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Uncovered FEMA Report Warns: 4-10 Years WITHOUT ELECTRICITY After Major Solar Storm

Uncovered FEMA Report Warns: 4-10 Years WITHOUT ELECTRICITY After Major Solar StormJune 28, 2017

A perfect solar storm similar to one that slammed into Earth in 1859 would knock out the United States electric grid for four to 10 years if it hit today, an unpublished report from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) indicates.

The 36-page report was posted this month at GovernmentAttic.org, which uncovers old government documents that often are acquired via Freedom of Information Act requests. The 2010 document was titled, “Mitigation strategies for FEMA command, control, and communications during and after a solar superstorm.”

The storm that hit Earth in 1859 was dubbed the Carrington Event and caught telegraph machines – the most advanced technology of the day – on fire.

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Predicting what would happen if that type of solar crashed into Earth in the 21st century, the document says: “Significant power grid collapses may occur in North America and elsewhere; could require 4-10 years to fully restore.”

But even a smaller storm, like the one that hit Earth in 1921, would “could cause large-scale power grid collapse” if it hit today.

The report predicts that Internet, cable TV and telephone service would shut down. Cell phone service also would quickly be lost.

“Approximately 60% of the cellular towers in the U.S. have battery backup only for 2-24 hours,” the report states. “As these towers lose power, large portions of the cellular network will begin to fail. Urban and populated suburban areas are more likely to have cell towers with generator backup with fuel reserves ranging from 1-7 days, depending on location and equipment owner.”

FEMA never published the report, which is dated December 2010. Off The Grid News reached out to an expert on the grid who has frequent contact with government agencies. This person said the report appeared to be legitimate.

“This paper recreates the 1859 event today using the latest research to explain and understand: 1) The nature and effects of radio blackouts, solar radiation storms, and geomagnetic storms; 2) their potential for cascading effects on global power and telecommunications systems; and, 3) the implications for FEMA …in planning for and responding to such an event,” the report reads.

A Carrington-type event would generate massive amounts of energy that would blow out transformers. It is the replacement of these transformers that is of concern to FEMA and other government agencies. Each transformer is custom-made; there are no backup parts. It is not known how many transformers there are in the U.S., but it likely is in the tens of thousands. Each one takes up to two years to build.

“Loss of key infrastructure for extended periods due to the cascading effects from a space weather event (or other disturbance) could lead to a lack of food, given low inventories and reliance on just-in-time delivery, loss of basic transportation, inability to pump fuel, and loss of refrigeration,” is how a 2008 report from the National Academy of Sciences described the aftermath of a major solar storm.

What is your reaction? Do you think America is ready for such a crisis? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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8 comments

  1. Not mentioned in the article is the fact that virtually all of the transformers are made overseas.
    And we have very few replacements on hand.

  2. Yeah, and how can I get my teeth cleaned if no electricity

  3. Kompassionate_Kudzu

    The lead time on rebuilding transformers depends upon many factors. For those with common ratings and common primary/secondary ratios, they’re stocked new in warehouses and can be replaced within 2 weeks. Some of the larger transformers, 69kV and some 13.8kV would take up to a year to replace but no more than that, unless there were a flood of orders. There are many great companies in the U.S. that make large transformers, i.e., Virginia Transformer, Solomon Transformer, GE, etc..

  4. Several days ago (July 23), the sun had a major CME solar flare, but it luckily was not in our direction, directed towards Mars instead. We dodged a bullet ! This story would be front page news, if electricity was still up if it had occurred here.

  5. FEMA cannot respond to a major disaster. There will be just too many people in need and not enough resources in FEMA to make an impact. Look at Houston. Sure, FEMA is there and trying hard but, the destruction is too great to make a big impact in a short time. Especially if you happen to live in a big city. The best thing you can count on is yourself and your neighbors to get through the worst of it.

  6. It’s worse than most think. Between 7 and 30 days after losing the grid, the spent fuel pools at nuclear power plants all over the globe will begin boiling off and then catching fire. If any significant fraction of spent fuel burns, the resulting release of radiation would be staggering. Each spent fuel fire could release maybe between 10-20x as much radioactive material as Chernobyl. Even if you got yourself out of the direct line of any plume, the dose received by isolated persons (e.g., even after full dissipation) could be enough to cause radiation sickness and maybe even death. It’s just too much damn radiation.

  7. I work for the railroad and we deliver the monster sized transformers all over the country. The first thing to go down in an EMP attack will be everything train related. it is all now computerized and internet connected. we have a hard time managing small power outages and hurricanes much less a large scale emp event. delivering these large transformers with there extremely heavy weight and large size would be impossible. in my opinion. over 25 years of r/r service in operations.

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