Every summer there are thunderstorms in southeastern Michigan, and every year some part of the networks (power, phone, cable, cell phone, traffic lights, twitter) go down. Here's a roundup of some things you can add to your emergency communications checklist so that when the weather goes sour you are prepared to be safe. I'm leaving a few of them blank where I don't know the answer, so check the comments on this for the fill in the blanks.
DTE Energy: power outage map, storm center, emergency number: 800.477.4747, how to report an outage, link to safety sheet to print out for ahead of time, media contact, how to get a quote for publication
Comcast: network outage map?, customer care number, how to report an outage, how to report on Twitter (@ComcastCares), safety sheet, how to report a downed line, media / pr contact, how to get a quote for publication, blogs and other media outlets
First, know that they depend on stable power, so if you have power problems nearby they need to be resolved before cable comes back online. This includes downed power lines that might cross and energize cable lines.
Second, they actively monitor email, Twitter, and telephones 24×7, so reporting an issue online will get a response.
Third, because of the nature of cable networks, it may be necessary to trace the broadband network from the cable head end to figure out what is wrong with the infrastructure; one storm may weaken some infrastructure, another may weaken it further, a third might take it all the way down.
ATT: network outage map?, customer care number, how to report an outage, how to track or report on Twitter, safety information, how to report a downed line, media/pr contact, how to get a quote for publication, blogs and other media outlets
T-Mobile: network outage map?, customer care number, how to report, how to track, safety info, impact of power outages on network, impact of congestion on network
911: how to call on a mobile phone, script to follow in an emergency, how to report location, where is it handled, when you live on a boundary, direct numbers, non-emergency numbers, keep your phone book
Weather information, emergency weather band radios, batteries, radio stations in the area that interrupt for weather, Weather Underground, how to report severe weather as a weather spotter, home weather stations, where does the weather come from, tracking weather on Twitter, who to follow out of the area for severe weather reports
Ham radio, how to get a license, emergency communications coordination, ham relay for health and welfare traffic
Mesh wireless, how to set up Wireless Ypsi, use of mesh networks in partial network failure to route to nearest working neighbor, quote from Steve Pierce, how to set up in your neighborhood, policy from service providers