Hurricane Irene is expected to hit the eastern US this weekend with very heavy rains and high winds. Considerable flooding is expected.
Also expected are many power failures. This is because the ground is already saturated from recent rain storms, the hurricane will add considerable rain, and high winds will knock many trees into wires. It is expected to take a few days to restore power.
It will be interesting to see how the telecom providers react to the storm to keep service running in terms of landlines, cellular, and Internet traffic. Will traditional landline central offices fail due to flooding or lost power? Will downed utiltiy poles take down vital communication lines as well? Will the various services be flooded with more traffic than they can handle (as happened with cell phones in the recent earthquake)? Will trunk lines that provide long distance service, interconnect central offices and cell phone towers, and provide Internet 'backbone' support fail?
(FWIW, I dug out an old transistor radio and got batteries for it, just in case. My power isn't that reliable. I wish I could have a backup generator for power but I live in an apt.)