Solar Flares May Disrupt Communications and Electrical Power: Protect Yourself and Your Family from the After Effects of this Natural Phenomenon

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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced the occurrence of solar flares this week. Disaster Relief Supply recommends ways to prepare for these potentialy dangerous events.

how frequently will solar storms such as this appear, and how severe will the effects be?

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced that persons worldwide will be subjected to solar flares this week. Disaster Relief Supply recommends steps to prepare for these extraterrestrial events.

Solar flares are caused by the sudden release of magnetic energy stored in the Sun's atmosphere. In an event called a "coronal mass" ejection (CME), bursts of charged particles are released into space (BBCnews.com). These radiated particles envelop the earth causing numerous issues with communications, electrical grids, and a chance of radiation exposure to astronauts.

Plasma generated from the flare causes noticeable problems on Earth such as electrical grid outages. In 1972, a geomagnetic storm provoked by a solar flare knocked out long-distance telephone communication across the US state of Illinois; in 1989, a solar storm caused a massive blackout in Quebec. It can also pull the northern lights further south (USAToday.com). The further north on the globe, the higher the chance of communication failures and large-scale blackouts.

NASA scientists agree that for the past several years the sun has been quiet, almost too quiet. Part of that was the normal calm part of the sun's 11-year cycle of activity. Last year, scientists started to speculate that the sun was going into an unusually quiet cycle that seems to happen maybe once a century or so. But recently that theory has changed. The big questions are, how frequently will solar storms such as this appear, and how severe will the effects be? No one knows the answers, but Disaster Relief Supply recommends preparing for the effects from this type of storm.

A portable generator to supply emergency lighting and power to the refrigerator and freezer. Tripping over furniture and losing hundreds of dollars of food and drink are just a few loses endured during an extended power outage. Depending on the length of the power outage, food supplies could run short. An emergency food supply such as the Wise freeze dried foods is an excellent choice. It taste good and has a 25 year shelf life.

To cook, or boil water, a heat source is necessary. Using an electric stove may overload a generator. The most economical solution is a small propane “camping” stove. These portable stoves use the mini propane bottles that are available from any hardware or home store and will last on the shelf indefinitely.

The last and most important item for survival is water. The body can go without food for days but it cannot survive without a daily ration of water. Each family member needs ½ gallon per day plus another ½ gallon for personal needs (brushing teeth, etc.). There are many options to store water ranging from collapsible containers to 55 gallon (drinking water safe) drums. Don’t use just any container. Used containers may still contain bacteria even after a thorough washing if the container was used for anything other than drinkable water in the past. Adding 8 drops of chlorine bleach per gallon of water as a safety measure is also recommended.

These are just a few suggestions for preparation. Check out http://www.drsupply.net to get more ideas to keep you and your family prepared, healthy and safe.

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Rick Fisher
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