I don't know any electricians so having any switches put in or hardwiring will probably be out of the question right now. I appreciate the suggestion tho and will at least look into the switch for the furnace blower to see what that would cost. Labor is so expensive in this area though that I doubt it'll get done this year and I'll have to stick with extension cords for the time being. I can only afford the genny cause my job is giving us gift cards used with the company credit card "points" to either home depot or amazon. Money is kinda tight at the moment.
Now no one actually answered the questions about the extension cords and surge protectors, so can anyone give me some specific answers about that? Is what I envisioned correct?
The suggestion about getting 2 gennys is something I also considered - how do you daisy chain them together? If it's affordable I prefer that so if one goes bad the other would hopefully still work. I have to look into the cost of 2 smaller vs 1 large one. I do have a husband who can move it around, although that's about as far as his handyman skills go. Which is another concern with maintenance on the genny - he won't do it and I dunno how.
The dog house I mentioned is very large (built it myself for a 100 pound dog) and has a large opening in the front and I could skew the roof a bit for better exchange of air (it's an "A" roof that just lifts off). It also has a few small vents drilled into the sides of it. And it's plenty far away from the house for safety purposed.
We've lost power twice so far this year and we usually lose it from one storm or another at least once a year, and I'm just sick of tossing out all the food in my fridge and worrying about my fish tanks.