This coming weekend, the South Plainfield CERT/RACES/ARES team, the Middlesex County RACES/ARES team and the State of New Jersey RACES/ARES team will be testing emergency communications resiliency in the event of a major CME (coronal mass ejection) such as The Carrington Event that ocurred in 1859. During our weekly ARES net this Friday evening, it will be announced that a major CME has been detected and that communications and the electrical power grid are expected to be severely disrupted within the coming hours. We will be advised to store our communications gear in a safe manner - basically in a Faraday Shield.
Communications will go dark until Sunday morning, after the effects of the CME have passed. We will assume, for the purposes of this drill, that the VHF/UHF repeater system (as well as the cell phone system and the power grid) will have been "severely compromised or damaged". We will then see how well we can communicate on a town/county/statewide basis relying on VHF/UHF simplex and HF communications on battery or generator power. Of course it will be assumed that the gear being used had been adequately shielded and protected in advance of the CME event.
It used to be that you just worried about natural disasters from terrestrial weather. Now we're becoming more and more realistic about the havoc that solar weather can play. And we're planning for it and planning for reacting to it. All in all a good thing.
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!