Prepping for Storms: Wind, Snow, or Solar

A common misconception is that survival blogs are only concerned with The End Of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI) type scenarios. And some prepping blogs do emphasize the more dire situations. But here at, we focus on a wide range of the more common disasters, including the types of major storms that happen every so often: hurricanes, tornadoes, major snow storms or ice storms, and even solar storms that send a burst of solar particles (solar flares) rushing toward earth.

Some recent news stories occasioned this post:

Winter storm in West just the start of onslaught
Arkansas Tornadoes 2012: Storms Leave Thousands Without Power
Largest Solar Storm Since 2005 to Hit Earth Tuesday

For any type of severe storm, you have to consider the possibility of being without electricity for some length of time. A brief outage of hours is more common, but outages of days or even more than a week do occur. I have a solar power recharger for my cell phone, and a large sealed lead acid battery that stores enough power to recharge a laptop. I can also run my car and pull a modest amount of power from the cigarette lighter, to recharge a laptop or cell phone.

I have batteries, flashlights, an electric lantern, as well as candles and matches. I can even run my desktop computer, a few minutes at a time, off of the UPS (uninterruptible power supply) that also protects against power surges.

A power outage is a great inconvenience in warm weather, but it can be life-threatening in winter. Without power, you will need some way to keep warm: a fireplace, a wood stove, or maybe an electrical generator. Inserts are available that fit inside a fireplace and turn it into a more efficient heating appliance for wood, wood pellet, or even coal burning. If your home temporarily lacks heat, and the temperature is not too cold, you might try to endure by dressing warmly during the day, and by using sleeping bags, designed for outdoor cold weather use, at night. Failing these measures, an extended power outage in winter might force you to leave your home, and find accommodations with heat.

Large solar flares are often said to be a danger to satellites, and to be capable of causing very widespread power outages. I don’t think the world has yet experienced what a major solar flare could do to modern electronics. But reliable scientific sources (not just survival bloggers) have been warning about the possibility for years. NOAA and the National Weather Service has a Space Weather Prediction Center, which is currently warning about an imminent solar flare reaching earth Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012. I’m not alarmed by such reports; it’s just food for thought. What if.

– Thoreau

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