Solar Storms: Not If, But When & How Bad?

The week this article was written we had a Sun Spot that caused massive solar eruptions. The “Sun has gone wrong and scientists don’t know why” the headlines read. 

NASA has some great pictures using cameras made out of pure unobtanium (a substance so rare and expensive that nobody but the government can afford it), but here’s my simple hillbilly image of the spot that caused all the problems (lower right hand corner).

Equipment used: Nikon 1 V2, FT-1, Nikon AF-P 70-300 VR @300mm f/6.3, Formatt Hitech 58mm Firecress Neutral Density Filter (18 stops).

OK, enough with the hillbilly version, let’s get to a picture made with unobtanium based equipment from NASA

There’s no point in me teaching people about solar storms, there are (literally) thousands of websites out there talking about them.

I’m going to concentrate on why they, along with Electro Magnetic Pulses (EMP’s), are what we generally prep for.

Prepping is all about risk management, and two of the main outlooks are “Prep for The End Of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI)” or “Prep for the most high probability disasters”. Hurricanes happen (as our good friends in Texas, Florida, Louisana and the Carolinas know all too well). Catastrophic earthquakes will hit California & Missouri.  

There are pros and cons to each approach. For example, if you prep for TEOTWAWKI most of your preps will help you out in a short-term disaster, whereas if you prep for the most highly probable disaster you will be far better off than most if TEOTWAWKI  occurs (the ones that survive the early days of the crisis are the only ones who have a chance of surviving and thriving in the future).

Of course, people can combine both approaches and “split the difference”, and there are all kinds of variations on the theme.

Spice and I prep first and foremost for the havoc that would follow an intense solar storm or EMP (basically they are the same preps). NOTE: We also prep for earthquakes, because we are on the edge of the New Madrid area of effect, but that’s a different article. 


Solar Storms are not rare and are actually a high probability event in our lifetimes. 

As a history buff, I like to share what happened during the Solar Storm of 1859 (else known as the Carrington Event). 

A storm hit the Earth and penetrated the atmosphere in 1859, right at the dawn of the electrical era. It caused massive damage.

I’m not going to write the history of the storm because it’s available elsewhere, but here’s a link to the Wikepedia article that tells all about it.

What’s the most telling part of that article, to me? “The solar storm of 2012 was of similar magnitude, but it passed Earth’s orbit without striking the planet.”


Five years ago (from when this article was written).

Yeah, we had better take notice. That’s a high probability event, and a potential TEOTWAWKI event, all tied into one. 

So what do we do about it? How do we prep for a solar storm? 

Spice and I are going to put together a Solar Storm series of articles going forward, but to get you started the first thing I think everybody should do is stop and ask themselves the following question “What if there is no power”. 

  • If there are no electronic communications, do your people know where they need to go to meet up? 
  • If most automobiles & motorized vehicle are disabled, can you get to your meeting point?
  • Do you know where you are at on your survival priorities, i.e. without power do you have water on hand? Do you have a way to filter/purify water? How much of your food depends on refrigeration? Do you have a sanitation plan? We will present a more comprehensive list, but these are things to start to consider immediately.

The one takeaway I want everybody to have from this article is Solar Storms are real, common and potentially TEOTWAWKI. Every prep you make for them also directly translates to other disasters that would cause disruptions as well.



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