Another Reason to Prepare for Bad Things

My family and I have been taking preparedness more seriously of late. Stocking food, supplies, and starting to learn skills that may be useful if things go bad for us, Portland, the US, the world. It’s incredible that there are people that scoff at such activities, as if they were completely unnecessary. There’s a whole series of events and/or situations that could happen that would make it difficult to take care of yourself and your family for a period of time. Terrorist attack? Pandemic? Hyperinflation? All possible. With our just-in-time food delivery systems, it doesn’t take much to empty shelves at Fred Meyer.

Now, thanks to the New Scientist, we have something else to worry about: space storms, or coronal mass ejections.

IT IS midnight on 22 September 2012 and the skies above Manhattan are filled with a flickering curtain of colourful light. Few New Yorkers have seen the aurora this far south but their fascination is short-lived. Within a few seconds, electric bulbs dim and flicker, then become unusually bright for a fleeting moment. Then all the lights in the state go out. Within 90 seconds, the entire eastern half of the US is without power.

A year later and millions of Americans are dead and the nation’s infrastructure lies in tatters. The World Bank declares America a developing nation. Europe, Scandinavia, China and Japan are also struggling to recover from the same fateful event – a violent storm, 150 million kilometres away on the surface of the sun.

Wonderful, he said sarcastically. File this under, “Yet another reason to take preparedness seriously, not not to depend on Fred Meyer or the United States Government in times of crisis.”

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