Last week, we were in New York visiting family. It was HOT. Close to or over 100 deg. most days and that's unusual up there. We were staying at a family member's summer cottage and on Saturday afternoon, the power went out at about 2PM. It didn't come back until about 10PM that night. Only one block was affected, but from what I understood, other blocks had gotten hit on other days. Some observations: 1. This is the first time in a while that I was in that type of situation without my usual preps. Our vehicle had a Get Home Bag in it so I had a candle and flashlight among other things. I also had an inverter. Homeowners had nothing but an old flashlight barely running. Everything was run on electric. BAD news. You're basically helpless. I think most folks are unprepped in this way and it will make for a very bad situation when the power goes out long term. 2. Most folks, if they have a house phone have a cordless. These DO NOT work in a blackout! If you haven't thought about that in a while, go out and get a $10 corded phone, while they're still being made. If you're house phone is run over IP, you're SOL without backup power. 3. When I called the power company, they listed all the towns that had power interruptions. Now keep in mind that what they call "towns" are really sections of the same suburban grid that might cover at most, a 3 x 3 mile area. There were 34 towns with power interruptions! 4. The power company came and made one failed attempt to get things running. They returned with some major equipment and began working on the transformer that feeds the block. IMO, they upgraded service on the fly. Here's why I think that: In that area, most folks had window air units 15 years ago. 25 years ago, they were running fans. This is the Northeast, where you can get by without AC. Now, everyone has upgraded to central AC, big refrigerators, plasma TVs, etc. In general, this problem is an example of the type of insufficient capacity that is typical in many systems in 2010 and IMO will cause a domino effect when TSHTF.