With Kim Jong ramping up North Korean nuclear tests, it’s time to start figuring out how to protect yourself from an EMP attack.
But what would an EMP attack really look like on United States soil? How bad could the destruction be? What are your EMP protection and survival options? What’s the best EMP Emergency Management Plan? What the heck is an EMP anyways?
Electrical Magnetic Pulse…seems technical. Seems complicated. Doesn’t really sound all that scary. Seems more like something you used to hear your boring physics professor talk about…right?
So today I want to discuss the following:
What An EMP Is
What Weapons Can Cause An EMP Attack
How Much Damage and Chaos An EMP Attack Could Cause
What Will An EMP Aftermath World Look Like
What Your Only 2 Options Are For EMP Preparation
More than 180 Americans have left America for Syria to join ISIS. These are born and raised American citizens. And at some point, they will come back! But don’t worry. These peace-loving American patriots will settle back into their homes and mind their own business. Right!
During the international Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC, even Barack Hussein Obama warned that the prospect of ISIS getting a hold of a nuclear bomb is one of the most serious threats faced by the world. He said it was clear that “these mad men” would use such a device to kill as many people as they could.
Another consideration is the type of EMP blast. The two most likely sources are a nuclear blast and our sun. While a nuclear blast is devastating enough on its own, it is actually an EMP from the sun that poses the greater risk. This is because a nuclear blast’s EMP will be localized to its blast radius, whereas a significant enough coronal mass ejection, or CME, from the sun could potentially wipe out all electrical grids worldwide.
It is this second situation which raises the more permanent specter and could throw the human race back into the Stone Age without destroying a city or causing untold deaths–in the beginning.
Electrical Magnetic Pulse
When a conductor moves through a magnetic field it produces an electrical current.
This is how the generators work at your local power plant. Likewise, when a moving magnetic field passes a conductor, it creates current.
So How Are These Large EMP Pulses Created?
The phenomenon is called Electro-Magnetic Pulse, or EMP for short. One way to create a wide scale EMP pulse is to detonate a nuclear weapon like a hydrogen bomb.
During the initial energy release from a nuclear blast, a large electromagnetic field in the form of a “pulse” radiates outward. This pulse from the explosion will travel in a line of sight fashion. Any electrical wiring in the path of the pulse will burn out.
The nuclear explosion does not have to be very large to generate a dangerous EMP. At least dangerous for our computer friends, not so much for us.
Unlike the radiation released during the nuclear explosion, EMP is not particularly dangerous to people. Unless you have a pacemaker installed. But it will destroy most unshielded electrical components.
High Altitude Detonations
Since an EMP pulse travels line of sight, it can cover a very large area if the nuclear detonation occurs high in the atmosphere.
Most nuclear military weapons are not intended for high altitude detonations. This is because those detonations do little damage to the enemy and cause very little fallout. However, if one were detonated at high altitude the EMP would travel outward crossing everything in its line of sight. Covering perhaps thousands of square miles.
Though the EMP magnitude diminishes with distance, it may still be strong enough at thousands of miles to fry most microelectronics.
This makes the nuclear EMP a near perfect weapon for a terrorist, rather than a conventional military force.
Here’s an interesting question. If you are a terrorist organization and could only lay your hands on one nuclear weapon. Would you want to blow up one city or detonate it high enough to wipe out the electrical systems for thousands of cities?
Aside from nuclear weapons, there are EMP-generating devices called “explosively pumped flux compression generators.” These devices use a combination of electromagnetic physics to generate large pulses of electromagnetic energy.
The basic concept is to generate an electromagnetic pulse in a coil surrounding a metal core using current from a capacitor bank. While at the same time compressing the coil into the core using explosives.
This change in core geometry causes a compression of the electromagnetic field momentarily before the whole thing shorts out and is destroyed.
Steps to Take Immediately after the EMP:
The first thing you have to do is to get back home quickly and safely. You and your family should have all previously established this as the number one priority. Ensure that everyone is accounted for.
The biggest problem will be finding a means of transportation; as you know, most cars will not work anymore. A lot of preppers overlook this aspect because they have a faraday cage and think they have everything covered. But if the EMP is powerful enough, a faraday cage is not 100% reliable. (Related: 10 Faraday Cages you can make at home)
Immediately convert any cash into useful assets like food, water, medicines, and supplies like clothing and fuel. Your money will become worthless very quickly, so use it up at nearby shops. A can of meat will cost thousands of dollars in a few days.
Most of the issues discussed so far have focused on the immediate concerns following an EMP. However, the long-term effects are liable to be just as dangerous if not more so. Furthermore, the collapse of society–and its systems for supporting people’s livelihood–will only instigate degradation of the social contract to the point of barbarism in many instances.
That is why you will need to ensure that your long-term survival includes a means of not only securing the necessities but producing them as well. Of course, even with the proper tools, maintaining a steady food supply will eventually become difficult. You may have a stockpile that can last years, but a total collapse of the electrical grid will likely take close to a decade to recover.
In that interim, food will be difficult to come by. However, by knowing how to grow, gather, and hunt for food, you can help ensure your survival for years following a societal collapse. Of course, growing food requires the land and supplies to do so. Gathering food often simply requires an understanding of the edible plants in your region. Hunting is where that aforementioned rifle will come most in handy.
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Of course, just because you ensure that you are ostensibly an excellent trading partner does not mean that all people will be willing to engage in a civilized transaction. Some people may not have any goods to trade but will still require sustenance, medicine, and other items to survive. In this instance, these people are liable to try and take your supplies.
As such, it is vital that you know how to defend yourself–arguably more so than for other disasters which might be so far reaching and can inspire people to work together. While knowing close-range, melee self-defense is desirable, there is no substitute for the stopping power of a firearm. However, not all firearms are equal in this instance.
Because weight is a factor, you may not be able to load up on weapons, however, a pistol, rifle, and shotgun are all basic firearms for differing levels of engagement that are ideal to carry. The pistol and the shotgun are the most likely to be of use in self-defense, but the rifle–especially an assault rifle–can not only offer self-defense but be used for longer term survivability.
You could make your own electricity from solar panels, micro hydroelectric systems, and backyard wind turbine generators, along with noisy gasoline generators and vehicles modified with electrical outlets. But be aware that having electricity in a world without any would paint a big target on your back. It would almost certainly be best to keep things like this to yourself, and keep backup electronics like charge controllers and inverters in a shielded container. Even then, your neighbors will start to wonder why you never run out of rechargeable batteries and the lights in your home are anything but candles. Invest in alternative power only after considering the risk-to-reward ratio. A few small solar panels and chargers may be all you really need (or dare to possess).
While the medical field, much like water, almost certainly deserves to be higher on this list, the unfortunate truth is that without electricity, medical supplies will not last long. This is especially true of prescription medications that require refrigeration. Diabetics will face this issue acutely as their medication supplies expire once they reach room temperature.
Still, it does not hurt to stock up on a number of basic supplies that will be necessary by pretty much everyone. A supply of clean dressings and antiseptic will likely save more lives than anything else. Moreover, clothing and the alcohol mentioned earlier can be used in a pinch if more traditional supplies run out. However, actual medication can be a problem.
Thankfully, most medication does have a basis in either common chemistry or plant life. While these medications are often the result of concentrating a specific chemical in the plant, the plants themselves have often been used for thousands of years to help alleviate the issue the medication dealt with. In this sense, herbalism is a good skill to have and a great first garden.
So What Kind Of Damage Are We Talking?
Any devices not shielded against a large EMP attack is likely to be damaged or destroyed.
We’re talking damage to the following:
Cell Phone Towers
Automobile Engine Management Computers
Jet Aircraft Systems
Air Traffic Control Systems
Hospital Diagnostic Machines
Plus Anything Else With A Micro Chip
Which is damn near everything these days.
Can you imagine everyone within a thousand-mile radius losing the electrical grid and all technology at one time?
How about a city like New York or Los Angeles, with 8-10 million people suddenly finding themselves in a pre-industrial world without power?
Things that will still work, however, are mechanical systems (i.e. guns and bullets).
So we’re talking instant anarchy.
Old Time Wisdom ( Timeless Bits of Wisdom on How to Grow Everything Organically, from the Good Old Days When Everyone Did you can prepare yourself for war by moving to the countryside and building a farm, but you must take guns with you, as the hordes of starving will be roaming. Also, even though the elite will have their safe havens and specialist shelters, they must be just as careful during the war as the ordinary civilians, because their shelters can still be compromised.”)
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