Fortunately, the Cold War is over. But unfortunately, there's no more swinging bachelor pad-ish bomb shelters floating about the suburbs.
Still, emergencies can happen, especially if you live in geographic area with a higher risk of natural disasters. Keeping a few items on hand will put you in the best place in case a blackout occurs.
Matches. Get a whole box, and keep them dry. Keeping a couple candles nearby is always advisable. If you have a wood burning fireplace, you might want to store one of those composite logs. A gas fireplace may work during a blackout.
Flashlight. Of course. Get two big, bright one. Buy twice as many batteries as they require. Keep one flashlight in a drawer or on a shelf that you know you can access in the dark, and keep an extra set of batteries nearby. Store the other flashlight with the rest of your blackout gear.
Water. Get a few sealed gallons and keep them around. If you do sense an emergency, fill several large vessels with tap water ASAP. Also, if necessary, take advantage of ice cubes, whether still frozen or melted.
Food. Your home probably has all sorts of non-perishables lying about, but you might store some extras just in case. Your refridgerator will continue to keep food fresh as long as you keep the door shut whenever possible.
Telephone. Don't throw out your old non-electric telephone. Add it to your emergency kit - your mobile phone service may not work in a power outage.
Cash. Convenient and grocery stores will probably remain open during a blackout. Keep some cash around to purchase any necessities...but be prepared to pay the exorbitant prices associated with our old friend supply and demand.
Make a plan. Speak with your family and neighbors and establish a protocol and meeting place should a blackout or other emergency hit.
Don't be paranoid...Just be safe.
Toronto Blackout photo from Answers.com