Things That Genuinely Scare Me #1: The Sun

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The Sun has been dormant for an unusually long time. Man has recorded the sunspots and noticed the correlation between them and our earth’s weather. When unusual events occur, bad things happen.

This may sound like a bit of ancient sun-worshiping fear mongering. I assure you, it is not. My understanding of our modern society, especially our electrical grid, and my understanding of the sun lead me to conclude that we can experience some very nasty events, events that most people don’t bother to think about or prepare for.

NASA is well aware of the possibility of disaster, and thankfully, we have assets in place to help us mitigate the damage from these disasters by predicting when they will happen. (link) However, nothing is perfect, and there is a good chance that even these preparations will be too little, too late.

Given the above, you won’t find me cowering under my sofa or building a concrete bunker underground. I doubt these things would even help the situation. If we did experience a national blackout that lasts months due to unusual solar activity, we would need to revert to our pre-electrical grid way of living. This doesn’t mean we’ll do away with electricity altogether, or go back to munching on nuts and weeds. It does mean some of the things we rely on every day—things like the internet—may not be there for us during this time.

What you will find me doing is doing what I have always been doing: Preparing for the worst by building up my food stores in my own home. I also keep a cash reserve of small bills. I have also prepared for losing my job for a period of time by staying relatively debt-free and keeping a nice reserve of cash in the bank. I could, after all, lose my job at any time.

On the food storage issue, this is a behavior that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are famous for. However, the way it is practiced in the church is very different to the way you see it practiced by the kooks. We build up our stores with food we eat every day. Rather than having a week’s supply of food on hand like most everyone has, we have a month or two months, minus the fresh meats and vegetables. Costco is one of my favorite stores, because I can buy in bulk and everything is nicely packaged. Even though it may take us a month to eat through any one of the items we buy, food storage is as simple as making that purchase a little in advance of when I would normally need it.

Lately, we’ve been stockpiling commodities we eat everyday. We have several bags of sugar (brown, white, powdered, etc..) and bags of flour and rice. I am pretty sure we could go a month on our supply as it is. These commodities are much cheaper when bought in bulk. A 50 pound bag of flour costs much less than 50 1-pound bags of flour.

We have little to no effect on how our national electric grid will respond to increased solar activity. We do, however, control our purchasing and eating habits, and we can easily prepare ourselves for the worst if we do a little planning ahead every day.

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