Solar storm preparedness

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by BDM, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. BDM

    BDM Member

    Hi guys. I'm new to post although I have been following this forum for a couple months. Thanks for all the good info!

    Moving along, there's talks in the news of a large solar storm that could potentially knock out our power grid for a week or more and cost a trillion in damages. They say it should hit in the very near future?? Also, Yellowstone is about to potentially explode...what the hell is going on out there? Sorry, I digressed.

    So I guess preparing for power outtages for long periods of time isn't much diff than any other disaster. But, I don't have much.

    The bare necessities one would need, I'm guessing are:

    - camp stove and gas
    - canned goods
    - flashlights/lanterns/batteries
    - maybe water

    Anything else?
  2. Magus

    Magus Scavenger deluxe

    Dosen't matter what you prepare for,just prepare like it'll never be over and you'll be fine.

  3. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    Prepare in such a way that you could go camping for a week easily ... food, water, propane ... etc. Too many people look at the problem as being something is will be hard to get around. I look at most of the power problems as being something that I practice regularly - camping time :)
  4. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

    Most disasters take about a month to clear. I've stockpiled 40 days worth of supplies. However, that's all I have room for. If I had more room I'd pack more.
  5. vikx

    vikx Active Member

    We have plenty of supplies and water but not enough food. Like Canadian, space is lacking. Toilet paper is important!! Layered clothing and good quality shoes are always good to have. Any meds you must take should be on hand and emegency ones as well; like aspirin, disinfectant, ointments and soap. Baking soda comes in handy for lots of things, including toothpaste.

    I try to stock up on goods that last, like dry beans and rice. The rice is stored in the fridge and keeps forever that way, otherwise it'll go rancid. I have quite a few canned goods. We keep dried fruit and jerky, too.

    The lack of power items are fun for me; propane appliances, wind up lights, solar power, portable batteries and invertors. It is camping and interesting to have practice runs to see how we'd do. VK
  6. endurance

    endurance Well-Known Member

    The best idea is to go to and the Red Cross website to get an idea of what the experts say is the bare necessities. Also, seek out your local county or city disaster preparedness website so you know what risks are out there. If you live in a flood plain your preps might be substantially different than if you live on a major fault line. If you''re worried about a flu pandemic, you'd better put up some gatorade, but if you're worried about a severe winter storm, that's a waste of your time right now. No matter what, the Red Cross suggestions of flashlights with spare batteries, chem lights, first aid supplies, battery operated radio, medications, hygeine items, and other essentials are a good place to start.

    No matter what, the basics have to be taken care of. As a general rule, a person can live 3 minutes without oxygen or with major bleeding, 3 hours without shelter from extreme conditions, 3 days without water and 3 weeks without food. As a result, injury prevention and treatment should be a high priority.

    Smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detector, seek out and minimize hazards in the home (no large potted plants on the shelf above your bed in case of earthquake, keep guns properly secured from children, etc.), get basic first aid skills, and keep a well stocked first aid kit at home and in the car. Do all family members know how to swim? Do you have an evacuation plan in case of a fire?

    Next, be sure you can keep your family warm in the winter and cool in the summer even if utilities fail. For some this might be a wood stove, for others, a kerosene or propane heater, for some a swamp cooler with a back up power source. Natural gas is far more reliable than electicity in an emergency because the utilities are buried, but does your furnace or boiler work without power? Is there an alternative way you could power it (generator, solar, batteries & inverter)? Keep this in mind when planning for the worst. Also, if you live in a fairly mild climate, consider adding a few more blankets to you home or buying a few sleeping bags.

    Water is a fairly significant issue for most people living in a small space. An average adult consumes a minimum of on gallon a day and that does not account for water used in cooking, cleaning or hygene. If there's four of you, that's 28 gallons for a week! However, you can generally drain your hot water heater after turning it off and obtain up to 40 gallons of water. Toilet tanks (not the bowl!) house another 1.6-3 gallons, but don't use it if you use sanitizing tablets. If in doubt, boil it for 5-10 minutes or filter it with a backpacking filter. If you live in a hot climate, double your water storage, not just for drinking, but also for wetting clothes for additional cooling.

    While food is often people's highest priority, it's not essential for life unless you're in a cold environment. That said, it's easy to store and bring comfort and routine into your life that will ease stress in an emergency. Think about foods you like that require a minimum of preparation. Spaghetti is easy, cheap, and only requires boiling water and simmering. A two burner Coleman stove makes cooking easy, but needs to be done in a well ventilated area. Portable butane stoves produce less carbon monoxide and are safer to use indoors, but make sure you have enough fuel stored to last the duration of the event. In any case, buy things you like to eat, that have a long shelf life, and keep them in a separate cabinet. While dehydrated foods are super easy and convenient, they're expensive and don't taste like home cooking so it's just another disruption to your life in a time of chaos.

    As for what you should be prepared for, personally, I think seven days is the minimum. That's seven days, fully self-supported with no outside power, water, or food. Beyond that, it's likely that basic service will resume in most localized disasters. If you're talking about the scale of something like a global grid disruption or a supervolcano, then you're talking about another league of disaster. That's where you need to seriously consider storing a year of food for each family member, a long-term secure water supply, alternative heat, alternative power, and a way to supply your own food after the worst is over. I wouldn't worry too much about Yellowstone waking up based on the latest but if you are concerned about The End Of The World As We Know It (commonly referred to as TEOTWAWKI), then start with the basics and build food capacity from their.

    For me, I try to be ready for most everything. I've managed to put away roughly 15 months of food including 3 weeks worth of freeze dried backpacking meals for traveling, 30 days of MREs because they're easy to prepare, and the remainder in wheat, corn, rice, beans, pasta, canned and freeze dried meats, veggies, butter, milk, cheese, and other sundry items. I have three years of seeds stored as well as the capacity to heat my home through the winter even with the natural gas down. With the gas running, but no electricity, I would have little disruption and a new solar array will mean nearly no disruption. But be aware, getting fully squared away to this level is a process of years, not weeks. I started prepping in 1986. If you want to get there, it starts with the basics. If you can't make it through a week off the grid, you'll never make it a year no matter how many pounds of rice you store.
  7. LiveFreeOrDie..

    LiveFreeOrDie.. Member

    just remember, if problems occur from solar storms, things like flashlights, radios, light bulbs and solar panels may likely become useless. even automobiles and communication would probably be out. try to have things like lots of long burning candles and other stuff that doesn't need electrical current to work.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2009
  8. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    Solar storms are quite common. It is the massive ones that are not. During the solar-storms, we have some amazing "Northern Light" shows. It is when we have massive solar-storms that the northern lights will be visible even during at dusk.

    The last set of massive solar storms that I remember took out power-grids and radio-based communications. It did not harm battery operated equipment like flashlight and motor powered stuff. It did not harm solar panels or wind-generators.
  9. LiveFreeOrDie..

    LiveFreeOrDie.. Member

    apologies, I mistated slightly. I was just thinking of the coming storms and their supposed unusual intensity. the info that I have read stated that these storms could be the strongest in modern times. one that I remember that was stated to be the most intense recorded had apparently melted telegraph wires. There certainly have been flares that caused damage since.

    If items using electricity are energized during a storm of the intensity that we are to expect, then they could die.

    I was just thinking along the lines of better safe than sorry.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2009
  10. O6nop

    O6nop Active Member

    I hadn't been too aware of how solar storms could affect the Earth but ran across this article and thought I'd post. It's long, so hopefully, this link will suffice.

    There is a reference to the Carrington Event in the story which is also mentioned earlier having to do with taking out telegraph wires in something like 1859. It appears we are totally defenseless if a more powerful storm develops, unless we are prepared for a long period of time. Even then, life as we know it will change drastically.
  11. ke4sky

    ke4sky ke4sky

    Article re NASA Report

    Refer to the link I posted in Current Events - the tin hat crowd is linking this to 2012 and the end of the Mayan calendar.
  12. Expeditioner

    Expeditioner Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting it. Makes me feel better about expanding my off grid power generating options.
  13. jebrown

    jebrown jebrown

    Don't know where you live but I think the too late to prepare for a winter storm is a little premature.
    I a m sitting in Northern Oklahoma under a winter storm warning with 6" to
    12" of snow forcasted. 6:eek:o pm cst 3-26-09
    We who are here in Oklah0oma will have to wait until the middle of May before we can forego the possibility of freezeing or winter weather although it is officially spring.
  14. NYPrepper

    NYPrepper Survivalist

    They're all wrong - at the bottom of the Mayan calender it says "Flip over"
  15. Herbalpagan

    Herbalpagan Well-Known Member

    I wonder how well a small solar and wind grid would hold up to a solar storm.