Friday, December 12, 2014

Better Have A Bunch Of Batteries: FEMA/DHS Says CME Could Leave 100,000,000 Without Electricity For Months

Don't forget to stock a few flats of water:
β€œAn analysis of the space weather impacts indicates that the greatest challenge will be to provide life-saving and life-sustaining resources for large numbers of people that experience long-term power outage from damage to the U.S. electrical grid,” the FEMA document, dated March 1, 2012, states.

The FEMA fact sheet noted...that an extreme solar storm could leave β€œ130 million people without power for years,” and destroy or damage more than 300 hard-to-replace electrical grid transformers.
The problem with such widespread and long lasting power outages isn't the run on candles, but the lack of drinkable water: without power, the water grid and sewage treatment grid also go down. So do the gas pumps which allow people to drive to an unaffected area. If food distributors' computers don't work, they don't know what they have or where they have it, nor, without electricity, do the chillers keep it from rotting. Imagine multiple cities without potable water, with overflowing toilets, for even 10 days. At the same time, in August. It wouldn't be unpleasant: It would see thousands or hundreds of thousands dead. Possibly millions.

One of the problems with preparing for a Carrington type event is that while there is no question whatsoever that they happen, they don't happen often enough to keep people's attention. Their infrequency is a good thing for an electrically based economy, of course, but when the big hits of 1859 and 1921 are so far apart, people don't pay attention to the consequences of a low probability event. Such an event might not occur in our lifetimes, so people naturally discount the possibility despite the horrific consequences.

A brace or two of 55 gallon barrels of water in the garage or basement seems about as stupid and paranoid as a good home insurance policy.

Here is the story.

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