Some societies, like our Norwegian one, has made itself completely dependent on electricity. "Going on, doing whatever you do, but without electricity" is not possible.
Sander Rossel wrote:There was no panic or chaos, stores and the hospital had back-up generators, everyone just went on doing whatever they did, but without electricity and more boredom.
Almost all house heating is electric. Even heat pumps require electricity. Oil furnaces are forbidden from last newyear. Very few homes have gas heaters or wood stoves. In parts of the country, you need additional heating for more than half of the year. If a winter storm knocks out the grid, with -20°C outside, and the indoor temeperature falls below freezing, you cannot continue all activities as normal.
Most of our food is conserved by cooling/freezing; we have forgotten all the traditional conservation methods (drying, smoking, salting...). In summer heat, our food would soon be ruined.
99,9% of all hot water heaters are electric. You can shower in cold water, but that sure is a change!
The water supply depends (in my town, and many other towns) on electric pumps raising the water into pressure basins. Modern waster quality requirements dictate use of filtering/purifying systems that demand electricity.
99,9% of all cooking is electric. You won't get any hot food, tea, coffee... without electricity. You can't bake your bread.
All lights are electric. For at least four months (more further north), e.g. classrooms will be too dark for teaching. Lots of workshops and factories will be too dark for working.
All communication - radio, TV, phone, computer networks - require electricity. Even running a printing press for a paper based newspaper require electricity.
Most office work is done with a PC, much work relies on network access to remote servers that will be unavilable without electric power.
A significant part of production of goods / food makes use of robots, or at least motorized tools. This would stop without electricity.
All monitoring, surveillance and control systems depend on electricity. Access control does. If power goes out, I will probably be locked out of my office (or possibly, all doors are open to any burglar). We don't have any mechanical keys.
Most trains are electric. Goods transport would suffer significantly if they can't run.
Trams and metro are electric. When they stop, traffic is in a complete chaos.
Electric cars have become popular. Many people can't get to work, or the grocery store, without electricity.
Gas station fuel pumps are electric; I doubt that new models can be hand cranked. Cars would be useless when they run out of fuel, including trucks for delivery of goods.
You can't possibly call for "business as usual" without electricity.