Our neighbors have a generator and it is LOUD when it goes on. It's a main reason I don't want a generator. I thought it was wonderfully peaceful when the power went out - the whole house was actually SILENT. It is amazing how much "ambient noise" there is normally from clocks, fridges, etc! Never mind TVs and actual noisy things.
There are still tons of people without power around here, so this is pretty serious.
I definitely think everyone should have a hand-crank radio and flashlight as bare basics for an emergency. That way you can see and know what's going on.