EMP Blasts are a Strong Possibility
In modern times, there is more to worry about than traditional explosions. EMP blasts, or Electromagnetic pulses are very possible and probable. An EMP is simply a blast of electromagnetic radiation capable of frying electrical components. In fact, the United States is probably more at risk from an EMP attack than other attacks, and these attacks could be more devastating than traditional explosion and bombing attacks. There have been instances in the past which gave society a taste of the effects of EMP. In 1889, a magnificent solar storm affected electrical components, telegraphs and lights. In 1962, a test detonation of a Hydrogen bomb affected street lights almost one thousand miles away. In 1989, a solar flare caused the northern lights to be visible from Texas, and temporarily disabled Quebec’s power grid. And in 2003, a nine hour power outage spanned from New York to Canada, affecting tens of millions of households.
Survivalist Tip: It is common to include a few mechanical items in your prep bag (also sometimes called a bug out bag), which will account for an EMP or solar storm event. Remember, your “bug out bag” should be small and light enough to grab and run with.
What Would Happen in an EMP Attack?
A successful EMP attack on the United States would completely annihilate the power grid. In a sense, an EMP would send the U.S. into a time before electricity, instantly. The EMP attack will shower the country with an electromagnetic field which infiltrates the power lines. Indeed, just one well-planned attack, would easily knock all the power out from coast to the coast. All of the electrical lines would contagiously distribute overload across the country, blowing all of the transformers. The surviving land would long remain dark, cold and dangerous. Many experts agree that as many as 80 percent of the population would perish within the first 2-3 years. Only 10-20 percent of the population would survive. Those who are on life support or rely on ANY type of medical equipment will suffer immediately.
The problem with no power grid is much more operates on power than people realize. Power would not be returned to the population for likely more than a year’s time, and the efforts to resume power to the public is not likely to begin for months following an attack due to the chaos and immediate emergencies which ensue. Not to mention the costs. An EMP stops more than just electrical devices which plug in. EMP also causes a lot of battery-derived technology to stop working, including: airplanes, automobiles, cell phones, computers, TVs, radios and more. This means that all production ceases. This means that all delivery ceases. This means that all technological communication basically ceases. People will starve. People will die from illness. People will die from other emergencies, and people will die from violence. The priorities of each person will change quickly and what mattered before simply won’t matter after an EMP attack. Those lucky enough to survive will not resume regular life for years, if truly ever again, because the aftermath of an EMP is catastrophic. However, surviving at all is so hardly possible, unless there is advanced preparation and planning
Surviving an EMP attack
Surviving an EMP blast means being prepared and stocked for at least a couple of years. Having a fallout shelter is a good idea, if it is reasonable in size, as your shelter may be safer than your normal home for the initial aftermath. One of the biggest dangers is likely to be crime and looting. Murder will account for a large percentage of deaths and as history reveals, people will resort to taking things by force when they become desperate.
There are ways to prepare your shelter, and or some devices in order to continue some practical use. You may have heard of the Faraday cage, which is a special shield (usually an enclosure), created with conductive material to block electric fields. Faraday cages can block both static and non-static electric fields. Typical material is a metal mesh, aluminum or copper foil, or Mylar. Click here to check out How to Build Your Own Faraday Cage. The cage works by electrifying all sides of an enclosure with constant voltage, preventing electric fields from passing through. These cages can be constructed in a number of shapes or sizes, being able to shield something as big as a house (when built into the walls for example). Similarly, smaller faraday cages can be constructed with the sole purpose of shielding an electrical device, allowing for post-EMP operation. The theory can be replicated across a variety of applications; even portable versions can be made.
Survivalist Tip: Surge protectors should be used on every outlet you use in your home. In 1889 there was a solar storm, and reportedly all telegraph operators experienced electric shock, which means there may be physical dangers if electronics are currently in use at the time of the solar flare or EMP blast.
It is essential to stock immediately (as in today if you do not already have them), are radio communication devices. The first is a two-way radio. Two-way radios will not work by themselves, however, when placed in a faraday cage they will operate just fine as radio waves will still be able to travel (the device itself just requires extra help to operate, hence the faraday cage). HAM radios will also be very handy, as these allow a wide range of frequencies, are commonly used to transfer morse code and for emergency communication. The third type of radio you will want to stock is a CB, which travel more than 150 miles and is commonly used for voice only. One final radio to stock would be a standard, reliable A.M. radio, so you can scan for public broadcasts. A hand crank solar A.M. radio is good buy. While you’re at it, buy an analog clock too, as it will be important for communication for all parties to be able to tell the correct time (and digital clocks will no longer work).
Survivalist Tip: Stocking multiple types of radios is extremely smart and will allow you to scan all channels and frequencies for any other survivors, help, or emergency information. Ensure that all family and friends have two way radios, and antenna, HAM or CB radios, enclosed in a faraday cage so communication remains intact. Having multiple devices is very wise considering the anticipated storm of interference (many other people will be using the more common radio devices, rather quickly).
A smart survivalist will understand that there is not enough time to learn every necessary skill for every potential emergency. However, there are too many skills that are necessary. That said, the next best thing is stocking the material required to learn these skills. A smart survivalist looking at prepping for an EMP disaster will stock books on early electricity and electrical basics, a very useful skill in the EMP aftermath. Another useful skillset is medical. Stocking books on disease and illness, emergency surgery, and general nutrition can go a long way.
Still, some places will prevent survival and lead to nearly immediate death. These places include nuclear reactor plants, airplanes, elevators, amusement parks and prison, to name a few. Some popular examples of societies and civilizations without electricity (due to EMP, or other apocalyptic disaster) include: The Trigger Effect, War of the Worlds, 2012, and the TV series The 100 and Revolution.
Some people suggest stocking more valuable commodities than cash; and even recommend using all cash as soon as possible since it is likely to be much less valuable post-EMP. Instead, more useful commodities such as silver (not to mention silver is the most conductive metal), gold, aluminum, copper, duct tape, water, radios, and purely mechanical devices will be much more valuable. Guns and self-defense weaponry are also wise to stock.
Growing your own food is imperative to survival in an EMP aftermath world. Therefore, some essentials to stock include: an analog pH meters for soil, soil with nutrients (or pre-planning a growth plot and using other fertilizer to expedite the growing process), and a seed bank providing enough options to grow multiple vegetation at any time of the year. Remember that war and solar flares do not care about whether your watermelon seeds will grow in the winter. For this reason, you should have a plan for growing in the winter, spring, summer and fall months, even if it requires heat (anything and everything can be planned for, even producing heat and vegetation in the cold, dead winter). A generator can help, if it is able to run on anything other than gasoline (which will be hard to come by), and if it is quiet enough to prevent others from hearing it. Attracting people in any apocalypse or disaster aftermath is generally a poor decision which can lead to intense liability. Quiet generators exist, as well as solar generators. A gasoline generator can even be converted to run on urine. A solar panel and battery system would be invaluable when combined with the appropriate faraday cage technology.
Warning: It is important to remember that solar panels are not exempt from destruction in an EMP blast. In fact, they are just as vulnerable as other electrical devices. Solar panels are made with a number of diodes, which will be overheated and fried in the event of a solar storm or EMP attack, unless they are stored in Faraday Cage technology.
Older automobiles may be able to survive the electrical blast from an EMP, if the vehicle was made before 1965 (still some will be affected). The trick is not having a computer or electronic components, and the car must run on an old carburetor. Additionally, it means the car would need gasoline…therefore the use will be limited. Storing a car in a “Faraday Cage-wrapped garage” would allow the vehicle to function after the electric fields generated from the EMP blast dissipate…however, the car would need to be capable of running on something other than gasoline to be worth enough to worry about saving. Cars can be modified to run on electricity (which would be an ironic choice, however, you are likely not building a car for an EMP aftermath, but for any aftermath, and therefore may have selected an electric car). They can also be modified to operate on water.
Survivalist Tip: It is a good idea to stock a couple of bicycles, which, by their mechanical nature, are hard to disable with an EMP blast.
Power Grid & Electrical Blackout Survival Gear
These are some electrical blackout survival necessities we recommend on amazon:
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