During such a storm, pretty much all communications would be unusable for more than one reason.
Afterwards, you better have emergency power for your ham equipment, as that's likely to be all that works for a very long time afterwards. You can kiss the Internet, all phone service, your electrical service, etc. goodbye. And it gets worse.
There are a lot of doomsday prophecies for all the worry-warts in this world. But a repeat of the Carrington Event (Google it) is a very real possibility.
it sounds like a real potential disaster, yet the first storm hit Aug 28, 1859 and evidently by the afternoon of Sept 2 it sounds like telegraph communication was back to normal
On the morning of September 2, the magnetic mayhem resulting from the second storm created even more chaos for telegraph operators. When American Telegraph Company employees arrived at their Boston office at 8 a.m., they discovered it was impossible to transmit or receive dispatches. The atmosphere was so charged, however, that operators made an incredible discovery: They could unplug their batteries and still transmit messages to Portland, Maine, at 30- to 90-second intervals using only the auroral current. Messages still couldn’t be sent as seamlessly as under normal conditions, but it was a useful workaround. By 10 a.m. the magnetic disturbance abated enough that stations reconnected their batteries, but transmissions were still affected for the rest of the morning. http://www.history.com/news/a-perfect-solar-superstorm-the-1859-carrington-event
i suppose our power grids could go down for weeks though today unless protective measures are built into them to keep them from being so vulnerable. If it happened in winter time it would not be good! which leads me to wonder if the southern hemisphere was equally impacted in 1859? In other words, does a Carrington type event most concentrated at the part of the Earth getting the direct hit or does it diffuse across for planet-wide impact?