Generators come in two basic configurations -- manual or automatic start. Manual start systems enable users to get by with smaller generators, provided that all equipment is not restarted at the same time.
After a power failure, disconnect all equipment. Once the standby generator is running, restart motors one at a time beginning with the largest motor. This procedure reduces needed power. Since the extra start-up power is not necessary while equipment is running, power for other equipment- such as lamps and appliances- is available.