“This is a simulated emergency…”

Around 8:30 AM today, the local ARES organization started a simulated emergency test (SET) along with many other ARES teams statewide.

The SET message sent out yesterday stated, in part:


According to the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center, an X17 class flare occurred at 1810Z on Thursday November 6. Shortly thereafter, a significant coronal mass ejection (CME) was launched from active sunspot region AR-2205. The current position of the sunspot makes it highly likely the CME will intercept Earth. Quoting from the Joint USAF/NOAA Solar Geophysical Activity Report and Forecast issued on 06/2200Z,

"A significant geomagnetic response may occur if this CME arrives with a strong southward Bz component. The potential for satellite single upset events, large geomagnetic induced currents (GICs) creating power grid disturbances, and malfunction of sensitive unshielded electronic components is moderate. Fading and blackout of radio frequencies from 300 kHz to 30 MHz is likely. CME arrival is expected to occur between 08/1200Z –  08/1600Z."

All Indiana hams are requested to prepare for possible power blackouts that may occur over the next 24 to 48 hours. Monitor local ARES/RACES frequencies and commercial broadcast EAS channels if an emergency occurs.

To which I say, excellent!  This seems like more than a lot of agencies are doing to prepare for the possibility of a Carrington Event-level, Earth-directed CME.

And to the folks who think amateur radio is old school tech being used by a bunch of fat, grey-bearded, bald-headed types (HEY! –ed.) and that it's no big deal, they've got their cell phones, well…you probably won't have your cell phones after a Carrington CME hits us.