Solar Flares and EMPs - Is anyone thinking about this?


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May 19, 2007
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I've been starting to research the impending doom of solar flares - it wasn't until I read NASA's warning that I took real notice.

New Solar Cycle Prediction - NASA Science

So, basically what they're saying is that solar flares - or rather large solar flares - have the potential to knock out the grid and render electronics inoperable. From what I understand, this means all electronics will be fried. All of them.

I suppose if all electronics were knocked out, I'd have more to worry about than my computer and external harddrives, but assuming that the death of electronics is one we will eventually overcome, I'd hate to lose all my work permanently.

Is anyone else thinking about this, prepping for this? If so, what are you doing to ensure you don't lose all your data? I wish I understood electromagnetics more than I do. Guess this means my camera will be toast as well. Perhaps I should buy an old fashioned non-digital camera :)
It often surprises me how many people keep endless harddrives and DVDs of backups of their photos - but keep few if any actual prints of the photos. Personally I also keep few prints, but more so because I've not really mastered printing ;)
I do honestly think that a photobook of prints is an ideal form of backup of ones works - not only is it not going to "crash" or die from a solar flare, but it will also be a great way to showcase and see your work on paper and show to others. Plus I think the we (as a species) prefer and put more weight and significant to physical things we can interact with than digital
Store images on optical media, as well as on magnetic media. Have a backup to your backups. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Make some prints of images you really like.
Prints are a good idea. Could get costly :)

As for magnetic media, are you talking diskettes? Or like video tapes? I guess they still make those, but I have hundreds of gigabytes of images.
Perhaps I should buy an old fashioned non-digital camera :)
Better get a fully mechanical one (no batteries). Modern film cameras would suffer the same fate as digital ones.

Not all electronics would be fried, but most of them would. Basically almost every single electronic device you use in day-to-day life... Your car (most likely), probably everything in your house, gas pumps, the power grid, etc...

Even if you could shield your camera - what would you view the pictures on?

I wouldn't count on recovering from something like that in your lifetime...

Ever seen "The Road"? :lol: That's what it would be like.

I would be more worried about a man-made EMP than a solar flare though... One weapon could take out all of North America...

Basically, the only way you can 'prep for it' is to stock up on things you will need to survive, and learn some survival skills. You would have much more to worry about than your camera or pictures.

If something like that did happen, forget about your backups - they're just gone forever. Even if they weren't affected by the EMP, what would you put them in? Do you know how to build a generator, computer, and monitor - all from scratch? I'm not talking about just throwing a bunch of components together, I mean you would have to make all of those components (motherboard, video card, CPU, all that stuff), and then put them together.

That (EMP) would probably be the worst possible thing that could happen... At least if an asteroid or something hit, you would just be dead - so it wouldn't even matter. Setting the clock back 100 years and starting over would be pretty tough though.
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If the flares are strong enough to knock out ALL electronics, there is so much more to worry about then your photos.

The earth has been here approx 4 billion years, the sun longer. Flares have occurred since the sun formed.

Doomsayers since we have been upright - thrive on just this kind of stuff. I say have a pitcher of (or at least a picture of) margaritas and forget about flares...:thumbup::mrgreen:
Well, I'm assuming that human beings will survive - that is, the smart ones who prepare. There's really no telling how bad things will get and I'm trying not to scare myself into thinking things will be like The Road - and believe me, it's crossed my mind, I hate to say. I suppose anything is possible. The thing is, there are differing opinions on what and will not be fried. Some are saying EVERYTHING some are saying only power grids, GPS, and some electronics.

I do realize there will be more to worry about than my photos, just wondering if there's any possible way to save things. This assumes that civilization will rebuild. Better to be prepared - just in case it's only a major surge and we can get back online in a respectable time frame.
Well - yeah. If these solar flares were to occur and would cause EMP's of that magnitude, don't really think there will be much left of humanity - especially considering that most of the worlds guided missles are electronic based and who knows where they will be flying around...just saying.

When NASA came out with this last year I asked an old professor of mine (physics) about what would happen - his prediction was, that all major cities in the world would cease to exist, and those that would survive would more than likely be those that are currently living in very remote areas (as their dependence on electronics is relatively low)...

That said - and changing the view from End-of-the-world, 2012 doomsday predictions - you should always have several back-ups of your work, prints are very very useful, especially if you would like to exhibit your work, and what I like to do is work with 3 external drives (all of them 1TB in size) with one of them hardly ever connected to the computer, so not to catch any nasty viruses that are flying around the web ;)

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