We're Overdue For A Coronal Mass Ejection!
In 1859 our sun sent a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) towards our planet which has come to be known as the Carrington Event, named after Richard Carrington, an English Astronomer. The event sent energy the equivalent of 10 Billion Hiroshima bombs. This particular event had little impact on our civilization at the time because our electrical infrastructure consisted of only about 120,000 miles of telegraph lines.
NASA has determined that an event of this level occurs roughly every 150 years which means we're overdue and the likelihood of one happening in the next decade is 12%. In a 2014 article of Physics World Ashley Dale from the University of Bristol warned of the catastrophic and long lasting impacts of "Solar Super Storms". He was part of a task force called SolarMAX created to determine the impact of such a super storm if it hit the Earth again. It was determined that it would affect communications, power supplies, sanitation and medicine.
It is estimated that at least 90% of the population would probably die within the first year of us losing the grid. A government report stated that if we lost just 9 major substations, it would take at least 18 months to get the grid back up. Modern society is not prepared to live without power and few know how to survive like we did 200 years ago. Ask yourself, can I provide food for me and my family without going to the grocery store? Can you even cook from scratch? In 2015, for the first time Americans spent more on dining out than on groceries. Millennials now outnumber Baby Boomers and they are less likely to prepare food at home. It's a shame but if we were to lose the grid our younger generation is less prepared and less likely to survive. 2% of our population now provides the food for our nation. In the 1800's the majority of Americans grew and raised most of their own food so we are not prepared and are at a distinct disadvantage from our ancestors.
Preppers are by their very nature more prepared than non preppers. We have a better chance of surviving because we have taken the time to think about the what if's and are doing something that might help us just in case. We have Heirloom seeds, water storage, Faraday cages, hand tools etc. I would argue that owning a wood stove is a fantastic prep. It would provide heat and the ability to cook. The down side is if you are using one, it's going to be a large Neon Arrow pointing to where you live saying you have food and are alive. This will bring bands of hopeless hungry people to your door. Damned if you do damned if you don't. It's going to be a constant struggle to keep others from taking what you have and staying alive. I know that I've said this before but moving to a VERY rural area will be your best bet. The harder it is for people to get to you the safer you will be. Forming a group is better than going it alone. Your luck will run out eventually if you're on your own. It could run out if you have a group and are faced with an even larger group.
If you really think about what it would be like it can get depressing. During the warmer months you are working everyday trying to gather what it will take to survive the winter. In the winter you are just trying to survive until the summer. Day in and day out you are just trying to survive. If you don't own horses or have the ability to make your own fuel, you are walking . . . Everywhere. You are carrying everything. How many of us even have the stamina to work like our ancestors did. The majority of people are overweight and out of shape. The overweight part will take care of itself, but how many people would die from heart attacks or infections from a cut before they learned the necessary skills to take care of themselves? It's a bleak scenario. My only advice is to sit down and really think about what it would take to survive with no power and start learning and preparing. If you do you MIGHT survive. Truthfully I'm not as prepared as I need to be and it will take years to get there due to budget constraints. This doesn't stop me from preparing, I only hope that at some point I am prepared enough before the SHTF. With a little luck and forethought we will survive.