What To Do Before a G5 or Greater Geomagnetic Storm?

What To Do Before a G5 or Greater Geomagnetic Storm?

Have you ever thought about what you would do if a natural disaster happened in your life? G5 level Geomagnetic Storms hit Earth approximately four times every 11-year solar cycle. The most recent catastrophic G5 magnetic storm to occur was in 2012 and just missed the Earth by nine days.

A G5 or greater Geomagnetic Solar Storm is coming to Earth with worldwide devastation to our electronic devices and power grids like humanity has never seen before. According to NOAA, these storms have the ability to cause the world’s Power Grid Systems to completely collapse or blackout. 

Preparing yourself and your family for natural disasters like a G5 Carrington Class level or greater Geomagnetic Storm is imperative. The implications of one of these storms would change life as we know it. Please read on if you are interested in protecting yourself and your family.

What is a G5 Carrington Class Geomagnetic Solar Storm?

What is a G5 Carrington Class Geomagnetic Solar Storm?
A G5 Carrington Class Geomagnetic Solar Storm heading for Earth.

G5 Carrington Class Geomagnetic Solar Storms are very rare but have tremendous destructive potential. The strongest geomagnetic storm on record was the Carrington Event of 1859, which led to the failure of telegraph systems around the world, the most advanced electronics of the time.

Our recent article “What Is An Internet Apocalypse?” covers many aspects of what happens in a G5-level magnetic storm. As we also discuss in this article,

“The damage to the earth and worldwide economy from a G5 or greater Geomagnetic Storm could cost trillions of dollars, and the repair of the planet’s infrastructure could take a decade or more.”

Techevaluate-What Is An Internet Apocalypse

These storms, also known as Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs), are naturally occurring solar events. Only a G5 Carrington Class or greater geomagnetic storm could have worldwide devastation because of our current dependence on technology, electricity, and electronics compared to 1859. We just do not know when and how it will affect us.

There has been much written about the unpreparedness of modern society and considerable uncertainty about what impacts an extreme geomagnetic storm would have on modern power distribution systems and the internet.

What Would Happen if a Carrington Class G5 Geomagnetic Storm Hit Earth?

What Would Happen if a Carrington Class G5 Geomagnetic Storm Hit Earth?
If a Carrington Class G5 Geomagnetic Storm Hit Earth, there would be bright Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) as far south as Hawaii and Cuba.

If a G5 Carrington Class level or greater Geomagnetic Storm hits Earth, it is estimated that the whole planet could have cascading failures of electrical grids. Power restoration estimates range anywhere from weeks for the least affected areas to one to ten years in the hardest-hit areas of the planet.

Let’s pretend that you woke up in the early 1800s. There is no electrical power, water, or sewer in your home. There is no automobile in your driveway or airline flights to take. There are no TVs, computers, or cellular phones.

This could be life after a G5 Carrington Class level or greater Geomagnetic Storm.

As we discuss in our article “What Happens if the American Power Grid Goes Down?” The following is a list of probable electrical and electronic related systems that could fail or no longer be available:

Air conditioning
Airplane electronics
Automobile electronics
Bitcoin Cryptocurrency
Electric oven/stove
Electric vehicle charging stations
Electronic payment systems 
Emergency Services
Emergency 911
Federal Government
GPS navigation
Gas stations and pumps
Global communication networks
Grocery Stores
Heating systems
Hospital devices
Marine Industries
Medical care
Medical devices
Municipal water supply
National security
Natural Gas 
Nuclear Power Plants
Power tools
Public health and safety
Radiofrequency communication
Railway systems
Refrigerator freezer
Retail businesses
Sewage treatment
Snow plowing
Traffic control and signals
Trash pickup and disposal
Vacuum cleaner
Video games
Washer and dryer
Water heater
Water treatment plant
Wells run on electricity
Geomagnetic Storm electrical and electronic-related systems that could fail.

What To Do Before a G5 or Greater Geomagnetic Storm to Protect Your Family

What To Do Before a G5 or Greater Geomagnetic Storm to Protect Your Family
Father explaining to his family their emergency plan and how to get into contact with each other, and where to meet in case of emergencies.

Geomagnetic Storms can have a massive effect on our advanced electrical and electronic technologies. If many of the items listed above were to shut off and are unusable for days, weeks, months, or years, it would have a tremendous impact on our daily lives. 

We should be prepared to lose electrical power from an extreme G5 Carrington Class geomagnetic storm because one is going to happen someday. The effects of such an event would be felt immediately.

These are suggestions to help your family in case of one of the events:

We Recommend Two Weeks to Six Months of Food and Water and the Following

We Recommend Two Weeks to Six Months of Food and Water
Foods to store, dried foods, canned goods. Eat fresh foods first in an emergency.
  • Have an emergency plan for your family, how to contact each other, and where to meet in case of emergencies. 
  • Plan for no electricity.
  • Water – Do the math for how much you need, one gallon per person, per day. Emergency water filters. A human can go without food for about three weeks but usually only lasts three to four days without water.
  • Food – Canned foods and can opener, dried foods, non-perishable, long-term storage. Eat at least one well-balanced meal each day.
  • Paper plates, paper cups, paper towels, and plastic utensils.
  • Be prepared for food spoilage and water contamination.
  • Cash on hand.
  • Matches in a waterproof container, fire starter, firewood, charcoal. Monitored emergency candles in safe holders away from anything that could catch fire. Fire extinguisher.
  • First aid kit, prescription medications, and non-prescription medications such as pain relievers. Printed prescriptions, prescription eyeglasses, and contact lenses and solutions.
  • Soap and hand sanitizer.
  • Toilet paper, moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties (for personal sanitation). Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items.
  • Baby diapers, wipes, formula, and bottles.
  • Hand-crank or battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
  • Complete change of climate-appropriate clothing.
  • Sleeping bag, emergency, or warm blanket for each person.
  • M95 masks (minimum) per person to help filter contaminated air.
  • Prepare for no fuel. Keep your vehicle’s gas tank full. Extra gas in gas cans.
  • Make or buy yourself some Faraday cages.
  • Keep mobile phones and other electric equipment charged. Solar-powered or hand crank charger.
  • Ensure you have a house key and access to your house with electronic locks and an electric garage door opener.
  • Local maps.
  • Make backup copies of critical digital data and information. Important documents printed like identification, passwords, bank account numbers and records, and insurance policies in a waterproof, portable container.
  • Paper and pencil.
  • Printed books, games, puzzles, or other activities for your family.
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet.

Finding Water to Survive

Finding Water to Survive
Finding water to survive can be challenging and always needs to be boiled, treated, or filtered.

Indoor Water Sources

If you know an emergency is coming, fill up your bathtubs with as much water as they will hold.

The first place you can look for water in an emergency situation in your home is your hot water heater tank. Turn off gas or power to the water heater, then open the drain valve into a clean container under the drain valve spigot to capture the water.

Let the water cool before using. 

Outdoor Water Sources

Depending on where you live, there may be more resources than in other parts of the world. If you live in the desert, obviously, it is harder to find natural sources of water. It is essential to boil, treat, or filter any of these water sources before drinking or using them.

  • Natural springs
  • Rainwater
  • Rivers and streams 
  • Lakes and ponds
  • In high water tables, machinery, or hand-dug wells

Emergency Cooking Indoors and Outdoors

Emergency Cooking Indoors and Outdoors
Large 16 Sixteen inch Dutch Oven campfire cooking.

You can use your fireplace for emergency cooking indoors or solar panel power for an electric stove or solar stove. You can use a propane barbecue, grill, or a Coleman-type camp stove for outdoor emergency cooking. If necessary, you can also use a charcoal or firewood grill on an open campfire. 

You can heat canned food like chili or soup in the can with the lid removed on top of a barbecue or firewood campfire and then eat it out of the can. Dutch Ovens on an open fire are a great tool for lots of different cooking, and you can make an amazing and easy cake using one can of peaches, brown sugar, and white cake mix, for example. Yes, you are roughing it at this point, but it is survival.

NOAA Geomagnetic Storms Preparedness Recommendations

NOAA Geomagnetic Storms Preparedness Recommendations
Rows of empty shelves in grocery stores are common occurrences in emergencies and disasters.

NOAA is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which monitors sun and space weather like Geomagnetic storms, solar flares, and EMPs. They have a web page called “Before an Extreme Solar Event” that outlines how to begin preparing for the potential loss of electrical power in an extreme geomagnetic storm.

As they say on this page “Space weather can have an impact on our advanced technologies, which have a direct impact on our daily lives. To begin preparing for the potential loss of electrical power in an extreme geomagnetic storm case, you should; build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.”

NOAA- Before an Extreme Solar Event

Fema also has a” Food and Water in an Emergency PDF Document” that recommends preparing for a 2-week supply of food and water and describes what to do if the power goes out. These publications are also available by calling FEMA at 1-800-480-2520.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts
Young families can get caught without food and water in disaster scenarios for many reasons.

We should be prepared to lose the power grid from an extreme G5 Carrington Class Geomagnetic Storm or greater because one of these storms is going to happen someday. In reality, scientists do not know how big or deadly a geomagnetic storm can get. They don’t have the history or data, and something much more significant may be on the horizon.

Knowing the devastation of what a widespread power outage could cause is essential to keeping your family safe from such a devastating event. 

A Carrington-level event would cause trillions of dollars worth of damage worldwide and will take weeks, months, or years to repair our infrastructure. If something like this were to happen, life on this planet could become completely different.

None of this would be easy, fun, or for the faint of heart, but it is possible to live through such a catastrophic event with enough forward planning and preparedness.


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John Mortensen

As a kid I wanted to be an astronaut, geologist, or scientist. I became a project manager which is involved with many of those things. I am a project manager and tech writer who researches the latest alternative and green technologies. We write helpful articles about green electronics and green technology products. AI, extreme weather, electric vehicles, are all in our future and we want to know the best way to deal with the effects of these on the power grid and emergency preparedness. https://techevaluate.com/author-bio-page-john-w-mortensen/

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