My area...*rolls eyes*
As you might know, my area might or might not be in the path of an oncoming storm. The crap that's going on, not just in my town or county, but in the entire bi-state area, is perfectly unreal: all the stores from here to Georgia were sold out on water...by MONDAY. Generators are going for well over $1,000 for just ~1000-4000 watts (many of which do not/cannot power a fridge).
A few kind souls had listed used 4000-6000 watt generators for $150-500 but until later on today I didn't have the money for even the lower end. By this afternoon they were gone. I've been on eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, Facebook (scrounging every local swap-n-shop and garage sale) and can't find anything I'd actually buy. There are a few 3000-4000 watt models still available on Amazon in my price range ($100-300) but now Amazon's tacked on a message: "May take an extra 1-2 days to ship" in grass-green letters below the price, so even with Prime, that means 4-5 days goes to 6-7 days to await shipping, and I think we might need it (if we do, at all) by Monday, but my thought is if conditions turn bad enough delivery services won't be out risking their lives by then just to deliver people's goods.
I mean, I wouldn't go out in a hellacious storm if I didn't have to, but who's to say if UPS/FedEx/USPS would or not...
But that's not the end of the price gouging, oh not by any means. A few examples: a manual for some generator is listed at over $200 on Amazon that still costs just $12 on the manufacturer's website. Some UPS battery backups are going for over $300. I have the identical UPS to one I saw at that price on Amazon - just a different brand - sitting on the back corner of my kitchen counter running our kitchen laptop, a lamp, some of our phone and tablet chargers, and I know the damn thing's not worth more than $50 (got it for free off the curb, because as I've said under lock, my neighbors throw away stuff because...like, *in a high-pitched voice*, "It's Tuesday, Harold - time to toss the UPS!". I don't know what's wrong with these people, but I'm not complaining).
But I'm desperate for a generator. I threw away at least $300 worth of food last fall with Hurricane Motherfucking Still Cannot Say Its Name, and spent another $150-200 just so we could buy more during the extended power outage - that's upward of $500 - and between that and the storm putting us out of work for over a week, that turned into such a spiral there was no getting out of it. So I want a generator at least powerful enough to run the fridge so I can keep the food, which will pretty much help it pay for itself, especially if it comes in at or under my $300ish-max budget. But because I can't guarantee we'll even need it, I don't want to spend more than that.
Then again, I could just do like so many people are doing...buy one for $400, then flip it to someone desperate for $1,200 before the next big storm... *eyeroll*
I'm sort of regretful I didn't look sooner, but I didn't have money sooner, and couldn't know I needed it until it finally hit me in the middle of the night that we've got to get a generator. A lot of people had the same thought I did, to judge by Facebook where everything more affordable was marked sold by today.