Having lived through various natural disasters that caused electrical power to be out for many days, I've found the situation to be workable if there is somewhere nearby that still has power. It can be very inconvenient, but if you can get somewhere nearby that has power it lets you solve most of the problems you run into. (The house I grew up in had a wood stove for backup heat in just that type of situation.)
An event that caused serious damage to any number of substation transformers would be a totally different story, if it mean that there was no electricity for even say, a 100 mile radius. This past winter I watched them replace a substation transformer near my house. It took them more than three months to do it - a failure impacting a number of those units would be a big problem.