The nuclear powered EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse) that was first written about in Warday, and than copied slavishly by folks with little actual information concerning its potential effects (see One Second After) is supposed to knock all your electronics, and leave you stranded in your car miles away from home. A large solar flare, which are not supper common but have the advantage of having actually occurred, is likely to be even more dangerous.
So what we need is a new method for hiking out of the clogged city streets that does not require electronics or fuel (no electric for gas pumps). And we have it!
Balloon jumping was highly speculated to be the next big thing in the 1920s.
From the July 19, 1927 edition of the Joplin News Herald in Joplin, Missouri:
Matt Novak, Paleofuture, 23 October 2013 (hat tip: Root Simple)
How helpful this sort of thing would be. We could strip the spring cherry tree without endangering our legs. We could dispense with elevators and enter our offices on the third or fourth floors by merely leaping up to the window and crawling in. We could do a thousand and one things easily that we now do with difficulty.
One of the problems was that people had a hard time avoiding power lines, but of course that wouldn't be a problem if power is out.