To the unaided eye, the sky around the sun appears tranquil, yet it belies a hidden turmoil. The sun emits massive plasma ejections, some of which are directed toward Earth, disrupting our planet’s geomagnetic fields and causing geomagnetic storms. With a G5 storm ranking as the most severe, leading to inevitable power grid failures, how can we effectively brace for such an extreme event?
How should we prepare for a g5 geomagnetic storm? Assemble an emergency kit with essentials like water, food, and a first-aid kit. Establish a family communication plan, secure entry points with deadbolts, upgrade to solid doors, and adopt safety habits like minimizing light and noise during major power outages.
Even though G5 storms are rare, it is imperative that you and your family remain prepared for their occurrence and major power outages. You should be aware of what to include in your emergency kit and how to assign roles among family members, ensuring that everyone knows what to do when the crisis strikes.
What You Must Do Before a G5 Geomagnetic Storm to Protect Your Family
A direct earth hit by an unprecedented G5 geomagnetic storm is likely to impact our advanced technologies someday, upon which we rely for daily living. Unfortunately, we do not know what will happen in this scenario. Maybe nothing, maybe a major catastrophe.
Current science and technology have no thorough understanding of the outcome of such an event. This means that you and your family must prepare for a time when you will need to survive without the aid of these technologies.
The first step is to prepare an emergency kit, a collection of essential items your family will need during the crisis. An emergency kit should contain the following:
- At least a gallon of water per individual per day. The kit should have enough water to last several days, necessary for both drinking and sanitation.
- A supply of non-perishable food that will last at least several days and be sufficient for all family members.
- A hand-held radio, preferably a hand crank weather radio, to keep the family updated on the state of the emergency.
- One or two flashlights.
- A first-aid kit.
- Face masks to filter out dust and other foreign particles that are usually kept out by indoor air vents.
- A whistle for signaling for help.
- Plastic sheeting.
- Duct tape for air-proofing a safe room in the house, if necessary.
- A hand-held can opener for opening canned food.
- Pre-moistened towels to clean hands and save water.
- Garbage bags and plastic ties for makeshift toilets – can be useful when there’s no running water.
- A map of your locality.
- Pliers or a wrench.
- A cell phone for emergency communication and a power bank with enough capacity to last a few days.
- You can also add a solar generator, which can be handy for charging, especially if the power grid will be down for a couple of days.
Additional Items for The Emergency Kit
The items listed on this list are necessary, and you need them to ensure your survival for at least a few days. However, there are additional items that you can add to the emergency kit if you can afford them or if they are essential for a family member. These include:
- Wipes and hand sanitizers for cleaning hands before meals to ensure they are free of microbes.
- Prescription medication, as it might be impossible to find an open pharmacy during an emergency. Prescription medications and required vitamins should be stored and regularly checked for expiry dates.
- Pain relievers, laxatives, anti-diarrhea medications, antacids, and other over-the-counter medicines.
- If you have an infant, you must store infant formula, baby wipes, feeding bottles, diapers, and diaper rash cream.
- Store enough food for your pets and extra water for their use during the emergency.
- At least one sleeping bag or a warm blanket per individual.
- Extra sets of clothing appropriate for the prevailing climate to change during the emergency.
- Sturdy shoes.
- A fire extinguisher.
- Personal hygiene supplies and extra sanitary items for the female members of the family.
- Disposable utensils, such as paper cups, plates, and towels.
- If you have young children, consider keeping books, pens, pencils, and a collection of games to keep them occupied during an emergency.
- Also, consider having emergency preparedness books that you can refer to for emergency preparedness tips.
As we have reported in other articles, the U.S. National Weather Service even has a National Safety Program website link to a page called “Before an Extreme Solar Event” which has pages and tips such as Space Weather, Watches and Warnings, Before a Solar Event (link above), During a Solar Event, and After a Solar Event.
Even though the world press or search engines do not cover the subject of the dangers to humanity of an extreme a solar event such as a G5 Geomagnetic Storm much as they should, don’t think for a second that they are not a real and present danger.
Prepare For a Family Communication Plan For All Emergencies
Additional Recommended Reading: How Much Time Do We Have Before a G5 Geomagnetic Storm Hits After a Solar CME? and What To Do Before a G5 or Greater Geomagnetic Storm?
If a G5 magnetic storm hit the earth directly and has caused major power outages, potentially finding you and your family members in different locations without working cell phones. The critical question then becomes: how will you gather all family members to safety when emergency strikes?
You will need a family communication plan containing all the details necessary to contact family members who are not at home during the disaster. This plan will also include how to stay in touch throughout the entire disaster period. Creating a communication plan is not complicated; it just requires a few steps.
Keep these ideas in mind the following points:
- Designate a meeting location for all family members, whether in town or within the neighborhood, as long as it is accessible when you can or cannot go home.
- Prepare a list of emergency contacts, preferably handwritten, in case your cell phone runs out of battery or does not work. Include contacts for local ambulance services, police hotlines, and fire departments.
- Program emergency numbers into the phones of every family member so anyone can call for help if needed.
- Prepare a handwritten family contact sheet with all family members’ names, addresses, and phone numbers, including those out of town who can be contacted for help during a crisis.
- Print the contacts and addresses on a small card for each family member to keep in their wallets or purses. This card should list the emergency meeting place, an out-of-town contact name and number, and any other relevant information.
- Conduct drills with children on staying safe during a crisis and how to contact 911.
- Ensure children and other family members know how to send short text messages.
- Set up an alert system to send messages with the latest information about the disaster.
- Reduce unnecessary calls during a crisis to ensure that emergency contacts can get through.
What Other Steps Can You Take to Survive a G5 Storm?
While the emergency kit and the family communication plan are top priorities in preparing for a G5 storm, there are additional steps you can take to maintain a semblance of everyday life when the storm renders many of your technological devices unusable.
You can do the following:
- Use frozen bottles of water to keep your food fresh when there is no power. Be prepared by always filling plastic containers with water and keeping them in the freezer. When the power goes out, the ice will help keep food fresh for at least a few hours.
- Keep all medications that require refrigeration in a closed refrigerator for some hours after the power goes off. However, it’s advisable to check with your physician or pharmacist regarding how to keep such medication safe without refrigeration.
- Always keep your gas tank at least half filled. Since gas stations need electricity to operate their pumps, you won’t be able to refill your car once a G5 storm causes a power grid failure.
- Always carry your house keys. This is crucial if you need to use the front door because the power outage prevents you from opening the garage door.
- Install a manual release lever for your electric garage door. This may become necessary to use when there is no electricity, and you can’t risk leaving your car exposed to potential dangers outside.
- Have some cash on hand. The storm could make automatic teller machines (ATMs) inoperable, and you may need cash to pay for supplies.
How to Stay Safe at Home When There Is No Power
Reports from law enforcement agencies have consistently shown a marked rise in criminal activities, such as burglaries and break-ins, during such power outages. The primary reason for this surge is the disabling of home security systems.
Most modern homes rely heavily on electrically powered security measures like alarm systems and CCTV cameras. When the power grid collapses, as it might during a G5 storm, these systems cease to function, leaving homes exposed to potential intruders who are well aware of these vulnerabilities.
To mitigate these risks and ensure the safety of your home and family, it’s crucial to take proactive measures.
- Secure All Entry Points: Ensure that all doors and windows are firmly locked. A well-secured home acts as a strong deterrent to intruders.
- Install Deadbolts: Deadbolts provide a higher level of security than standard locks due to their strength and resistance to forced entry.
- Upgrade to Solid-Core Doors: Solid-core doors are more robust and difficult to breach compared to hollow-core doors, offering enhanced security.
- Maintain a Low Profile: Keep a low profile during the outage to avoid drawing attention to your home.
- Minimize Light and Noise: Use battery-operated or solar-powered lights sparingly and avoid making loud noises to prevent signaling that your home is an easy target.
- Participate in Neighborhood Watch: Stay in contact with neighbors for mutual support and additional security through a neighborhood watch program, if available.
The main threat from a G5 storm is a prolonged blackout, leaving you without electricity or internet access and disconnected from the world for several days. While living without the internet and phone is manageable, surviving without food and water is not.
To better weather this crisis, it’s crucial to prepare an emergency kit with essentials you can’t do without. Those who believe in preparing for a doomsday scenario suggest keeping emergency supplies that could last up to thirty days.
After assembling your emergency kit, the next step should be to develop a comprehensive communication plan outlining how your family will stay in contact.
- Habitat for Humanity: Family Communications Plan
- Over 1M NY Con Ed customers nearly lost heat for months in storm last Christmas — and worse may be yet to come: report
- New York faces growing risk of power outages from cold waves in next decade — study
- Insider: 9 Easy Ways Keep Your Food Safe When Your Power Goes Out
- Ready.gov: Build a Kit
- ReadyWisconsin: Space Weather
- Space Weather and Safety
- Space Weather Watches, Warnings and Alerts
- Before an Extreme Solar Event
- During an Extreme Solar Event
- After an Extreme Space Weather Event