I read National Geographic while Brett makes us waffles. This month’s magazine has a cover article about solar storms and the effect they might have on the electrical grid in the future. Because of how connected everything in our world is to an electronic grid, a solar storm like the one that happened over 100 years ago and knocked out some telegraph stations would knock out not just electricity, but water, sewage, gas, communications, all kinds of stuff, and possibly for months. And they are expecting another big set of storms next year (there’s a cycle to the storms). So that got me thinking about how prepared we are in case of a disaster.
We’ve got some dry food storage – pasta, rice, beans, sugar, flour, wheat, powdered milk. We have a lot of cans of salsa and spaghetti sauce and some canned fruit. I have a bottle of chocolate syrup. Can you really call yourself prepared without chocolate? We have blankets if it’s cold and we have a house for shade if it’s hot.
But we could probably use a few other things. Like water. Lots and lots of water. And fuel (our BBQ charcoal won’t go too far). I’d really like one of those solar ovens. If not for a disaster, so I can make bread in the summer without heating the house. And I should probably make sure a large magnetic storm won’t destroy the only copy I have of a lot of electronic memories. You can’t count on online storage to have a back-up if the whole grid goes down.
It’s amazing to think of how much stuff we do in life that’s related to electricity. What have you done that doesn’t involve electricity today? I can think of two things I do that don’t involve electricity – reading books and knitting. Everything else involves electricity in one way or another. Knocking out the grid would really help me meet my reading goal to read all the books I own.