Risks from outer space
Solar storms can have a major impact on electricity supply, or on the operation of communication networks or navigation systems such as Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). Meteorite impacts can also have major consequences. Fortunately, the chance of this happening is small.
- A solar storm can affect the electricity supply and the telecommunications network. Read here what to do in the event of an (unexpected) power failure or a breakdown of the telecommunications networks.
- Follow the recommendations of the government.
- If the solar storm has caused a power outage, check that the food in your fridge and freezer is not spoiled. When in doubt, it is best to throw it away.
Impact and probability
In 2018, the National Crisis Center coordinated a large-scale risk assessment for Belgium for the period 2018-2023. Several experts assessed various risks based on their probability and their impact on people, society, the environment and the economy.
For the risk of 'meteorite impact on Earth', the analysis is:
- Impact: catastrophic impact
- Probability: very unlikely
For the risk of 'severe solar storm', the analysis is:
- Impact: high impact
- Probability: possible
Read more about this analysis and what these charts mean.
What does the government do?
The Royal Observatory of Belgium studies space weather. They send out daily reports and warnings, e.g. in case of increased solar activity.
In the event of a meteorite impact, municipalities, provinces or the National Crisis Center fall back on their general emergency and intervention plan.