While preforming lifesaving and high-risk operations, the last thing a responder wants is an unannounced capabilities loss. By getting yourself and your organization educated on space weather and its affects, you and your organization can be more resilient during and after an event. This allows you to provide valuable services and bring everyone home alive and healthy.
Solar Flares (Radio Blackout), Solar Radiation Storms, and Geomagnetic Storms can affect emergency operations and response through power outages, radio signal losses and other problems. First responders should take time to understand the direct and indirect impacts of space weather and how they can be mitigated.
Space weather causes both short- and long-term issues. Short-term, space weather affects radio, power, GPS and satellite communications for minutes to hours. Long- term effects could last days or even cause permanent damage resulting in loss of radio connectivity, power line damage and satellite drag.
Preparing for space weather requires commitment before, during and after an event. Individuals and families can learn about preparedness at Ready.gov. Responders can do the same preparation and should coordinate with emergency management officials and other local authorities to plan, train and exercise a coordinated response to space weather events.
Being prepared for broken radio signals or interrupted satellite transmission allows responders to be aware and ready to provide services during all conditions. Creating an adaptable response enables you to meet the conditions and needs of those you are providing the service to.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Space Weather Prediction Center monitors and reports on space weather daily and provides focused emergency management predictions.