ARRL conducts emergency communications exercises
Before there was Prodigy, CompuServe, America Online...and the internet...there has been amateur radio.
(I ask that you indulge me as I reminisce.) To paraphrase the Henry Hill character from the movie Goodfellas, "As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a ham..." I never was able to have the money, time, and help. There was a time where I owned and operated at least eight Citizen Band (CB) radios, though. I remember my call sign that was issued by the Federal Communications Commission, and I might still be able to "tweak" a system. I miss my D-104...
This year, the main American Radio Relay League Simulated Emergency Test weekend is October 3-4. It is a nationwide exercise in emergency communications. I encourage all to consider amateur radio as a hobby (if not for yourself, for a younger person): computer equipment reliability, internet service, commercial power service, and telephone service are beyond your control.