF ALL POWER INCREASINGLY, MONTH BY MONTH, THE SEASONS WILL NOT MATTER. AS IF GASOLINE WAS CHEAP NOW?
JUST WAIT......................YOU HAVEN'T SEEN ANYTHING YET..................