At face value quadrupled prices seems bad but it incentivized drivers to pick up people, putting their own lives at risk in the process, rather than just leaving everyone stranded there. It may have even enticed some drivers to head towards the danger rather than staying comfortably away. Depending on local laws they sometimes have to cap the surge pricing in disaster/emergency situations so if you don't like the idea inflated prices during these events then perhaps you should try to get your laws changed.
IMO surge pricing for cell networks would be fine as long as there were a small buffer before the surge pricing kicked in and that it notify you beforehand. Say it's a 1MB grace allotment, you could upload one picture, talk for a couple mins, or send hundreds of text messages. That last option is key, if you really need to communicate information then texting is the most efficient way to do it.