Learning About EMP is Important

May 28, 2016

in Negative Events

Learning about EMP is mostly important because it offers an opportunity to create a comprehensive emergency plan for a catastrophic event that covers all aspects of survival.

Answer 1 – while a normal nuclear attack is not likely because the retaliation has the potential to completely destroy the attacking nation, an EMP attack can be launched anonymously, with no retaliation. In a normal nuclear attack, bombs would be delivered by missiles or planes that can be traced back to their origin. An EMP attack only requires a single warhead, which can be delivered by a missile launched from the ocean near the shore of the target or even from within the target nation. It is not difficult to imagine a scenario where no retaliation is possible because the identity of the attacker is never discovered.

Answer 2 – a solar flare does not present the same threat level as EMP because while it can severely damage long lines and transformers that might take down the entire power grid, it does not have the ability to destroy all electronic components. While the recovery time from a coronal mass ejection/solar flare is much faster than recovery from an EMP, the solar flare is not just a possibility, it is an eventuality. We just don’t know when it will happen.

There is a lot of variance in damage estimates and the best data is classified and not publicly available. An EMP attack has the potential to create a spectrum of failures that create a complete catastrophe. The early wave (E-1) can destroy all electronic components which hinders the ability to recover. The third wave (E-3) can take down the power grid. These two, in combination, have the potential to cripple all of our normal infrastructure. To recover from a meltdown of transformers in the power grid could take several years, but if there is also no communications, no transportation, no manufacturing, no agriculture, no financial services, no emergency services, and nothing else, the recovery time is many years more and will be magnified by a massive death toll.

Without water, dehydration will become deadly within days. A critical water shortage will force people to drink from unsanitary sources, creating medical emergencies with no medical services available to help. Without food supplies, starvation will become deadly within a few weeks, and people will fight for food to eat. Without any means to change any of these things, people will die until the population becomes small enough to be self-sustaining without modern infrastructure. Estimates are that 90% of the general population would die in these circumstances before any recovery effort would begin.

Because an EMP attack takes out all of our modern support infrastructure, a contingency plan must address everything:

  • WATER – a water supply is critical and must include sources and the ability to purify water for drinking and to store it safely in quantities sufficient to ensure survival
  • FOOD – stored food is a starting point, but eventually the ability to grow food and forage and hunt for food become a necessity – tools, seeds, weapons, traps, knowledge
  • ENERGY – energy for boiling water and cooking food come first, then to warm or cool a shelter, then to operate tools and devices
  • MEDICAL SUPPLIES – simple first aid supplies, antibiotics, and surgical tools and supplies
  • COMMUNICATION – radios, batteries, chargers
  • SECURITY – self defense weapons can double as hunting tools, perimeter alarms

JUMPSTART articles offer a plan for this:
All JUMPSTART articles

Scenario: ElectroMagnetic Pulse (EMP) and Solar Flares
EMP Disaster Timeline
The Difference Between a Solar Flare and an EMP
CP: Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)
Faraday Protection
Making a Faraday Blanket
Microwave Ovens Are NOT Good Faraday Cages

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