True story: about a year ago, we had some pretty fierce windstorms here in scenic Southern California that knocked out power in a patchwork pattern. Some areas went without power for twelve hours, some as much as six days. My neighborhood, made up of everything within about a three-quarter-mile radius, went almost four days.
Though there was significant wind damage (my damage was limited to the loss of a section of fence), this was NOT apocalyptic. And I hasten to point out the patchwork pattern because, though my home was without power, my office a mere twelve miles away had electricity after just a day, and many others were only down for a few hours.
I make an issue of how mild a "crisis" this was because of the number of my neighbors who were devastated - not in terms of physical damage, but in terms of the dependency. Dozens of my neighbors who were wont to cocoon in their homes most of the time suddenly found themselves walking outdoors, sporting the famous thousand-yard stare. "We have no computers! No Internet! No HBO and no microwaves! The end is nigh!" they wailed. "Who will help us? Who will save us?"
Cecile and I enjoyed candlelight dinners, basking in the warm glow of the fireplace, listening to news on my little hand-crank radio from my bug-out bag, cooking meals over the Weber (and for the love of all that is holy, I know that my neighborhood has plenty of backyard grills...). My gosh, the Golden Arches were fully available just eight blocks away; it's not like civilization had collapsed and the Visigoths and the Vandals had come pouring in. Perhaps it was the withdrawal symptoms, I don't know.
I'm surrounded by people who, had they been on Long Island instead of here, would have no clue how to survive. "FEMA isn't here yet! It's dark at night! There's no basketball game to watch! I'm going to have to eat my cat to survive!"
When the zombie apocalypse comes, these people are going to be doomed.
No doubt every action of government contributed to a more reliable infrastructure and every regulation facilitated repair. It would probably still be dark today without the brain trust in Sacramento.
Don't knock cat meat until you try it. Certain national leaders say it tastes a lot like dog.
Good point KA. Southern Californians no doubt make Long Islanders look like a hybrid of Bear Gryllis and MacGyver. After all, they've experienced temperatures below 40F in their lifetimes.
But I do have to ask about your zombie apocalypse reference. My dear brother, do you not know where the zombies come from??