I got a call last night (right after our first snow storm) from the flat that I'll be staying in next week for Thanksgiving in Manhattan. The heat is out. No gas in the whole building, no information as to the expected repair date.
I was already planning on packing fleece tights and cashmere socks, but it has to be fixed by NEXT Thursday, right? I googled it, and I learned a lot of things about gas heating systems that, as a homeowner, I should've known already but didn't.
You can DIY your annual maintenance, as detailed here. It's really just cleaning out the soot with a wire brush, checking pipes for holes, replacing the filter, and vacuuming out vents. Seems doable — if I can figure out the right filter to buy at Home Depot.
Alternatively, you could spend $59 with a local heating repair company and get these fancy perks: