EMP: An Event That Could Cripple Our Way of Life

While dinner is simmering away on the stove, you decide to check your email on the computer.  The kids are playing on the PS3 in the living room. It’s dark outside but you’re warm and cozy inside, with amber lights glowing in every room.

Suddenly it all goes dark.  Oops, you think to yourself.  The power is out.  It’s no big deal, it happens.  You light some candles, serve dinner while it’s still hot, and spend a fun-filled “camp-out” evening with the kids, enjoying the break from electronic entertainment.  You go to bed secure in the belief that the power will be back on in the morning.

Except it never comes back on……..Your country has been targeted by an EMP strike and life as you know it may never be the same.

An Electro-Magnetic Pulse can be the result of natural events or a man-made attack.  It results in rapidly-changing electric fields and magnetic fields, which may couple with electrical/electronic systems to produce damaging current and voltage surges. In effect, the magnetic event fries every electronic device within its range beyond the point of repair.

When it occurs naturally, it is the result of a geomagnetic storm, when a solar flare bursts from the suns surface and reaches the Earth’s atmosphere.  Such an incident occurred in 1859, called The Carrington Event, in which a coronal mass ejection from the sun took a 17 hour journey to the Earth.  Aurorae (Northern Lights) occurred around the world, so bright that it woke miners in California and that people in the North-eastern US could read by them.  The only electrical-type device in regular operation at the time was the telegraph system, which threw sparks and in many cases caused electric shock to the operators.

A purposeful attack on the electrical grid could take place through the detonation of a nuclear weapon, hundreds of kilometers above the Earth, which would cause interference with the Earth’s magnetic field.  A burst over Kansas would have the potential to take out the grid infrastructure of the entire continental United States.

EMPs Will Have Paralyzing Effects 

Either type of EMP event would take out the electrical transformers, as well as any unprotected devices.  This means that we would not only be without electrical power until transformers could be replaced, but that once they were up and running (a prospect that could take years), all electrical components of our homes would have to be replaced as they would have been damaged beyond repair.  Further, our vehicles are now filled with computers and electrical devices.  Transportation would grind completely come to a halt.

The greater overall effect of this is that:

1.)  Food processing and transit would completely cease.

2.)  A vast majority of people would no longer be able to heat their homes.

3.) We would not be able to access money in banks.

4.)  All manufacturing would completely cease.

In other words, we would be thrown back to the pre-electricity days of the 1800s, without the benefit of homes that were built to run without electricity. An event like this is the basis of a novel by William Forstchen, One Second After. Set in a small town in North Carolina, Forstchen’s book brings to life issues like medication for those with chronic conditions, starvation, lack of sanitation and clean drinking water, and death from exposure, as well as threats from roving bands of human predators.

A spokesman for the Center for Security Policy says that the threat of Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) is real. “Within a year of that attack, nine out of 10 Americans would be dead, because we can’t support a population of the present size in urban centers and the like without electricity,” said Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy. Source

How To Prepare

The most important thing in this event is to recognize that what has happened is not your ordinary everyday power outage.  How will you know this?

  • No vehicles will be running unless they are pre-1990s.
  • Chargeable devices (like cell phones, IPods and laptops) will no longer operate.

Swift recognition of what has occurred can put you far ahead of the curve by allowing you to take decisive and immediate action to protect your family.

Although many of your preparations are the normal types of preps that you’ve already undertaken (a stored food supply, clean water, heat source), if you immediately realize that an EMP strike has occurred, you can, without hesitation, spend all of your available fiat cash to purchase the remaining items at the stores that are still operating.

Once an EMP outage occurs, your paper money will be worthless within a matter of days.  Don’t hesitate to spend it.  Last minute purchases could include:

  • Ammunition and weapons
  • Climate appropriate clothing
  • Practical shoes/boots
  • Long-term storage food
  • Seeds and gardening tools
  • Bottled water and gravity fed water filtration systems
  • Fuel such as propane and kerosene
  • Medications, both prescription and over the counter
  • Solar devices
  • Candles, solar yard lights and other alternative light sources
  • Gold or silver
  • Batteries in multiple sizes

Your immediate recognition to and response to the event gives you several advantages.  First, you’ve been able to go without delay and purchase needed items while others are still budgeting their soon-to-be-worthless fiat cash.  Secondly, you’ve gone out and gotten what you needed while others are still mulling over, what is to them, a puzzling turn of events.  Many non-preppers have never even heard of an EMP event, and have no grasp on the permanence of the situation.  Finally, by the time panic strikes and the riots begin, you and your family will be safely ensconced in your home or retreat.

When the unprepared begin to realize that the end of the world as they know it has occurred, chaos will ensue.  Many will be looking for the government, the Red Cross, or the police to step in and save them.  We must be aware that we will most likely be completely on our own in such an event, and that aid is months, if not years, away.  Your family’s survival will be dependent on your preparations, your knowledge and your self-reliant skills.

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at ReadyNutrition.com for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published May 5th, 2012
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3 Responses to EMP: An Event That Could Cripple Our Way of Life

  1. GA Girl says:

    Do you think the stores will sell us anything once the power is out?  I was at a Walgreens one time when the power went out and they would not sell us anything till it came back on.  Not even with cash or a a check.

  2. KelliNGa says:

    I was thinking the same thing Ga Girl but I think if you can get the managers attention and explain what is happening and the severity of it all…explaining that they should get as much of the non perishables, pantry supplies,water and meds for their own families…they MIGHT be more willing to let you get some as well. But you will have to explain just how bad it will get for their families and that the store will be completely looted in the next 48-72 hrs. I believe people will wait a full day, expecting the govt to move in and fix everything but after that, as word starts spreading, all bets are off.

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