The recent 'Derecho' storms from DC to Ohio, timed to coincide very nicely with the Supreme Court's Obamacare announcements, display one thing extremely clearly.
The state of effective civil defense insofar as recovering the power grid is abominable. There exist neither stocks of spares nor apparently an effective plan nor even sufficient initiative to get the job done should unfortunate events happen. The Derecho is small fry by comparison to most of the threats and this was THE FREAKING CAPITAL CITY. What the hell kind of country has unreliable power for more than a day or two in its capital?
Here is my word to the wise: Solar maximum is coming soon, if its not already here now. Late 2012 and 2013 promise a very active Sun indeed. Consider the possibility of millions of people without power. Your government won't. I suggest you take what steps you feel necessary and prudent for the safety and comfort of your own families.