Please note, however, that this scenario is unlikely. The biological agents in existence today, would not cause enough widespread devastation to stop essential services for a long period. However, we don't know what new terror tomorrow may bring, so it's best to be fully prepared.
In the event of a power failure, you will need to have a portable generator. Choose one keeping in mind what really needs to be powered (the refrigerator, a few lights, a radio). A portable generator is used where the device requiring electricity is plugged directly into the generator’s power outlets using an extension cord.
Generators are available fueled by gasoline, diesel, and propane. Keep in mind that the use of a generator is a short-term solution due to the amount of gasoline or other fuel you can safely store. Generators emit deadly carbon monoxide and so should be placed outside the house where there is sufficient ventilation.
Alternative Power Sources
Electricity can be generated using alternative sources like wind energy or water energy. However, the most efficient source of alternative energy is generated from solar power.
Solar electricity is generated when the sun shines on solar (Photovoltaic) panels. Solar panels range in size and power capability from a very small panel, capable of charging a couple of AA size batteries or powering a small radio -- to larger panels that could power several essential appliances.
Another approach to using solar power is to equip yourself with a number of essential appliances (radio, lighting, etc.) with their own built-in solar panels.
In order not to find yourself in the dark, the very minimum you need is:
A supply of candles. Ordinary candles are fine, but long-burning candles are recommended. Don’t forget to also store water-proof matches and/or a few cigarette lighters.
A few flashlights (battery operated, windup or solar powered).
Emergency Plug-in Lights...Ideally, your emergency lighting should be left plugged into strategically selected outlets in your home so that it will turn on automatically when power fails. Don’t forget to also store spare batteries and bulbs. See Additional resources for suppliers of emergency lighting.
If a crisis situation occurs, you need to know what is happening around you to help you plan. The minimum you need is a radio receiver. A radio capable of receiving short-wave bands is recommended.
Of course, a mobile phone can be indispensable in this kind of situation. A CB radio can also be useful in a long-term survival situation. A police scanner can be useful to stay abreast of the developing situation.