Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Certainty of Solar Flares- Intensity is the Variable
When I hear of an event that is certain to occur based on scientific evidence and recorded historical cycles, I feel that it is crucially important to be prepared for it.
You may have heard of an EMP, or electro-magnetic pulse. Usually it is referring to a nuclear device detonated at varying altitudes by a terrorist, as an attack on our country by doing the most damage for the least effort. An EMP will send a massive surge through the power grid, rendering the grid itself, and all electric appliances attached to the grid (plugged in) useless. In addition, the appliances not technically connected to the grid (such as a car, plane, or any device with a computer chip, such as your iPhone on the kitchen table) will receive such a magnetic pulse that the computer chips will be ruined. Electric well pumps, generators, electronic locks, ATMS, city water, everything- all down. This scenario is terrifying to contemplate. It is usually judged to be just too big a problem to solve nationwide
What you may not know is that the Sun's magnetic energy cycle touches its highest level every 22 years, and the number of sun spots (or flares) reaches its peak every 11 years. These two events will take place together in 2013 to produce huge levels of radiation. Keep in mind that these flares, although massive in amounts of electro-magnetic energy, are harmless to living things such as people, animals, and plants. The cycle's first small flares will be observed in 2012 and the cycle will continue to grow in strength until 2014
"In March 1989, during the solar maximum of Solar Cycle #22, the Northeast U.S. and Eastern Canada experienced a minor geomagnetic storm which compromised the electrical grid throughout for hours. The March 1989 event pales in comparison to the ‘Carrington Event of 1859’. At 11:18 a.m. on September 1, 1859, 33-year old Richard Carrington was observing an 11-inch image of the sun on a screen and was drawing the sunspots he saw in the image. Suddenly, two beads of intense white light appeared over the sunspots. Within 60 seconds the light had significantly diminished, and within five minutes completely disappeared from the screen. Just before dawn the next day, skies all over planet Earth erupted in red, green, and purple auroras so brilliant that newspapers could be read as easily as in daylight. Aurora borealis pulsated as far south as tropical latitudes over Cuba, the Bahamas, Jamaica, El Salvador, and Hawaii. The only equipment in place resembling today’s electrical grid, telegraph systems worldwide went haywire. Spark discharges shocked telegraph operators and set the telegraph paper on fire. Even when telegraphers disconnected the batteries powering the lines, aurora-induced electric currents in the wires still allowed messages to be transmitted. If such an event were to occur today, the impact on modern society would be absolutely catastrophic." (source)
This knowledge starts a whole host of things that begin to run through my mind... here's a brain-dump of a few:
-Banks will lose all records and will not know what loans they have, nor where to collect them, or have the communication skills to organize the collection of them. (this could be a good thing
-Electronic bank balances (including 401Ks and stocks) will disappear and people will be left with the money they have on hand, usually paper, essentially worthless.
-Legitimate attempts to go to banks to get the contents of your security boxes will precipitate encounters with those going to merely harvest what they can find. Is your only weapon in a safe with an electronic lock?
-Anyone with preps should lay low while the initial chaos strikes those who realize that they don't have any supplies (mainly food and water; they won't realize the extent of their situation at first). Many will take what they can, many will die in the struggle. The ability to hunker down and literally not leave the house for even a few months may mean surviving the destructive start of the collapse.
-As people realize that nothing will be produced any more (such as Tylenol, sheets, string cheese) they will go into scavenge and hoard mode, or conquer and steal mode.
-When the grid goes down, many will be without a source of water. How about you? Not just some stored for a hurricane or snow storm, but some serious water supplies.
-There will be solar flares for the entire cycle- even up to two years- so having key pieces of your SHTF equipment in a homemade Faraday won't work... unless you keep them under wraps till you are sure the solar cycle is over. Then, of course, you'd make yourself a target by having the only equipment... things to consider.
-Many of the "more extreme" prepper styles (zombie, anarchy, 1800's lifestyle) will suddenly seem more relevant when you consider the panicked mobs of unprepared, hunger-crazed people there are. Of course, the more industrialized the country, the more the effects of the EMP will be felt. Rural China, outback of Australia, Central America, desert of Africa... their day-to-day style of life won't be torn apart like we will be here and in Europe, where we are so dependent on computers and electricity.
It sometimes seems to Americans that only the faraway places of earth are where the people die from diarrhea, clan wars, starvation, and are sold into slavery. But if the upcoming solar cycle is literally TEOTWAWKI, these things will be happening in your own county.
Does something that seem like such a certainty cause you to tremble in your boots? Think to what made you begin to prep. For me, it was when my husband lost his job and had no unemployment. I thought back to Katrina, and watched Haiti unfold. Things happen. We need to assess the realistic threat and the best way to act. Here is what I think are bare minimum goals:
accumulate a large amount of stored water inside your home. secure a very local water source.
accumulate a large amount of properly stored staple foods (wheat, rice, beans, oats, sugar, salt, pasta)
accumulate a large pantry of groceries, including spices and fats.
at the very least, if you can't grow vegetables and collect seed, buy a variety of sprouting seeds, which can be grown indoors year-round.
accumulate any and all medical supplies, pharmaceuticals, medicines, and first aid training and health manuals.
acquire, train with and supply at least 2 kinds of weapons for home defense. Many people find it realistic to buy hand guns and rifles in the same caliber to make storing a ton of ammunition easier. I suggest having a dozen or more pepper sprays too.
After these goals are met you can begin setting aside clothes and other non-essential but important items. All of the items on the list are the things you are probably doing already. If I can urge you to do them faster, or tell more people about prepping, then I'm satisfied. The most important thing to do is STAY CALM and DO SOMETHING.
We're so pleased you are reading Farming Salt & Light! Choose how you live!