"If the power grid goes down. . . ." These six words raise a lot of questions. Life-and-death questions.
Communications could become a life-and-death matter in a local community. It will matter who is coming up the road.
It will also matter who is having success in dealing with the Y2K crisis. Others will want to imitate the successful entrepreneurs of local rebuilding.
What about family members who live ten miles away -- or ten thousand? How will communicate with them if the power grid is down? If the phones are down? Amateur radio is the obvious choice.
If the power grid doesn't go down, it's still a good idea to have access to a network of well-informed people who share your views. Amateur radio allows the creation of networks of like-minded people. Does this offer opportunities in a crisis? I think so.
If you can gain this access through computerized data transmission, all the better. I have in mind packet radio. If you don't know about this new technology, you had better visit this forum.
If the power stays up, but the phones go down, that will take the Internet down. Again, what if you could still receive and send information? What if it could be secured in such a way that your personal electronic "signature" would assure recipients that you really sent the message, and their "signatures" let you know the same?
There are products and techniques that will allow a handful of people to communicate with each other if they have solar power. A word to the wise is sufficient.
If you don't know about any of this, you should get involved in this forum.