General Question

espanyol's avatar

What Should We do when the next Solar Superstorm happen?

Asked by espanyol (169 points ) July 10th, 2010

What Will happen if the Solar Superstorm arrive to earth? what should we do? whats the Plan B for our life? Will humanity restart everything from 0?

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43 Answers

jaytkay's avatar

What did people do during the last Solar Superstorm?

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I don’t know what it will take to survive that event and its aftermath. I am hoping this information will soon be available to the general public so I may make the choices and preparations I can.

Aster's avatar

@jaytkay After the 1859 one, the telegraph was wiped out. This time it’ll be tv, Ipods, computers, radios, lights, air conditioning, gas stations, appliances.
It is a matter of When; not If. BBC News scientists discuss it. We are not privy to the info in the U.S. all that much. They say it will last months at the very least. We all need big gardens and a source to boil water! farmers will be more valuable than Pres Obama

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Here’s a recap of the Solar Superstorm of 1859, which should be insightful in answering this question.

Scooby's avatar

Just to quote the immortal words of DR Carl Sagan “ The Earth will become TOAST” I say, bring out the strawberry jam…. :-/ Lol…

jaytkay's avatar

Related note: I’ve been to the Mt. Wilson Solar Observatory and seen the daily sun-spot drawing they have made every day since 1917.

Latest drawing

Live webcam at the top of the solar observatory tower

Observatory home page

Highly recommended day trip if you are in the LA area!

netgrrl's avatar

Isn’t the “when” something on the order of other things like “when Yellowstone will erupt” and other disasters?

judochop's avatar

I’m gonna make a cake with really cool frosting and pop-rocks in it. You can all come over and drink beer and eat cake with me. It’ll be ok.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Buy your power generator now, before there’s a run on them.

RareDenver's avatar

Wear dark glasses and apply sunscreen

Coloma's avatar

I’ll be good to go. Already have property and a garden space, access to generators if need be, sooo..I’ll just sit by the fire and roast marshmallows or, if it’s a summer storm, I’ll loll around in my cold hot tub watching the tomatos grow. lol

jaytkay's avatar

@netgrrl Isn’t the “when” something on the order of other things like “when Yellowstone will erupt” and other disasters?

Since we’ve seen several of disruptive solar storms in the past 150 years, I would say, the solar storm is likely and Yellowstone blowing up soon is highly unlikely.

The Yellowstone volcano’s history shows huge eruptions every 600,000 to 800,000 years. So the chances of having another in the next hundred or even 1,000 years is slim.
http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/yvo/about/faq/faqactivity.php#notoverdue

jaytkay's avatar

If it can fry a telegraph, I imagine it would fry a generator.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

Generators run on kerosene, and are off grid.

espanyol's avatar

Thanks for your answers,
But What will you do without electronics?
Any Solutions or suggestions?

jaytkay's avatar

@PandoraBoxx Kerosene generators have spark plugs. Do they have other electronics? I don’t know if they would work. Also, how large is your kerosene tank?

@espanyol
Let’s see. Probably I would have no electricity. Probably no water or cooking or heating gas either.

I live near a very large lake so I could get water. Hopefully it is clean enough. I would run out of food in a week. And I imagine food distribution would be a wreck.

Ivan's avatar

Die?

netgrrl's avatar

Just in case we’re without power for a long, long time… I can spin yarn, knit socks and make other garments in return for garden veggies!

Coloma's avatar

@netgrrl

Misread..thought you said you could ‘spin yams’... lol

netgrrl's avatar

I’ve been known to tell a tall tale or two, but I’ll throw those in free. But to bring it back on topic, it would suck. Given enough books, I could easily learn to do without most electronics. Depending on how long those services were out, it could be a huge upheaval. It’s one of those things that’s even hard for me to wrap my mind around. I imagine one of the first things I would do is try to find my way to a friend’s house out in the country where I could stay. Well water, growing veggies, all that back to nature stuff. But I have enough yarn stash to last me awhile, just to barter with. :)

El_Cadejo's avatar

heh makes me happy im in a wilderness survival class right now :P

I can easily get by with out any modern conveniences for quite some time without any problems.

lloydbird's avatar

Superstormproof umbrellas.

I see an emerging gap in the market.

judochop's avatar

No electronics? 0’noz3, n0 733T SP3AK!!!

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

“And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which has power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory…”
Revelation 16:7–9.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

“Fear is nothing but an abandonment of the aid that comes from reason; and hope, defeated by this inward weakness, capitulates before ignorance of the cause by which the torment comes.”
THE WISDOM OF SOLOMON 17:13

MaryW's avatar

Does living on a farm isolated with no services for 11 days during an ice storm with deep snow and below freezing temps help? No… Well it was a good practice even though it was cold instead of hot. Alot goes wrong and the animals are hard to take care of. I know I will want plenty of wood for a fire oops solar panels for an ice box, lots of apple pie, and original extra cool whip. Flash lights and good books. We now have an emergency box with all kinds of stuff in it.
Seriously it depends on how severe the storm is. A flicker or a long blast. We really must practice survival skills and also self reliance AND love of our neighbors. That is the best we can do against natural forces.

Your_Majesty's avatar

It depends on how severe the situation. We will collect and store more canned/instant foods,and permanently live deep in underground chamber. We survive,but we’ll eat canned food for the rest of our life,less-civilized but maybe we’ll form another new culture in underground atmosphere.

Austinlad's avatar

Solar superstorm? Seems to me we should worry about things we CAN do something about: two senseless wars, rampant unemployment,man-made global warming, nuclear proliferation… the list is endless.

mrentropy's avatar

I’m going to keep it simple and limit myself to panicking and looting.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I’m going to punch people so I can get at the food in the supermarket downstairs before they do.~

jaytkay's avatar

Reading more on this (because I find the question totally fascinating), odds are it won’t happen in our lifetime. It might. But probably not.

But if you are over 40, you grew up with a threat like this. We lived under the assumption that we could be destroyed at any time by a nuclear warhead.

It may be hard for younger people to grasp, but before the 1990s that was always a given – a hydrogen bomb is aimed at your home.

We didn’t hoard food & water. We lived our lives.

mrentropy's avatar

@jaytkay And watched TV movies like The Day After. Which didn’t help.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t see this was in General.

Have sources of power on hand that do not need to be run by the electrical grid, which, if this solar flare thing does happen, will be wiped out. In 1859, the telegraph lines were out for months because of a major flare. Making sure you have necessary supplies that aren’t a part of the grid is about the best you can do.

mrentropy's avatar

I haven’t kept up with this kind of thing, but since we’ve known about sun spot activities messing with the grid and all, have we (the collective “we”) done anything to shield the important infrastructures from this kind of thing?

jaytkay's avatar

@mrentropy since we’ve known about sun spot activities messing with the grid and all, have we (the collective “we”) done anything to shield the important infrastructures from this kind of thing?

Satellites use radiation-hardened chips. I suspect military equipment does, too.

As far as I know, civilian electronics are vulnerable. The previously mentioned The Day After showed everybody’s cars disabled by the EMP , which I think is pretty much like a solar superstorm.

Nullo's avatar

The microwave oven in your house has as part of its structure a Faraday cage. If you’re especially worried, get an old one and store your sensitive electronics in it.

Andreas's avatar

My take on this is there is probably little we can do. If we were to gather food, fuel, etc, etc, etc and there were others around who didn’t have the necessary stuff they would probably want to take it from us. Hence it would either be taken or destroyed. Bottom line: we wouldn’t have it. We would be on our own to survive the best we could just like a lot of people are forced to do today. What a thought.

melty's avatar

buy lots of FOOD that comes with its own heat source like heat packs
buy a solar panal generator too and a water creating machine that creats and filters water from the humidity in the air

there food is taken care of
water taken care of
but rent ? thats another story XD i live in an apartment and that wouldnt go well lol

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

There are ways to protect your electronics from EMP or solar radiation. My older diesel vehicles are immune from EMP effects. If the power grid goes down, we can produce our own indefinitely via PV, wind turbines and small hydro. Our internet service would probably break down, as we rely on a satellite link and there is nothing we can do to protect it.

I haven’t taken any of these precautions in response to this threat, just an overall philosophy of “hardened self-sufficiency”.

I think this will blow over like the Y2K scare a decade ago. Vital services are protected to a greater extent than most people realize. There may be localized panic, looting, etc in urban areas should the worst come. Past events have shown that these are quickly contained and surpressed.

gemiwing's avatar

I’ve done survival training, hunting, subsistence living, and I’ve lived without power before. I’m not worried. Chances are we’ll have a few people stay with us, break out our lanterns and do what we do- survive.

If needs be we can dismantle the fire escape, chop out the stairs, use the fireplace for food/warmth, catch small animals that live near us (tons of birds), make candles. This is something you can prepare for- take classes on old arts, learn about local flora/fauna and learn basic skills like skinning game/open fire cooking.

Aster's avatar

I need to learn about solar panels. The sun will be MUCH MUCH HOTTER than it is now. Far as people stealing out of our gardens, that makes perfect sense. I want to prepare NOW instead of thinking, “uh oh; solar flares have arrived. Now I want to pick up the phone and order stuff.”
We do have a lot of stored food but I’m buying more. We also have a fireplace and a big bbq grill. Lots of trees around here but they’ll go quickly. I can see men pushing each other fighting over a tree.

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