Story here, forwarded by Photognome.

In a nutshell, the sun has cycles in its intensity. During intense periods the sun can release strong magnetic storms into the solar system. Such magnetic storms can disrupt electronic devices on earth. For example, in 1989 a solar storm caused power outages in Quebec.

A study recently completed looks at the effect of a major storm on modern economies. The last really, really big storm was in 1859. It shorted out telegraph wires, starting fires. If a storm of similar magnitude occured today in our electronic communications, satellite-dependent, interconnected-power-grid world, major whooey would hit the fan.

The study called for plans to be made.

For those of us conservative, liberty-loving types, we believe we should be pro-active, not passively waiting for someone (i.e. the government) to take care of us.

So, readers, what can we do. For starters, how about at all times having power-outage kits in our houses. Things like candles, flashlights and batteries in the package. How about "blizzard kits"? A shelf with canned and dry foods, including powdered milk and canned meat, to last a week at least. A first-aid kit.

As you've guessed, I think everyone should have these sorts of things on hand to deal with more ordinary kinds of disruptions.

A file of printed copies of bank records, retirment account statements, insurance policies, etc.

Any suggestions for alternative heating and cooking if the grid goes down? I have a couple of small propane tanks and a camp stove for cooking. Maybe I should look into a propane heater. (Here in SW Oklahoma a major ice storm several years ago put many counties into a pre-industrial state for about a week.)