Are You Prepared For Emergency Survival Following A Solar Storm?

By: Will Tonkin


Our Sun is emerging from an unusually deep solar minimum. That is when the sunspot, solar storm, and solar flare activity are at their lowest levels in the sun’s eleven-year cycle. This is significant, because it means we are now entering one of the most active solar maximums in recent history. Solar Maximum is when the sun reaches its peak in its cycle for sunspot, solar storm, and solar flare activity. That means bad news for the survival of our society’s electronics, satellites, and power grids. 

Why does this Solar Maximum spell certain disaster for our way of life? In addition to the increased solar activity, expected during the upcoming solar maximum, the Earth’s magnetic field has two holes in it that allow particles streaming out from the sun to breach this shield. Because the solar particles are electrically charged, they are usually deflected by Earth’s magnetic field during a solar storm. Our magnetic field, however, is a leaky shield and the number of particles breaching it is about twenty times more than normal. The Earth’s thermosphere has also collapsed to an unusually low level. It always cools and contracts when solar activity is low, however, the magnitude of the collapse was two to three times greater than low solar activity could explain during the last solar minimum. John Emmet of the Navel Research Lab, states, “something is going on that we do not understand”. Normally the thermosphere, which ranges in altitude from about 54-360 miles, intercepts extreme ultraviolet photons (EUV) from the sun before they can reach the ground. As solar activity increases, solar EUV warms the thermosphere, causing it to expand, or puff up like a marshmallow over an open fire. This heating can raise temperatures to as high as 1400 Kā€”hence the name thermosphere. It has begun expanding again, but it has a huge deficit to recover from, allowing EUV much closer to the ground than usual. 

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What To Do In Case Of A Hurricane

By: Paddy S Anderson


If the area in which you live is ever struck by a hurricane follow this simple advice to ensure you and your family are able to ride out the storm in as safe and stress free a way as possible.

Before the storm- 
If your property is situated within the evacuation zone then you should follow your local authority's instructions and evacuate to your nearest hurricane shelter. If you can possess the means to do so you may wish to stay with family or in a motel in another state. Nevertheless, even if you are leaving your home you should still pay attention to the next piece of advice. You may be moving to somewhere safe but many of your important possessions will be staying put so you should get your affairs in order.

You should get important papers and documents (such as driving licenses, birth certificates, ID cards etc.) together and secure them in plastic. In the event that your home is damaged by the storm then these documents can be costly to replace and will be an inconvenience you can do without. It may also be a good idea to secure any sentimentally valuable photographs to avoid the risk of them being damaged or lost.

Set aside a small bag of clothes for each family member in an easily accessible place in the event you need to leave your home in a hurry. Remember to also include sleeping gear if you are planning on staying in an emergency shelter.

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