This week in Solar Weather, a strong X1.5 solar flare occurred with a forecast for minor to moderate geomagnetic storm activity and strong auroras for this weekend. What does that mean? You can read NOAA Scales to determine what types of impacts might be observed for various geomagnetic storms.
Researchers rank solar flares according to their x-ray power output. C-flares are the weakest. M-flares are middling-strong. X-flares are the most powerful. Each category has subdivisions: e.g., X1, X2, X3 and so on. A typical X-flare registers X1 or X2. A great Blog piece written last year shares some helpful information.
What can you do to prepare? Well most impacts from solar storms are minor. But here are some helpful tips that are great for anytime disaster threatens;
- Get an old fashioned paper map (your GPS might fail)
- Unplug delicate electrical devices to prevent surge damage
- Check your fire extinguisher, as electrical surges can sometimes cause fires
- Get some spare cash for food, gas and incidentals (ATMS could be out)
- Top off your gas tank (if power goes out, no way to pump gas)
- Write down key phone numbers from your phone
- Ensure your generator is ready, and you have fuel in the event of power grid issues
- Plan to leave early for destinations as it can disrupt traffic patterns and communications
- Exercise patience, be alert for sudden surge or electrical disruptions and be a good neighbor
- Discuss your 303 plan with your family. Where and when would you meet if you lost communications
Explore www.ready.gov and prepare your family before disaster.
Download the Red Cross First Aid app to keep first aid information in your cell phone.