Are We Prepared To Survive Solar Storms?

In the fall of 2014, we narrowly missed a major bump in the road, in the form of a solar storm. NASA had warned of its coming, getting their warning down to almost the day. This was to be the biggest solar storm to hit the Earth since the Carrington event in 1859. Fortunately for us, it missed the Earth, passing us by.

This type of storm is both unique and common. It is common in that the surface of the Sun is a constant burning explosion. Solar flares and storms happen all the time. It is rare, in that the solar superstorms which could cause us major problems don’t happen all that often; and when they do, like the one in 2014, they often miss the Earth.

Yet scientists estimate that a solar superstorm has a 95% chance of hitting the Earth once in every 250 years and a 50% chance in hitting the Earth once every 50 years. The main reason we haven’t heard much of them is that it’s only been in the last 50 years that it has mattered.

The Superstorm Versus the Grid

For all practical purposes, a solar superstorm that actually hit the Earth would have roughly the same effect on the side of the Earth that it struck as an EMP.

Therefore, we could expect massive power outages, as transformers on the grid are destroyed, as well as a loss of massive amounts of sensitive electronic equipment controlling everything from our critical infrastructure to our entertainment.

In this case, the size of the storm, it’s length of duration and how directly it faced the Earth would all have a factor in how serious the damage would be. Some storms might merely disrupt communications on a temporary basis, while a major storm might destroy most of the electronics we depend on.

Should the electrical grid substations be damaged, which is a very real possibility with a larger storm, then repairs could take over a year. How much of an impact that will have will depend on how many substations are damaged and whether the possibility of rerouting electrical power for the affected areas exists.

Unfortunately, it came out in 2014 that the government has done little to nothing to prepare for such an event or that of an EMP. While the military has some units which are protected from EMP, as well as a few government offices, there isn’t enough protection to go around for all the departments of the government, let alone civilians and industry.

There is virtually no protection for the three power grids that serve the United States. Estimates of the cost of adding that protection are over one trillion dollars, making it impractical from a financial standpoint.

Even buying and stockpiling spare transformers to deal with such an event is deemed impractical. These are custom-built transformers and they take more than a year a piece to build.

Apparently, there aren’t standard designs which are used throughout the system, but rather each one is more or less an individual. So, a spare transformer for one sub-station probably won’t work for another. Should the grid get hit, chances are, it will go down.

There is one advantage with a solar storm, when we compare it to an EMP; that’s the warning we will have. Scientists know about 12 hours before these storms strike. So, if a reasonable means of spreading the word could be developed, those 12 hours would give people time to disconnect equipment and store it in Faraday Cages before the storm hits.

Of course, that wouldn’t be as easy for businesses and industry; but measures could be developed, which would allow those businesses to prepare for the solar storm and protect their computers and other sensitive electronics.

Alas, this probably won’t happen. Developing such a system is the type of thing that was popular in the 1950s, but would be looked at with scorn today. Few would truly accept the gravity of the situation and make proper preparations. Amongst those who did, all it would take is one or two false warnings and they’d stop listening to the warnings all together.

But then, this wouldn’t do a thing to help the power grid. So, even if individuals and businesses were to invest in developing the necessary protections to keep their equipment from being damaged in the case of a solar storm, without power from the grid, that investment would be useless.

The key to everything is to have readily available electrical power that we can use. That’s going to require major investments and major changes to the grid.

So, What Does This Mean to You and I in Real Terms?

First of all, it means that it’s not a matter of if a solar storm will hit the Earth, but when. Hand-in-hand with that, is the question of how severe said storm will be, which is measured in both magnitude and duration. Both will have an effect on how much damage they can cause here on Earth.

Since we are totally unprepared for such an event, the effects of a severe solar storm could be as bad as an EMP attack. According to the report of the EMP commission, that would have the effect of killing off 90% of our population in the first year, either due to illness or due to starvation.

Without the full infrastructure in place, many thousands of people won’t receive critical medicines that they need. While some will be able to survive this, many won’t. Even those that can survive without those medications will have severe effects, some of which will be debilitating.

Then there’s the food issue. The American agricultural industry is the most productive in the whole world. But it is dependent upon the transportation industry to move product from the farm to the processing plant and from the processing plant to distributors, ultimately bringing it to the retail outlets where consumers buy it.

Without electricity to pump fuel out of underground tanks or to refine petroleum into fuel, those trucks will come to a standstill. Farmers won’t be able to get their product to market and much of what they produce will be wasted.

This is an extremely grim picture, but it is a worst-case scenario. It is possible that the solar storm would not cause this much of a problem. But we really have no way of knowing. There is too little data to go by, although the data we do have indicates that the results would be akin to an EMP attack.

This is going to sound a bit far-fetched, but I need to throw it in here. There is a possibility that such an end game scenario is not only acceptable, but desired by a fair number of Washington insiders.

The Georgia Guidestones, which have the New Age Manifesto inscribed on them, state that the population of the world must be reduced to 500 million people. Apparently, if that means killing off 90 percent of our population, that’s totally acceptable. At least, it’s acceptable to some people.

This may explain why there is so little effort on the part of our government to do anything about preparing for a solar superstorm or EMP attack. Those events would play right into the hands of the elite, providing them with the utopian world that they desire.

The only way of ensuring survival is local self-sufficiency. I add the word local in there, as small communities working together could become self-sufficient enough to survive. Other than that, self-sufficiency will be limited to family units. More than anything, they will need to be able to produce their own food on an ongoing basis, in order to ensure their survival.

Other than food production, we would be faced with our country going back technologically speaking to a time about 120 to 150 years ago. The question then would be how quickly we could adapt to that lifestyle.

Once again, those in smaller communities would have the advantage, as many already have a closer connection to their past. But in addition to that, the crowding in major urban areas makes it all but impossible to return to that sort of lifestyle.

Living as our ancestors did requires space. Some people living in suburbia might be able to do it, assuming they have a source of water and are experts at gardening. But to raise any sort of livestock for meat requires a considerable amount of ground. That means living out in the country somewhere, where you can have several acres to work with.

As with any other survival situation, the advantage goes to those who are prepared. People who are growing their own food now and working on becoming self-sufficient, will have a much easier time adapting to life after such an event. Their biggest worry will be protecting themselves and their efforts, from those who have not prepared. If they can do that, they will be able to survive.

This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.

Written by

Bill White is the author of Conquering the Coming Collapse, and a former Army officer, manufacturing engineer and business manager. More recently, he left the business world to work as a cross-cultural missionary on the Mexico border. Bill has been a survivalist since the 1970s, when the nation was in the latter days of the Cold War. He had determined to head into the Colorado Rockies, should Washington ever decide to push the button. While those days have passed, the knowledge Bill gained during that time hasn’t. He now works to educate others on the risks that exist in our society and how to prepare to meet them. You can send Bill a message at editor [at]

Latest comments
  • Very topical. There was a Solar Flare incident yesterday that knocked out the Radar in Norway & Sweden. Here’s the detail: Stockholm (AFP) – A solar flare briefly disabled radar at Sweden’s largest airports on Wednesday causing significant flight delays, the Civil Aviation Authority (LFV) said.

  • A solar CME only has the E3 component of a HEMP and will only affect appliances/electronics/etc. that are plugged into the grid….it will induce ultra high voltages into conductors like power lines, phone lines, etc… a Farady Cage is really unnecessary nor do anything for a CME….just unplug the stuff and the electrical devices will be OK…..
    As for the grid itself it will fry transformers, substations, etc. It will take down the grid depending on if it is a X category CME….
    But a HEMP will fry everythingas it has 3 pulses….E1, E2 and E3….E1 will in fact destroy all electrical devices, plugged in or not…
    In this case a Farady Cage is essential for electronics like solar generators, inverters, panels, communication equipment (CBs, SW radios, HAM equipment, etc.), LED lights ad flashlights, battery chargers, extra batteries, spare car parts, volt/amp meters, emergency radios w/NOAA bands, scanners, laptop with survival reports/info, etc.
    So in conclusion for a solar storm with just the E3 pulse a Faraday Cage is not needed just unplug everything if given ample notice but for a HEMP a Farady Cage is essential….but go ahead and build a Farady Cage and put all backup electronics in it….be on the safe side in case of HEMP that will come with nowarning at all… the novel “One Second After” for a very realistic scenario of what will transpire after a HEMP….and the new book “One Year Later” that just came out…..

    • I’d like to know where you get your info. Are you an electrical engineer? I’ve read from engineer’s that batteries would no be affected. This could be really important. Thanks, Marty.

      • I’m am in fact an electrical technologist, was in the Mavy for 8 years and have a BSEE degree…

        I am also an amateur astronomer….

        I get my information from my Navy training, studying and researching, reading books and various periodicals, white papers, including military manuals and text books by PhDs, manuals by governmental contractors to the CIA, NSA, FBI, FEMA, DHS, Navy. Air Force, Army, etc…so since the discussion is about EMP effects some of my my sources right off the top of my head are:

        -Disaster Preparedness for EMP Attacks and Solar Storms by Arthur T Bradley PhD
        -You Can Survive the Coming Terrorist Nuclear Chemical and Biological Attacks by Duncan Long
        -Coronal Mass Ejections by Tim Howard
        -Apocalypse Tomorrow by Duncan Long
        -Surviving a Nuclear War by Duncan Long
        -Introduction to Astrophysics textbook by Bradley Carroll
        -How to Survive a Nuclear Accident by Duncan Long
        -American Nuclear Society periodicals
        -Hundreds of videos about EMPs on DVDs and the web
        -Military survival training classes
        -White papers from IEEE
        So I would say I’m qualified….

        I put in 8 years of study so I suggest you do the same and don’t expect to be spoon fed the information….

        You’re definitely on the internet then do you own research and find your own sources/books….

        Just search for CME effects and HEMP pulses and effects and find out that a HEMP has 3 pulses and an CME has 1 which is the E3 pulse…how hard is that…?

        Stay away from marketing survival companies and kitchen table wannabes who make up BS and sell it as a definitive reference….

        You must be discerning in the books/periodicals and papers…you want PhD degree experts and governmental consultants and I have listed some above that will get you started….

    • Frank,
      Thank you! I’m poor now because of current events, but I put your suggested book “One Second After” on my Amazon wish list. *DID YOU MEAN also book “One Year After”, not One Year Later? Book “Later” does exists but looks like a cancer drama.

      I’m only buying real paper books since I fear electronics won’t exist much longer (like harvesting in nature guides, how to harvest water in any circumstance, make your own compass, layman’s medical, etc). I’m scared but motivated.


  • 2000 billionaires in America , more than half of them have bunkers in their homes. The rest probably bought their places
    in larger bunker communities.

  • This country is no where near ready to survive a superstorm, unless of course, you are a politician and can go to one of the government created shelters for the government elite. The rest of us would be out of luck. With the previous experience we have had with solar storms, we would be absolutely helpless should a sor storm hit our country directly.

  • I may not be totally prepared, but I am skilled in working with hand tools and have my own. I am skilled in furniture repair. I have prepared with various things that are of a vital nature. Best of all, I have filed into binders almost every one of your survival instruction hints.
    I am a patriot and skilled with weapons and have a plan for departure if need be.

  • Was told that if lining a plastic container (around barrel) w/foil then cardboard , making sure all areas are cover would work as the faraday ones… is this possible ., or are they. pulling my leg ❓❓”