I don't post here very often, but I did just read this thread and wanted to add to it a little. We live about 40 miles NW of NYC and about 500 feet higher. For us in our home we only experienced a power failure starting Monday at 6:45 PM lasting till 4:45 PM on Wednesday. No Internet till Thursday PM.
I camp with the Boy Scouts a lot and love winter camping so it wasn't so bad for me. I bought a battery backup at 10 AM on Monday to power my gas range. It has a safety lockout during power failures. I wanted to be able to cook there. As it turned out, the backup didn't last too long and I ended up breaking out my two propane Coleman stoves and set them up on the picnic table on the deck. I made a huge seafood chowder (about 3 gallons) Wednesday afternoon to use up food defrosting: 6 Crappie, one 4 lb breeder Rainbow Trout, shrimp-plus a lb of bacon to fry the onions, garlic, carrots, celery, potato in. I boiled the fish in cheesecloth to get it into chunks and remove the bones and skin. Added it back to the water to make a really rich stock by simmering for a few hours. 1/2 gallon milk and simmer it sub boiling to heat. I planned to pass it out to neighbors, which I did, but the power came back on just as I was giving it the final assembly and adjusting the seasoning so it wasn't so urgent anymore. We had a Hurricane Sandy party Tuesday PM at the next door neighbor across the street. We all brought leftovers and enjoyed the gas fireplace she had for warmth. For me and a few others it was too hot.
House temperatures never went below 60 F. My two fish tanks of Tanganyikan cichlids survived fine. I cleaned out the canister filters soon after the first power outage so there wouldn't be any ammonia spike. All of my CP are hardy and can take the cold so I didn't worry there. I have 4 tanks at work and the power is still out there as of today. I am not very hopeful of any survivors there. I have an Australian Drosera there and am hoping it can take the colder temps. I forget the species, just bought it. My Mexican Pings should do fine there as well. I'm hoping we can get back to work on Monday.
We didn't have any damage to our property, but plenty around us did: one friend had a tree wipe out all three of their cars and also hit their house. Others still don't have power as of tonight where we should be seeing freezing temperatures. The storm was mainly wind. Hardly any rain and the ground was dry before hand so it didn't flood much at all. I was standing out on our porch looking west and feeling the warm wind gusts blowing me around 9 PM Monday night. I kept seeing flashes in the sky thinking it was lightning but never hearing thunder. It may have been transformers going off. But as I hear it, a major power feeder was hit and that is what caused the power failure in my area.