Here's a great video that describes the near miss of July 2012, when a coronal mass ejection (CME) almost knocked Earth "back to the 18th century."
Wall Street Journal: "An electromagnetic pulse from a nuclear device or solar storm would be catastrophic, yet the U.S. remains unprepared."
What would happen if the power went out for good? It's not a question many of us contemplate, probably because the answer is not reassuring. It turns out that the power grid is quite vulnerable. There are a number of realistic scenarios that could bring it down, not just for a few days, but indefinitely. In addition to that, modern civilization depends on electricity. That is not a figure of speech. We have come to depend on electricity for food and water.
...it was quite surreal to be in a room full of scientists who understood that the factual conversation they were having in the conference hall would be dismissed as the stuff of conspiracy theories if it were to be heard on the street.
A superflare, off-the-charts of our current space weather classification system, should occur about once every 800-5,000 years.
There is no operational plan to recover nationally from the immediate and longer term impacts of a significant solar storm on the electric power supply.