The government, in conjunction with the U.S. Dept. of Commerce sector of society, provides space weather alerts, reports and forecasts, just like they do for weather in our atmosphere. The data is fairly difficult to find, sort and interpret into usable information.
The problem with space weather is that for some events there is only a 20 minute warning, but many other events are predicted for the next three days. When you think of it, a three day warning is enough for the prepared person who knows enough to pay attention to the warnings. Unfortunately, if an event is going to be severe or catastrophic, three days in advance is too little time to prepare. It’s not a matter of “if” there is an event. It is a matter of when.
For example, over the next three days (January 18 20, 2013) it is predicted that people in northern Michigan and Maine will be able to see an aurora. Those of you who own spacecraft or satellites located above those areas might want to move them or they may sustain some minor issues. Minor issues to me can be just as much of a PIA as major issues. The power grid in that local region? Some weak fluctuations can occur. So, make sure you have a surge protector on all your electric outlets.