Last weekend, Delta Airlines suffered from a power outage in the Atlanta area. I don't know why Delta's backup generator(s) didn't keep them fully operational, but they apparently didn't. The disruption significantly affected their world-wide flight schedule for several days.
This weekend was Baton Rouge's turn, with three days of heavy rain from a storm that just sat over the area. This was the equivalent of a tropical depression sitting in one place, but it started inland, not over the water. At my house, we measured 17 inches of rain.
Early in the day on Sunday, AT&T lost cellular service. I learned from news reports later that it happened when a major switching station was flooded. Then, when the power in our area went off, we lost cable television and cable Internet service.
If we had the cable telephone, it would have been lost also). Fortunately, we have kept out AT&T land-line for just this reason.
By Sunday noon, most of the rain had stopped, but the area flooding was still increasing. We didn't get flooded, but we know some people who did. We lost power Sunday afternoon at 3:26pm local time. It's still off Monday afternoon. Fortunately, we have a generator (its log told me the time it started), and ours does work.
Of course, with phone service down, internet service down, cellular service down, and cable television down, having power from a generator just doesn’t get me my Internet and email "fix." I'm amazed at how often I turn to do something that doesn't work — like wanting to stream Netflix while working in the kitchen, or checking email, or wanting to look up something on tv.com or imdb.com.
Finally, AT&T is back up, mostly, but I understand they're using portable systems that they've brought it. Cell calls still aren’t reliable, as they often connect, but then drop mid-call. Sometimes cellular data access is at LTE speeds, other times 4G speeds, if operational at all. I finally got my cellphone emails — my computer still doesn’t have access through the cable system.
That brings up a good point: Cellphone Tethering. I can connect my iPhone with its cable to my computer to use the iPhone as my Internet connection, just as I would connect it to back up my iPhone.
The next step, is to turn off Wireless and turn on Personal Hotspot in the iPhone's Settings. Since I turned off my iPhone’s wireless network connection (as I was trying other alternatives), when I selected Personal Hotspot, the iPhone gave me options to turn on wireless or to select "Bluetooth and USB only."
I needed to select Bluetooth and USB only, otherwise, my iPhone would connect to my wireless router and try to use it as the Internet gateway (and the cable Internet service is down!).
Then, on my desktop (to which I connected the iPhone), I needed to disable the Ethernet adapter so that it would use the iPhone as its Internet connection. Coincidentally, this prevents accessing my network printers and other computers on my home network while doing this, but I can always do those functions later.
iTunes doesn't like to run on a computer that has a network connection, but whose Internet connection is down. Open iTunes and it just hangs, with the Windows 7 circular mouse pointer (the "not responding pointer" that seems to say "Don’t bother me, I'm not going to do anything with this window until I'm good and ready…"). Eventually, iTunes times out its attempt to talk to Apple and responds to user actions.
Cellphone tethering is a useful backup. Unfortunately, it's not completely reliable. If the cellular service provider is having problems (as AT&T is right now while they’re trying to get back to fully operable mode), the Internet access from the phone or tethered computer works, then doesn't work, then works…