Riding out a Solar Storm.

A solar storm is a burst of charged particles and magnetic field fluctuations that expand outward in all directions from the sun. However, the Earth’s magnetosphere acts as a shield, deflecting most of these particles.

What would likely happen if a powerful Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) event struck Earth in 2024?
First off, Society would not collapse into a Mad Max / End of Days Dystopia. The impact wouldn’t be instantaneous. It takes roughly 1-3 days for a CME to travel from the sun to Earth. This window provides some warning time for preventative actions.

But when the CME  hits, it will interact with Earth’s magnetosphere,  that is, the planet itself, not just the atmosphere. This interaction will trigger a geomagnetic storm that will disrupt the Earth’s magnetic field, inducing strong currents in power grids that can overload transformers, causing widespread blackouts. Here in the UK, the National Grid, if given enough warning, would take precautionary measures to minimize damage by strategically shutting down parts of the grid. Any damaged or overloaded transformers and power lines would require repairs that could take days or weeks.

We’d also get communication disruptions, with satellite and GPS systems affected, leading to issues with navigation and most communication. This would affect everything we depend on, like transportation of people, food, everyday goods and materials.

Overall Effects:
The severity of the CME could potentially cause nationwide blackouts in the UK and other nations.
Essential services like hospitals and emergency response would likely have backup generators, but disruptions could occur.
Transportation, reliant on GPS and electronic systems, could be impacted.
Financial transactions and communication networks could be disrupted.

Restoring power after a large-scale event could take days to weeks, depending on the damage to the grid infrastructure.
Communication networks would likely be prioritized for restoration to facilitate coordination and recovery efforts.

Should we Worry?
Countries like the UK know this threat and have contingency plans to mitigate the damage. While the UK’s infrastructure relies more on electricity than the last Big CME in 1859, we now have far better monitoring and mitigation techniques.

So how can we prepare?
Depending on how many people in your house have enough provision to last a week.
Water – 2 litres per person for a week.
Long-life food like:
Peanut Butter lasts ages, so a few jars would be a good option.
Tinned food & dried fruit.
Torches and batteries.
Battery-operated radio.
Board games
Deck of cards.