We had, and used, wood fireplaces in our house in Vermont. Modern house, net energy loss, but a nice amenity to be enjoyed.
They were banned in the six county metro area in which I lived in Colorado - smog.
In the 1978 ice storm in Connecticut, which collapsed the Civic Center roof after two feet of snow and a few inches of frozen liquid water, we were without power for six days. Six days is a long time. The wood fireplaces in the 1938 house in which we lived provided the only heat. When it's below freezing outside, the fireplace did add some heat, though the house was slowly cooling the entire time.
But to the point of disaster preparedness, I live in hurricane country now. We are prepared. Food, water, prescription meds, chainsaw gas and chains, tools, alternative heat (gas fireplace with line), alternative cooking (gas grill with line, or Coleman stove with fuel).
After that Ice Storm, numerous blizzards in Colorado and Vermont, a few Hurricanes in Texas and Virginia, I am always prepared. Even my truck and car has tools, blanket, food, water, spare clothing.
In a real disaster, those who are prepared manage through it with less stress, and less risk, than those who are not. Sure, I'll help my neighbor, but there are limits: e.g. I can't make their meds magically appear if they haven't thought ahead.
Want to read an interesting book?
"One Second After" by William Fortschen. A novel about what happens to people and society after an EMP event actually does put them back into the stone age.