Sunday, July 29, 2012

Solar Storm

Imagine something so powerful it can knock out communications and the power grid… and you can’t see it!   I know that is why I have been holding off writing this blog post, it sounds like science fiction.  But in fact it has happened.  In 1989 a Quebec power grid went down causing millions of dollars damage.  A Solar Storm on the sun caused this financial disaster.

On the plus side these solar storms (Sunspots) cause beautiful auroras in the Northern skies.

Even FEMA is thinking about what to do about this hazard.  Why is this important?  A large event could damage our electrical infrastructure badly; and we aren’t talking about replacing fuses.  These are large electrical parts that are not kept around for replacement because they are so costly. 

So what do we as folks on the ground do? Unfortunately I am not sure there is much we can do; the world we live in runs on solid-state electronics; our cars, I-phones, Radio, pretty much everything.  While its true you could protect your I-phone from EMP by taking steps you can find on the Internet.  But if no one else does and the Power grid is down…

You can read and become informed, start with the links in this article.
You can make sure your elected officials know this is important.


Friday, July 6, 2012

Disasters are never easy

By now you must have figured out that I am not a prepper who focuses on “TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt” (EOTWAWKI), there are plenty of people blogging about that out there.  I try to think practically about the everyday disaster.

A very important event happened recently that calls into question how our country can handle a disaster of infrastructure.  The East coast suffered a debilitating storm that brought high winds that uprooted trees, smashed houses and damaged our electrical infrastructure.  In our nations capitol region 90% of the folks who lost power won’t get it back for 7 days says Pepco (the local electric Company). But even worse, Verizon who handles 911 calls was down with no fall back, and no real explanation.  

So now you are thinking, but we pay lots of money in taxes, how could our nations capitol area be so impacted? What if this was really bad; like a terror attack or a bigger quake than they had last year, or a hurricane? 

So, what should you do to not be affected by this type event?

You can plan! Do you have a generator? Do you know how to use it safely?  Do you have a plan for refueling it? (no electricity generally means no gas stations) Do you have water? Do you have an evacuation plan to leave the area ?   

Yes leave!  If you don’t have power for a week, that means no fans, air-conditioning (or heat), you probably can’t cook , your refrigerator will not keep food cold, and a whole host of other problems. Now is a good time to take a vacation, visit the family.  
If you can't leave, look for cooling/warming (seasonal) on the Red Cross website, or local emergency management website. 

But no matter what, seriously, have a plan.  Disasters are hard, but they much less difficult if you have a plan.