Being without electricity for almost 12 hours, and without Internet service for 4 days (both are back now) encourages contemplation of the multiple networks on which we are dependent for our well-being and even our survival, and of the interdependencies that exist across these networks…
–the electrical power grid
–natural gas transmission and distribution (in addition to its direct use in heating/cooking, natural gas is an important fuel for electrical generation)
–the various telecommunications infrastructures–wireline telephone, cellular, cable and broadcast TV, and Internet (my sense is that wireline phone is still considerably more reliable than cellular and cable)
–the water system (very dependent on the electrical system for pumping, although gravity-fed tanks provide some short-term independence)
–the street and highway network
–the freight-rail network…not very visible to most people–indeed, many still seem to think that the railroad industry is in eclipse–but if it disappeared for a month, you’d know it.
–the airline and air-freight systems and the air traffic control system that supports them
–the ocean transportation and inland barge industries
What did I leave out?