Are you prepared for solar storms? They completely disable the electrical grid. No electricity, perhaps for weeks; or if the storm is big enough, months. The New York Times reports NASA’s warnings. Get prepared.
[UPDATE: 9/10/11 Sun unleashes X6.9 class flare; Earth spared this time]
A RECENT New York Times article about solar storms underscores the importance of being prepared for major life disruptions. I’ve written before about the value of preparation via a series of posts related to the Japan earthquake and tsunami that occurred a few months ago.
My point then and now is that a lot of good can come from just a little bit of preparation.
For many of us around the world, it’s not a matter of “if” anything will happen to rock our world in some matter, but “when”. Who among you live outside the potential of being smote by an earthquake, tsunami, volcano, tornado, hurricane, or solar storm?
Inevitably something will happen. For some it will be disastrous; others a mild disturbance. For everyone, a bit of preparation will help. (Read Be Self-reliant – Be Prepared for Calamity.)
Back to Solar Storms
So, the New York Times reported that NASA believes the expected massive burst of solar wind that erupted from the sun Tuesday is expected to deliver only a “glancing blow” to the Earth’s vulnerable magnetic field.
NASA is relieved, because the potential of a solar storm could be devastating to all who rely on electricity.
This was made evident on March 13, 1989. On that day a massive solar impulse blacked out the entire power grid in Quebec in 92 seconds, giving operators no time to assess or react to what was happening to the power system.
More than 80 percent of Quebec’s system was backed up within 11 hours, but experts say the challenge to the U.S. grid is more serious than it was for Quebec due to differences in the respective electrical grids and mix of electric power generation systems. (Read more from the New York Times: This Weeks Solar Flare Illuminates the Grid’s Vulnerability)
Despite billions of dollars being spent by utilities to install equipment to protect their transmission networks from lightning strikes, installations to defend against space weather, aka solar flares, are lagging. In part, that’s because research on the threat and the best countermeasures have not been completed.
The bottom line is that anyone reliant on electricity is vulnerable to solar flares, the next peak cycle of which is predicted for 2012-2014.
At minimum, you could have battery-operated lights, candles, a bike, and a couple weeks worth of food and water. I do.
For more about preparation, read my posts, Be Self-reliant – Be Prepared for Calamity and Japan Tsunami Creates Health Concerns… Are You Prepared?.
Published on June 13, 2011