Where were you on July 24, 2014? It was a summer Tuesday. Maybe you were at work, or enjoying the beach, or just at home, engaged in your regular routine. Chances are, though, that you were blissfully unaware that a solar flare just nearly missed the Earth. Had circumstances been just a bit different; if the flare exploded just a week early when it was pointed directly at the Earth, life as we know it would have been over.
NASA Reveals Near Miss with Solar Flare
NASA recently felt comfortable enough to reveal the fact that the Earth was nearly hit by a solar flare, also known as a coronal mass ejection (CME). The CME resulted from a powerful storm on the sun. It was the most powerful storm recorded in more than 150 years.
The timing for us was lucky. The sun turned slightly before the event, resulting in a near-miss instead of a direct hit. There were actually two ejections that occurred about ten minutes of each other.
What Would Happen If a Solar Flare Hit the Earth?
If a solar flare hit the Earth, it would not be a pretty sight. In the best case scenario, we would be thrown right back into the dark ages, without warning. A Direct CME hit would cause a worldwide blackout, wipe out all communication systems and networks, kill GPS, and destroy electrical grids. Anything that plugs into an electrical outlet would be disabled. Electronic communication would be no more. Life as we know it would be over.
A disaster such as this would take years to recover from, and the effects of this event would last for decades. There would be scarcity of food, clean water, and general supplies. Chaos and crime would break out, so would disease. Many people would die very quickly. Probably millions.
How Likely Is a Massive Solar Flare?
Statistically, the answer is not very comforting. We have about a 12 percent chance of it occurring within the next ten years, according to Physicist Pete Riley, an experimental medium energy physicist with the University of Texas. The number surprised Riley, who did not expect it to be so high.
Remember, if a CME does hit, the planet may be without power for four to ten years conservatively, or decades in all probability.
How Can We Be Prepared for a CME?
Preparation for a CME can be one of the toughest prepping tasks out there. The outcome of disaster on a global scale is hard to predict.
Be prepared for the loss of potable water by storing your own, stocking up on water filtration systems and creating a rain filtration system.
Stock up on food storage. You will need a lot of it. Food will spoil quickly without electricity for refrigeration, and It won’t be easy to get. Within a few days, the available food supply will be exhausted. Without food to get through the years of recovery after a CME event, you will not survive. Stock survival seeds as well.
Be prepared to deal with sewage. There will be no pumping or outside removal. Have a plan to dispose of sewage and stay healthy.
Be prepared to forget any form of telecommunications. Have a plan in place to get to loved ones and to keep an information and trusted support network going.
Stock up on light, heat and fuel sources.
Stock up on ammunition and spare parts. Keep in mind that most gunsmiths use electric tools. Don’t be caught without spares if your main protection fails.
Be prepared with alternative energy sources, including batteries.
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