Growing up in the mountains of CA the power would go out damn near every time it snowed so my dad finally had enough and got a 4k or 5k generator when i was young. When the power would go out the process was turn off the main breaker that supplies the house from the street and turn off any random breakers for crap that was unnecessary (marked with red dots in the panel). then plug in the generator with a suicide cord to an outlet he installed in the garage (pretty sure it was a 6-50) then fire up the generator and it would power the things like the fridge, freezer, microwave, etc. My dad worked as an electrician for 37 years before retiring so I'm inclined to believe this was perfectly safe to do. Although I'm also inclined to think this is possibly just the way we used to do things and have since changed the standards.
My dad passed a few years ago and my mom moved to a smaller house and now is considering getting a generator to power things when the power goes out. When i visit her every month i do all the random fixes and stuff around the house and if she gets a generator i will have to get it working and make clear directions on how to operate it, just like my dad did back in the day.
I was reading a few things off google and most say not to plug into a random outlet because backfeeding, but if the main is turned off as step one doesn't that eliminate the possibility of backfeeding? I really don't want to have to wire in a new panel for a transfer switch, couldn't i just install an interlock like this or a similar product?
She is looking at some 3k generators so i was thinking i could install a 30A breaker with an interlock and run some 8 AWG to a 5-30 outlet like a few feet from the panel, and use some 8 AWG to make a 20ft extension cable. I could do a shorter extension cord but it would be a shorter run this way than if i ran the wire for the outlet up and over through the attic to closer to the door so the generator can be outside. I know 10 AWG is the standard for these size runs but i figure going one size bigger would be better that way its a smidge beefier than necessary and i wouldn't have to worry about overheating or anything.
Edit: added pic of main panel I noticed there is no main breaker on here like I thought there was. So the main breaker is outside on a panel right next to the meter and that panel doesn't have a cover it's just one of those wires exposed panels with the big cover on it. So I could still kill the main and put a breaker on the main what I'm now gonna call the main sub panel but I don't see any way to install an interlock since if I put the gen breaker outside it would be on the same leg as the incoming feed which is obviously something I can't do.