Earth Barely Dodged A Kill Shot From the Sun July 2012: But What About Next Time?

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On July 23, 2014 NASA released the news that earth narrowly missed being thrown into the dark ages by the largest solar storm in 150 years.  The article, authored by Dr. Tony Phillips, Near Miss: The Solar Superstorm of July 2012 is posted below in its entirety.

If you have shrugged off the threat coronal mass ejections (CME’s) and electromagnetic pulse (EMP) weaponry poses to earth and our survival, you will want to read this article.  It’s a rare event when NASA opens up to the truth about anything that might alarm the public.

It’s worth noting that I listed out the major solar events of 2012, taken from NASA.gov, in this January, 2013 article >here< and, unless I missed it somehow, the superstorm was not even listed on NASA’s website at the time.  Doing a google daterange search shows that spaceweather.com talked about it, but on July 23rd, 2012, NASA was talking about the incredible “Northern lights” from a couple of weeks earlier.

(David’s note:  In fact, here’s a Google search for the 23rd-25th of July 2012 for coronal mass ejection nasa.gov:
www.google.com/search?q=coronal+mass+ejection&biw=1280&bih=702&source=lnt&tbs=cdr%3A1%2Ccd_min%3A7%2F23%2F2012%2Ccd_max%3A7%2F25%2F2012&tbm=#q=coronal+mass+ejection+july+23+nasa.gov&tbs=cdr:1%2Ccd_min:7%2F23%2F2012%2Ccd_max:7%2F25%2F2012

Was it a coverup?  No.  Other parts of NASA.gov talked about it…namely: swc.gsfc.nasa.gov/main/20120725-7D-001 but you’d think that, what appeared at the time as the fastest CME ever recorded, would get a little more coverage from NASA. )

NASA’s recent news release sheds light on the fact that, as Preppers, a long-term approach to prepping may be the wisest approach, which is the topic of today’s post that offers links for quick access.

(David’s note:  I feel that it’s important to mention that some have called this the fastest CME ever recorded.  Conventional estimates are that we would normally have 2-3 days from the time a CME leaves the sun until it reaches Earth.  This one took just over 14 hours and was traveling somewhere between 1800-2200 miles per second, which would be like going from LA to NYC in just over 1 second.  What this means is that once the warning goes out and the balloon goes up, there’s no time left to prepare…only to execute your plan.)

July 23, 2014: If an asteroid big enough to knock modern civilization back to the 18th century appeared out of deep space and buzzed the Earth-Moon system, the near-miss would be instant worldwide headline news. 

Two years ago, Earth experienced a close shave just as perilous, but most newspapers didn’t mention it. The “impactor” was an extreme solar storm, the most powerful in as much as 150+ years.

“If it had hit, we would still be picking up the pieces,” says Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado. 

Baker, along with colleagues from NASA and other universities, published a seminal study of the storm in the December 2013 issue of the journal Space Weather.  Their paper, entitled “A major solar eruptive event in July 2012,” describes how a powerful coronal mass ejection (CME) tore through Earth orbit on July 23, 2012.  Fortunately Earth wasn’t there.  Instead, the storm cloud hit the STEREO-A spacecraft.

“I have come away from our recent studies more convinced than ever that Earth and its inhabitants were incredibly fortunate that the 2012 eruption happened when it did,” says Baker.  “If the eruption had occurred only one week earlier, Earth would have been in the line of fire.

Extreme solar storms pose a threat to all forms of high-technology.  They begin with an explosion–a “solar flare”—in the magnetic canopy of a sunspot.  X-rays and extreme UV radiation reach Earth at light speed, ionizing the upper layers of our atmosphere; side-effects of this “solar EMP” include radio blackouts and GPS navigation errors. Minutes to hours later, the energetic particles arrive.  Moving only slightly slower than light itself, electrons and protons accelerated by the blast can electrify satellites and damage their electronics. Then come the CMEs, billion-ton clouds of magnetized plasma that take a day or more to cross the Sun-Earth divide.  Analysts believe that a direct hit by an extreme CME such as the one that missed Earth in July 2012 could cause widespread power blackouts, disabling everything that plugs into a wall socket.  Most people wouldn’t even be able to flush their toilet because urban water supplies largely rely on electric pumps. 

Before July 2012, when researchers talked about extreme solar storms their touchstone was the iconic Carrington Event of Sept. 1859, named after English astronomer Richard Carrington who actually saw the instigating flare with his own eyes.  In the days that followed his observation, a series of powerful CMEs hit Earth head-on with a potency not felt before or since.  Intense geomagnetic storms ignited Northern Lights as far south as Cuba and caused global telegraph lines to spark, setting fire to some telegraph offices and thus disabling the ‘Victorian Internet.”

A similar storm today could have a catastrophic effect. According to a study by the National Academy of Sciences, the total economic impact could exceed $2 trillion or 20 times greater than the costs of a Hurricane Katrina.

Multi-ton transformers damaged by such a storm might take years to repair.

“In my view the July 2012 storm was in all respects at least as strong as the 1859 Carrington event,” says Baker. “The only difference is, it missed.”

In February 2014, physicist Pete Riley of Predictive Science Inc. published a paper in Space Weather entitled “On the probability of occurrence of extreme space weather events.”  In it, he analyzed records of solar storms going back 50+ years.  By extrapolating the frequency of ordinary storms to the extreme, he calculated the odds that a Carrington-class storm would hit Earth in the next ten years.

The answer: 12%.

“Initially, I was quite surprised that the odds were so high, but the statistics appear to be correct,” says Riley.  “It is a sobering figure.”

In his study, Riley looked carefully at a parameter called Dst, short for “disturbance – storm time.” This is a number calculated from magnetometer readings around the equator. Essentially, it measures how hard Earth’s magnetic field shakes when a CME hits. The more negative Dst becomes, the worse the storm.  Ordinary geomagnetic storms, which produce Northern Lights around the Arctic Circle, but otherwise do no harm, register Dst=-50 nT (nanoTesla).  The worst geomagnetic storm of the Space Age, which knocked out power across Quebec in March 1989, registered Dst=-600 nT. Modern estimates of Dst for the Carrington Event itself range from -800 nT to a staggering -1750 nT.

In their Dec. 2013 paper, Baker et al. estimated Dst for the July 2012 storm. “If that CME had hit Earth, the resulting geomagnetic storm would have registered a Dst of -1200, comparable to the Carrington Event and twice as bad as the March 1989 Quebec blackout.”

The reason researchers know so much about the July 2012 storm is because, out of all the spacecraft in the solar system it could have hit, it did hit a solar observatory.  STEREO-A is almost ideally equipped to measure the parameters of such an event.

“The rich data set obtained by STEREO far exceeded the relatively meager observations that Carrington was able to make in the 19th century,” notes Riley.  “Thanks to STEREO-A we know a lot of about the magnetic structure of the CME, the kind of shock waves and energetic particles it produced, and perhaps most importantly of all, the number of CMEs that preceded it.”

It turns out that the active region responsible for producing the July 2012 storm didn’t launch just one CME into space, but many.  Some of those CMEs “plowed the road” for the superstorm.

A paper in the March 2014 edition of Nature Communications by UC Berkeley space physicist Janet G. Luhmann and former postdoc Ying D. Liu describes the process: The July 23rd CME was actually two CMEs separated by only 10 to 15 minutes. This double-CME traveled through a region of space that had been cleared out by yet another CME four days earlier. As a result, the storm clouds were not decelerated as much as usual by their transit through the interplanetary medium.

“It’s likely that the Carrington event was also associated with multiple eruptions, and this may turn out to be a key requirement for extreme events,” notes Riley. “In fact, it seems that extreme events may require an ideal combination of a number of key features to produce the ‘perfect solar storm.'”
“Pre-conditioning by multiple CMEs appears to be very important,” agrees Baker.

A common question about this event is, how did the STEREO-A probe survive?  After all, Carrington-class storms are supposed to be mortally dangerous to spacecraft and satellites. Yet STEREO-A not only rode out the storm, but also continued taking high-quality data throughout.

“Spacecraft such as the STEREO twins and the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (a joint ESA/NASA mission) were designed to operate in the environment outside the Earth’s magnetosphere, and that includes even quite intense, CME-related shocks,” says Joe Gurman, the STEREO project scientist at the Goddard Space Flight Center.  “To my knowledge, nothing serious happened to the spacecraft.”

The story might have been different, he says, if STEREO-A were orbiting Earth instead of traveling through interplanetary space.

“Inside Earth’s magnetosphere, strong electric currents can be generated by a CME strike,” he explains. “Out in interplanetary space, however, the ambient magnetic field is much weaker and so those dangerous currents are missing.”  In short, STEREO-A was in a good place to ride out the storm.
“Without the kind of coverage afforded by the STEREO mission, we as a society might have been blissfully ignorant of this remarkable solar storm,” notes Baker. “How many others of this scale have just happened to miss Earth and our space detection systems? This is a pressing question that needs answers.”

If Riley’s work holds true, there is a 12% chance we will learn a lot more about extreme solar storms in the next 10 years—when one actually strikes Earth.

Says Baker, “we need to be prepared.”

~~~

On April 6th, 2009 The Washington Post article, Do Solar Storms Threaten Life as We Know It?  (author, Steve Tracton), summarized the situation quite succinctly in the following excerpt:

As severe as the possible effects of global warming might be, many of the worst-case impacts are not likely to occur on timescales less than a decade or so. Of perhaps more immediate concern to civilization as we know it — quite literally — is the threat posed by the expected increase in solar activity starting around 2011, which could disrupt many aspects of life that societies now take for granted and depend heavily upon for their daily existence.

Electric power grids, communications and navigation systems (including GPS), and satellites (including weather) could be damaged beyond repair for many years. The consequences could be devastating for commerce, transportation, agriculture and food stocks, fuel and water supplies, human health and medical facilities, national security, and daily life in general.

Should the 12% Odds Riely Warns of Up the Ante Of Preparedness Timelines?

Everyone must decide for themselves whether to prepare for a few weeks, a few months, a year or more, or not at all.  For me, the potential for a long-term crisis made a huge impact on the direction I chose for the 23 people I’m preparing for.  Instead of relying on a non-renewable fuel source to power a generator, or a chainsaw, or a camp stove, I opted for a wood-burning cook stove and heat stove and manual tools such as a tree-felling ax (rather than a chainsaw) and a manual hand pump for the well that doesn’t require a generator to collect water.

I’ll admit that I daydream about purchasing a generator and a chainsaw.  What an awesome convenience!  But, in my mind, they represent a short-term convenience, and like most everyone else, prep goods must be provided for with an unforgiving budget.  They will need to wait until the last few cords of seasoned firewood is delivered,  and another hundred jars of meat has been canned, and another 20 pounds of cheddar cheese is safely preserved in wax.

So, what about you? Instead of planning ahead for a few months, are you leaning towards a year or more of food storage and prep goods?  (click Food Storage Calculator to calculate a one year food supply)

The point is, planning for a long crisis like a CME or a total economic meltdown should assume that fuel will not be available, that medical emergencies, wild fires, house fires and the like will be up to us to handle.  It assumes that when we run out of food storage, heirloom garden seed will be needed to grow our food–and we’ll need to collect, dry and save seed for the next planting season.

Preparedness plans for a long-term crisis assumes that the overflow from the garden will be preserved by storing it in a root cellar, or cold storage, or through dehydration, and for those with a wood-burning cook stove, home canning.

But all of these things require practice!

Do you believe that you would be able to successfully grow fruits and vegetables if you have never grown a garden before?

Do you have medical supplies put aside, including prescription medicines, and are you prepared to help a loved one in a medical emergency?

Do you have a portable washtub for a time when sewers back up, so you can bathe, wash dishes, or do laundry?

Do you know how to shut off the sewer line to your home to avoid back-up up into bathtubs, toilets and sinks, which can bring disease?

Have you scouted for a reliable water source, and do you have a quality water purifier on hand to provide safe drinking, cooking and clean-up water?

Do you have a camp toilet and a shovel, or the materials put aside to build an outhouse? (reference: Mother Earth News; Building an Outhouse, written by Elizabeth Allyn)

Have you planned ahead for alternative transportation if gasoline and diesel can’t be found? (Here’s a YouTube with step by step instructions to build a Wood Gasifier for your truck, or generator)

Can you identify wild edible plants (including identifying a poisonous look-alike)  that will sustain you while waiting for a garden to produce?

If there are holes in your preps or skill-sets, this may be an excellent time to kick things into gear!

(David’s note:  I’ve always stressed fundamentals in preparedness…strategies that will increase your quality of life IMMEDIATELY as well as prepare you for disasters.  The cool thing about this approach is that a plan based on fundamentals, rather than on specific disasters, will prepare you for anything that comes down the pipe.  Don’t lose sleep over EMPs or CMEs, and don’t get overly focused on them, but do use news items like this one to spur you to forward action in at least one area of your preparations.)

Do you believe the warnings about CME’s and EMP’s are nothing more than scare tactics? Or does physicist Pete Riley come closer to the truth with his warning of 12% odds that another Carrington Event will occur within the next 10 years?  Please sound off by posting below.

God bless and stay safe,

David Morris and Survival Diva

Comments

  1. Timely topic but I forgot to mention that our public face group called Volusia County Base group will be having a special presentation by a retired 3 star Air Force General on this very topic. It was his speciality. Tentatively it will be titled “Grid down and EMP’s” but that may change as we firm up the presentation. The date and time are set for Saturday 8 November somewhere in Volusia County. (Florida) Our present meeting place will be to small so we are looking for somewhere larger. It will eventually be posted on our website which you can access through Meetup.com. The website is VolusiaCountyBasegroup.com

  2. At the very beginning of these posts Joseph-Lee inquired about keeping insulin refrigerated. For everyones information, apparently within the last year “they” (I assume the medical profession) has come out with an insulin that does not need to be refrigerated. I would check with my doctor and find out where to get it. This is certainly great news for a lot of folks. I heard this at a prepper show here in Florida but don’t remember who said it.

  3. Joseph-Lee Morehouse says:

    Hello
    If a EMP happens -well -My main concern would be how to keep insulin at the right temperatures for the diabetics in our group and how to stock pile insulin , we have been exploring a new concepts of the old ice houses being used for modern uses and how to stock pile enough medications for 7 persons with assortments of illness that are controlled by these life saving drugs.
    We have figured out the faraday cage and we have 2 built so far and need 2 or 3 more , they are in place at different locations.
    Last week I mention how my group was planning to stay put instead of bugging out and you mention about sewage backing up into our homes I contact our city utilities and ask what I can do. The answer was hard to understand but basically the person I talk to wasn’t sure how to shut the sewage system off to the homes – he did suggest a back flow devices to be install which is about $2,000.00. I made about 3 or 4 more calls and I found my answer at a cost I can afford pressure plugs with a pressure seal basically a gasket that you ratchet in to each of the drains connecting to the sewage lines cost about $300.00 for all the gaskets I need, well worth the money. Your suggestion last week very helpful . Thank you .
    Lastly I was watching the news about the Ebola Virus the 2 Americans are being transported to the United States not the U.K. for care.

    • Survival Diva says:

      Joseph,
      A $1,700 difference is a huge difference. Good that you made those phone calls and have sewage back-up covered : )

    • R.D.Baker, M.D. says:

      Interesting- that is, the problem with insulin “storage”. Here’s the rub: the news for a lot of type 2 diabetics is fairly good – if they are overweight or obese. There’s a possibility that you can carefully get off some or all of your oral hypoglycemic or insulin meds if you get DOWN to your GOAL weight- depending on the “degree of penetrance” of your “genetic makeup”.
      Just WHO is overweight? Scoot over to the website “RushInstitute.com“. That height-weight chart can be simplified thus:
      At a height of 5 ft/ 0 inches, a man should weight 106#, and a woman, 100#. For each additional inch above this, a man should gain only 6#, and a woman, 5#.
      This has been known for DECADES, and in use especially by the insurance industry. (You are a much higher health risk if you gain weight… now DON’T start grumbling about “big bones”, etc.)
      I had patients who initially came in with high blood sugars (400s, 300s, etc) who were type 2 diabetics (NOT type 1). Over the years, I began putting (those who were WILLING) on strict caloric intake. As a general rule, most individuals can lose about 10 # per month (shorter ones, less, about 8#).
      HOW TO: (Don’t read further unless you’re serious about weight loss…this is not for the weak hearted, and it does not make me popular, but it is safe, effective and economical – and unlike any popular TV remedies, will much more likely result in a PERMANENT weight loss)
      1. Get a bathroom scale. If you are over the limit for ONE scale, get TWO, and use a small board across both scales, take the weight, and subtract it from your total weight. This is a necessary consideration for some, otherwise they will not be able to monitor their weight loss.
      2. eat TWICE a day (NOT 4,5, or 6 times!!!), using a teacup saucer, (not filled high…) with your plain rice, chicken, tuna or some other protein, as well as some veggie. Do not use “minute rice” – it has a high glycemic index (about 147) – make your rice from “scratch”. Refer to the “glycemic values of foods” for further information on the subject. STOP COUNTING CALORIES. This just distracts you from normal behavior, and almost never works. FORGET quick fixes such as “Nutri-system” etc; those weight loss systems never tell you how often people regain their weight over time!
      2. Use a multi-vitamin. Get the cheapest one on the shelf – a “one-a-day”. Water intake should average approximately 1.5 – 2 liters daily.
      3. Weigh about twice weekly. Weight loss should be about 2 1/2 # weekly. If you do not lose weight, you are eating too much. Period. End of story.
      4. Exercise is excellent, but it really does not burn many of the calories we consume. The body is very efficient in storing energy in the form of calories, and that’s good in terms of survival, overall. Exercise, however is essential in forming a good lifestyle habit, and leaves less time for couch or refrigerator visits.
      5. Monitor your glucose daily or less frequently, as needed. Your doctor should be notified that you intend or actually are losing weight, so he / she can help you decrease or stop the diabetic meds you are taking. Eventually (possibly sooner than you think) you may have to discontinue the diabetic medications to avoid hypoglycemia. Most of my patients had to hold or discontinue meds when their glucose levels dropped below 200 mg/dl. An office check by your doctor bi-weekly with a blood draw is an excellent idea so the doctor can document your progress. When you achieve levels below 100 mg/dl, the doctor can follow you every 3-4 months or as needed. DON’T “fall off the wagon” by going on an all-you-can-eat “cruise” etc. You had this problem before, and your BAD eating habits will return. This time, the diabetic problem will return, with a FURY.
      6. Psychological factors:
      Weight loss is a “mind game”. Teach yourself to embrace a different lifestyle; the old one obviously doesn’t work. Individuals with “normal” behaviors find other satisfying outlets for their “stress”- like hobbies – some of which are a mix between physical activities and more sedentary ones (hiking, bird watching, home repair, musical interests). If your work requires periods of sitting, e.g., learn to stretch flex various muscle groups and so on. Do not bring snacks to work. Nurses, policemen and truck drivers are prone to do this. Avoid fast foods; pack a lunch and stick to it.
      7. Complications of diabetes: (You don’t hear much about these, unfortunately.)
      Vascular complications are the most disastrous. Foot circulation is usually the worst, starting with one or two toes needing amputation. After that, the lower leg may need amputation. In 50% of cases involving one leg, the other leg will eventually require amputation. Cardiovascular complications also occur…
      8. Statistics regard OBESITY in the U.S. to be in the 67% tile, or so. Really??
      The term “overweight” has been considered appropriate if an individual is 15% over his / her ideal weight…(refer to the “RushInstitute.com” website (see above). It seems more likely that the percentage of Americans who are either “overweight” or “obese” combined – range from 85 – 90 %, and this more realistically defines the American “Healthcare Epidemic”. Go figure.
      YOU can be in control of your HEALTHCARE. Keep the politicians and ObamaCare out.
      Insurance, although necessary for otherwise unavoidable medical occurrences and accidents, can be much less expensive or at least channeled effectively.
      I offer this advice because people deserve a hands-on approach to preserving their health and finances. I do it because I care.

  4. James P. says:

    I am looking for information on how to EMP proof a home generator

    • James;

      I’m not convinced that EMP-proofing a generator is worth your time, effort and money. In the case of an EMP or CME, you will be able to run your (presumably gasoline or diesel powered) generator for a short time before you run out of fuel. Once your fuel is gone, so is the usefulness of your generator. You will NOT be able to get more fuel of any kind (other than solar and wind) because the gas stations, etc, will also have no power and no way to get the fuel out of its underground tanks. So you want to siphon it out of the gas station tanks? Good luck with that, considering all the competition from people who are a lot more desperate than you over getting the fuel. More desperate to the point of being willing to kill you. Consider your generator to be useful only for the short term power outages (hours to several days). Yes, we have a gas powered generator, but it will only be a good paperweight or door stop in case of an EMP or CME.

      • That’s where the wood gasifier comes into play, even after petrol runs out, a gasifier would keep any spark ignition engine going so long as you keep feeding it with wood. Same would go for cars/trucks, tractors or any other powered equipment, old school (late 19th/early 20th century) technology would trump any of the modern high tech stuff we’ve been spoiled on today.

        • Great Grey says:

          It will only work as long as you have lubricating oil for the engine.

          • If a serious EMP event did occur, with all the dead cars lying around, we could probably scavenge beau coup oil for our small engines, let alone any stocks we may have already.

      • left coast chuck says:

        Gasoline will be available at gas stations. All you need is a wrench to open the fill cover and a long pole with a tin can on the bottom or a rope with a tin can attached. Lower the can to the gasoline and pull up and dump into a three or five gasoline can. Do not smoke while doing this operation as there will be voluminous vapors in the air. As long as you can gain access to the underground tank, the contents of the tank can be acquired. It just takes a little ingenuity. Of course, once the tank is dry, there will be no more fuel if we are not driving cars, there will be lots of gasoline available. And if trucks are not running, even more diesel.

    • You could enclose the entire generator in a Faraday cage or, alternatively, remove any electronics and put them in a Faraday cage. Here’s a link that may help you decide: www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMct99DiZak

    • Survival Diva says:

      James P
      Bob R has a point. Once your propane is gone, it won’t be replaced. But, here is one of the best step-by-step instructions I’ve found for an in-ground Faraday cage. Surprisingly, it’s an e-How article. Here goes. . .

      I don’t normally think of E How articles as a go-to place, but this one on an in-ground faraday cage makes sense and is fairly simple. It’s titled How to Protect a Generator From an Electromagnetic Pulse.
      www.ehow.com/how_6736266_protect-generator-electromagnetic-pulse.html
      By Damien Thryn, eHow Contributor

      Instructions
      Building the Base
      1 Dig a 6-foot-by-6-foot foundation 6 inches deep using the shovel, taking care to keep the bottom surface even. Check periodically by placing the bubble level flat on the ground in several different positions. The bubble should stay within the two vertical lines on the face of the level.

      2 Center a 6-foot-by-5-foot sheet of aluminum flooring in the foundation hole. Test each corner with the bubble level. If the flooring is not level, pull it up and use the shovel to even out the foundation. The flooring can remain loose, as the weight of the generator will keep it in place.

      3 Cover all 6 feet by 5 feet of exposed aluminum with at least one layer of copper sheeting, attaching the copper sheeting to the aluminum with copper nails spaced 3 inches apart along the edges. This will provide the main barrier against EMP effects.

      4 Affix the copper mesh over the copper sheeting to provide an additional layer of protection using copper U-nails spaced every 6 inches along the edges.

      5 Place a 6-foot-by-5-foot covering of switchboard matting onto the aluminum-copper floor. This material will act as a non-conductive barrier between the generator and the Faraday cage.

      6 Move the generator onto the platform, leaving at least 2 feet of clearance between the generator and the edge of the platform. Ensure that the generator touches nothing but the switchboard matting.

      Enclose the Generator
      7 Lay out two 6-foot-by-6-foot and three 6-foot-by-5-foot sections of aluminum sheeting. The 6-by-6 sheets will become two walls and the 6-by-5 sheets will make up the other two walls and the roof.

      8 Cover all exposed aluminum on what will be the interior side with at least one layer of copper sheeting, and attach the copper sheeting to the aluminum with copper nails spaced three inches apart along the edges.

      9 Affix the copper mesh over the copper sheeting using copper U-nails spaced every 6 inches along the edges.

      10 Erect the walls around the generator, using the powered screwdriver to attach each wall to the floor and each wall to adjacent walls with the L-brackets spaced 1 foot apart, secured with 1/4-inch metal screws. If necessary, cut away part of the switchboard matting to place the L-brackets flush against the floor and wall.

      11 Attach the roof to the walls using L-brackets spaced 1 foot apart and secured with 1/4-inch metal screws.

      Ground the Faraday Cage
      12 Pound the grounding rod with the hammer 3 feet into the soil at least 6 feet from the enclosure and any other grounding rods or electronic equipment.

      13 Wrap the copper wiring around the base of the grounding rod at least 10 times.

      14 String the copper wire from the grounding rod to the Faraday cage.

      15 Nail the copper wire securely to one side of the Faraday cage with at least three U-nails.

      • Diva, et al;

        With my earlier concerns in mind (running out of fuel, etc) after an EMP or CME, overnight I tried to think of what ESSENTIALS I might put into a Faraday cage, should I build one. I tried to be as realistic as possible, not “pie-in-the-sky” hoping that things might survive the electrical storm. Below is an exhaustive list of EVERYTHING that might come in useful and be useable a few months into the post-EMP or post-CME event.

        1. Short wave radio to try to find out what happened and what is happening in your area.
        2. Rechargeable batteries for short wave radio.
        3. Small solar panel for powering short wave radio batteries.
        4. Small solar power rechargeable portable lights.

        That’s it folks! No computer. No GPS. No cell phone. No generator. No TV. No video games. No car electronics. No AM or FM radio. Nothing! Be realistic. There will be no electricity for a prolonged period of time. You won’t be able to power any of your electronics or toys. You won’t be able to get any type of fuel (gasoline, diesel, propane, oil) for a generator or for a car. Even if you did for a short period of time, you’d be a target for the desperate “zombies”. The GPS satellites will have been fried. Cell phone towers will be fried.

        Before investing time, effort and money into building a humongous Faraday cage, think critically about what you REALLY would need to put in to it. To help you think along these lines, try to picture what electronics would have helped you survive 150 or more years ago. THAT, my friends, is the reality into which we will be tossed and into which we will be forced to live.

        I welcome other realistic items to be added to my list above. Doing so may serve as a guide for those of us who wish to build a reasonable Faraday cage.

  5. The article said NASA new about it and was talking about it so we need to go and sign up on their email list so we are informed. Just having 4 hours of notice will be of help but I better start now.

  6. Lady Life Grows says:

    The current solar cycle is actually a rather low one, with a peak about half the usual sunspot peak. CME’s are happening anyway, so a Killshot COULD occur, but the odds are lower than average. and average, so far, is less than one in a hundred years.

    I think it’s stupid not to prepare, but the real danger is scarcity-think. All racism stems from the idea that there is not enuf to go around. If that’s true, you see to your own first. Your own nation, your own tribe, your own family. This was the actual source of The Holocaust–and the Irish potato famine (Ireland exported enuf food to England to feed all her people–the starvation was deliberate on England’s part). The USA deliberately starved Asian Indians AFTER world War 2, in concentration camps where the calorie ration was almost identical to Auschwitz) because they believed the Overpopulation lie and thought India was hopeless. Today India has more people and less starvation.
    The best preparation is to explode the Overpopulation lie, first in your own mind, then anyone who will listen.
    More people mean more creativity and therefore a higher and more secure standard of living.
    A lot of the relevant facts are in one book: Robert Zubrin’s Merchants of Despair. He does believe the second most deadly lie: global warming, and he thinks nuclear power is amost harmless. But the first half of that book is some of the most important data ever collected and written.
    Our security will be drastically improved if we reach about 4 billion people with this information, especially the rich and powerful.

  7. Sue the Frugal Survivalist says:

    While CME’s are always a possible threat, Ebola is a relatively new one . Now that the virus has made the front page of the Sacramento Bee, do you have any advice for us if it hits the U.S. ?

    • Survival Diva says:

      Sue,
      It’s going to be next week’s post. It was just announced that several Ebola patients have been allowed to be transferred to England for care. Very concerning!

      Here are previous survivethecomingcollapse posts on pandemic: Pandemic: What You Should Know survivethecomingcollapse.com/2591/pandemic-what-you-should-know/

      Preparing for a Pandemic Flu Worst Case Scenario survivethecomingcollapse.com/569/preparing-for-a-pandemic-flu-worst-case-scenario/

      • They have announced that two Ebola patients are being brought to Atlanta, GA to the Emory Hospital for treatment. Emory made a statement that they have a well prepared facility and well prepared staff to handle them, but what about the flight crew, ground crew and transportation crew taking them from Africa, on the plane and from the airport to the hospital? This seems extremely risky to me.

      • Not to sound too “conspiracy theorist” but there are signs that the whole “Ebola scare” is being used to distract people from the many “issues” going on today (border concerns, middle east, economy, etc) that are being mishandled by our gov’t. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with infected fluids (blood, spit, etc) so the idea of a pandemic/epidemic occurring due to a couple of sickies being transported overseas may be overrated and really a scare tactic, as stated, to distract people from what’s going on around them. Don’t get me wrong, any kind of bio-hazard is concerning, if one super virus can make its way here, how many of the real A-listers might make it here? Basically as preppers, we need to fully analyze these threats so we can realistically plan without going “bats*** crazy”. One might have NBC suits and gas masks already on hand but that’s for broad protection against any biohazard, not just Ebola. If a sickie somehow contaminated a salad bar at Golden Corral and caused a bunch of people to contract Ebola, then the bigger concern would be a potential bio-terrorist intentionally spreading contagion, be ready for more. I guess the parting thought is to have a broad coverage of preparation for whichever threats we feel are worth looking at (biohazards, EMP’s, economic collapse, etc). Just some food for thought.

        • Survival Diva says:

          MP,
          Agreed. Having broad coverage lessens the potential for failure. I’m not loving the idea of transporting Ebola sufferers to England and the US, simply because it opens up the potential for mistakes to be made (on many levels). On the other hand, helping those who selflessly helped others during this Ebola outbreak feels right. Obviously, I have mixed feelings. It will be interesting to hear everyone’s opinion on this with next week’s post.

    • davidmobile says:

      Ebola is a complicated topic. I did research (limited) on weaponizing it for a paper more than 20 years ago, and “outbreak” the movie came out 19 years ago, so it’s an older concern than many remember.

      • Sorry…my mobile commenting wasn’t working.

        What I was trying to say is that the current strains of ebola are transmitted by blood, vomit, and feces–not by airborne particles, unless those airborne particles happen to contain one of the first 3 things.

        Is it a scary disease? Yes.

        But most of the cases in Africa are happening because of bad isolation techniques, sharing of improperly sanitized needles because of a lack of supply, and post-death rituals. More coming soon…

  8. We have whole house solar panels. How can we protect them? We have a well and septic. Our well is 780 feet down, I don’t believe there is a hand pump that will work on that. Any ideas?

    • Survival Diva says:

      Kathy,
      Future Science, Getting Prepared for an Electromagnetic Pulse Attack or Severe Solar Storm by Jerry Emanuelson is the best advice I’ve found on protecting electronics against CME/EMP.
      Having said that, no one is an expert authority on this. . . not until an event powerful enough to affect the grid and electronics will we understand what could’ve been done better, and what was most sensitive to CME/EMP and what isn’t.

      Here is the advice given by author Jerry Emanuelson on protecting solar panels:
      Many people who say that they have off-the-grid power systems are interconnected to the power grid in order to sell their excess power back to the main electric grid (what engineers call the bulk power grid).  From an EMP or solar storm standpoint, this interconnection presents the worst of all possible worlds.  Such an interconnection exposes a so-called off-the-grid system to all of the dangers of the power grid.  You can do this, but it just requires many extra levels of protection at the interconnect point (and usually some spare electronics boards).
      If you have solar panels that are now in use, you can obtain some EMP protection by proper shielding and transient protection on the wires going to the panels, and by surrounding the panels with aluminum wire cloth (also known as hardware cloth).  Aluminum wire cloth is somewhat difficult to find, but it is available.  Aluminum wire cloth with openings of 0.4 to 0.5 inches will not only supply a certain amount of EMP protection, but can provide some protection against larger hailstones that can cause damage in severe weather.  The wire cloth will block some of the sunlight, but the right size of wire cloth will block less than 15 to 25 percent of the sunlight.  If you are making a new solar panel system, some consideration should be given to putting the solar panels inside of a cage made of aluminum wire cloth.  This is much easier to do during the original installation.  The cage of aluminum wire cloth should completely surround the panels.  If your solar panels are mounted just above the ground (as opposed to a rooftop system), don’t make the mistake of assuming that the soil below is a mystical perfect ground into which EMP magically vanishes.  In a ground-mounted solar panel system, the wire cloth enclosure needs to go underneath the system, preferably underground.
      Remember that in a complete solar photovoltaic system, the inverters and battery chargers, as well as the solar panels, need to have proper shielding and transient protection.
      The best solution for shielding a solar panel is 20 mesh, high-transparency, aluminum or stainless steel wire mesh.  Since this is a product that currently has to be made to order, the best alternative for most people may be the 8 mesh galvanized steel hardware cloth with 27 gauge wires.  This is available from some of the Internet suppliers of wire mesh.  An 8 mesh hardware cloth will let through some of the higher frequency components of nuclear EMP, but unless you receive a maximally effective EMP strike, this material should protect a solar panel.  Unless you can afford to have some of the 20 mesh, high-transparency, wire mesh custom-made, the EMP protection of your installed solar panels will be a matter of compromise using less than optimal solutions, but solutions that are likely to work in most cases.
      The wire mesh used for shielding should be either welded mesh or galvanized mesh.

      As far as your deep well goes, Lehmans has a water cylinder that fits inside the well casing (long & narrow) that is lowered down by rope.
      www.lehmans.com/p-1384-lehmans-own-galvanized-well-bucket.aspx
      It coast $69.95 and will collect a little less than 1.9 gallons of water at a time. Otherwise, a generator to run your pump may be the answer. . . but a generator , unless it’s solar and you have reliable sunlight in your area, will be a short-lived convenience because it’s unlikely that in a nationwide crisis fuel will be available.

      • Kathy and Diva;

        I’m not sure you could get a rope strong enough to last through the recovery of a CME or EMP (months to years duration) that would be long enough to reach the 800 ft to your well (780 ft is probably the static, or top, level) and still be light enough to be able to pull it up from that depth with about 2 gal water (17+ pounds including weight of container). You might consider installing a hand winch to pull up the rope and water container. Yes, this would take time, but at least you’d have a source of water. A backup length of rope would give some insurance in case of rotting or breakage, as well as a backup water container.

        • Survival Diva says:

          Bob,
          That’s excellent advice. Going to go in search of a hand wench. I have a manual hand pump (my well is fairly shallow), but I ascribe to back-up. Thanks for the FYI.

        • Arrow Head says:

          The way to overcome the large distance and weight is with a pulley system. The more pulleys, the less weight of each pull of the bucket. But, more pulleys increases the number of pulls required to raise the bucket. There is a mathematical formula for figuring it out. A ratchet system will prevent the bucket from falling back down if grip is lost. There is also some lightweight and extremely strong “rope” used by utility companies for pulling cables through conduit. It is actually flat but can hold 1500lbs and is weather resistant. I don’t have it with me now so I cant give the name. Sorry.

          • Survival Diva says:

            Arrow Head,
            Thank you for the info. Water is a number one priority. This will help readers with a deep well : )

      • Left Coast Chuck says:

        Lehman’s catalog says specifically that dip device is not for daily use. I assume that worst case it is better than nothing. While I have not yet specifically investigated them, I believe there are hand pump devices that can lift water that distance. You can make a hand dip device for pulling gasoline out of the tanks in the ground. As others have pointed out, you will be a target while dipping.

    • The other consideration, Kathy, is whether or not you are making a target of yourself with your solar panels. Desperate people, seeing a house with, say, a solar array on the roof, will assume that you not only have power, but likely other provisions as well. You must prepare to defend yourselves!

    • Great Grey says:

      For a deep well you need counterweights to balance out the extra weight of the water and rod. Then a hand pump will work. The weight doesn’t have to attached directly to handle, only to the lift rod with whatever hardware needed for your pump.

  9. Lee Wilson says:

    Questions – Will standard alkaline and 12 volt batteries survive an EMP blast that fries all electronic and electrical devices?

    Also would LED and florescent lanterns that run off of batteries be fried (mostly I was thinking about the bulbs because the rest are just connections)?

    • Survival Diva says:

      Lee & Bill,
      Here’s what I was able to find out about the affects of CME/EMP on batteries:

      Future Science; Electromagnetic Pulse Protection by Jerry Emanuelson
      “Energizer makes lithium batteries with a 15 year shelf life. Although small batteries were not damaged during the 1962 high-altitude nuclear tests, it would be wise to store each sealed package of batteries wrapped in a layer of aluminum foil. Future EMPs may be much larger than the 1962 events. Also, battery technology is evolving and the sensitivity of newer types of batteries to EMP is unknown (although the cylindrical batteries tend to provide a certain amount of shielding just due to the way that they are constructed.). I generally prefer Energizer batteries for cylindrical batteries (AA, AAA, C and D sizes) and Duracell for 9-volt batteries. The 9-volt batteries contain 6 internal cells in series. In the Duracell 9-volt batteries, the cells are spot welded together, whereas most other popular brands use a simple press-fit interconnect for the cells. The Duracell spot-weld method generally makes for a much more reliable connection in this type of battery.

      Expect battery technology to be a rapidly-expanding area, though. Duracell has (in some respects) leaped past the Energizer lithium AA and AAA batteries with the Duracell Quantum batteries (introduced in late 2013) with a guaranteed shelf life of 10 years, and which now outperforms the Energizer lithium in some performance tests.”

      And the 2nd: www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=60982
      “Having worked for a defense contractor on precisely this (well backup supplies for IFF avionics equipment), I can 100% confirm that lead acid/wet cells are 100% resistant to EMP attacks. The plates are large enough to conduct any current induced by the pulse.
      AA’s etc are not. They fail randomly.

      The AA’s tend to have zinc powder in them which migrates and shorts the cells out making them useless. This doesn’t happen to all cells but around a 40% sample failed immediately after exposure to microwave radiation (from a simple magnetron).

      The worst are NiMh/NiCd/LiIon as they tend to use tiered foil construction which is just waiting to go boom.

      Tin foil is pretty useless – if the EMP pulse wavelength is intense enough, a current can be generated inside the envelope which is enough to cause problems.
      Stick with wet cells.

      For a non-scientific approach, chuck one of the batteries in the microwave on high power for 30 seconds and see if it still works.
      I can’t site any sources unfortunately as this was internal research.”

      Hope this helps : )

      • Don’t forget too that LED’s are nothing but semiconductor diodes, if anything gets fried, its going to be those components in all of our modern lights, unless the LED lamps are EMP protected just as well, it might not matter much since the lights will be shot, heck even those little flimsy incandescent flashlight bulbs probably wouldn’t survive the surge of current induced through them. When we’re looking at devices that run on very low voltage in the milliamp range, surges of thousands of volts/lots of amps probably won’t take many prisoners.

        • Great Grey says:

          A flashlight doesn’t have the size necessary to generate large amperage, and high voltage by itself will not hurt an incandescent light bulb any more than a static shock does when you touch a light switch.

          • That may be true for the incandescent bulbs, I would be mostly concerned with the LED’s since even if the diode itself wasn’t damaged, the sensitive microelectronics that usually run many of these lights can be damaged, about the same as a static charge fries most CMOS or MOSFET electronic circuitry/components, which would apply to most small electronic devices nowadays. It’s one of those fine lines where it’s best to err on the side of caution, it would suck to scimp on EMP preps for any devices we may wanna protect and then find out the stuff is fried. There’s conflicting testimony about what EMP’s would do to cars but again, its better to err on the side of caution. Even with many of us who have oldies for the reason of their potential EMP protection, but it would be anticlimactic to find out even our 1960 something oldie truck won’t start because the ignition coil has an open circuit due to a segment of the coil burning open after sustaining just enough amperage from an EMP charge. In the end, hope for the best, prepare for the worst, right?

  10. Bill Floyd says:

    I am putting in a battery-based, off-grid solar panel system to run my well pump and a refrigerator/freezer. What components are sensitive to a EMP/CME and how can they be protected?

  11. Any notifications of anything to the “masses” just won’t happen. Any approval for such a panic creating announcement will have to go through the White House. They will run and hide in their underground bunkers, we will be stuck in the wide open. They want the world de-populated anyways.

    • Arrow Head says:

      You are absolutely correct on each point. They want to turn most of the USA into a no-human-go zone and wilderness preserves. It is for their benefit, since they intend for all of us to starve to death.

      • You’re exactly right….no info will get clearance from the fully transparent WH, and we’ll get nothing from NASA since their only concern now is to make the muslim community feel good about all their contributions to science. We are on our own and need to prepare for all contingencies. The best approach is what you recommend; do the basic preps first, that way you can handle most situations, and make consistent improvements from there. They may want us to die off, but it will destroy the dumb masses first and we will survive! Best to All!

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