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Holy cow!

"On September 1–2, 1859, the largest recorded geomagnetic storm occurred. Aurorae were seen around the world, most notably over the Caribbean; also noteworthy were those over the Rocky Mountains that were so bright that their glow awoke gold miners, who began preparing breakfast because they thought it was morning. ... 'people in the northeastern U.S. could read newspaper print just from the light of the aurora.'"

For context: I saw reference to a "Carrington event" on another page and that led me to the Wikipedia article linked here.
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Leigh Klotz, Jr.'s profile photoAndrew Shooner's profile photo
 
"The Sun Kings" is a pretty good entertaining treatment of Carrington and the context of the event.
 
Check this Firefix extension out if you want to be informed: http://www.n0hr.com/Propfire.htm It's not going to keep you as up-to-date as if you had embedded magnets as a sixth-sense http://www.friday.com/bbum/2007/03/27/magnetic-finger-a-sixth-sense/ or more safely, as a ring http://hackaday.com/2012/01/02/give-yourself-a-sixth-sense-on-the-cheap/ but it's probably the best thing after setting up your own backyard solar magnetometer http://hackaday.com/2012/01/21/pvc-magnetometer-to-measure-magnetic-storms/
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