EMP Attack

Many experts claim an EMP attack on America would be much more devastating than a ground impact nuclear explosion from a missile. Really? Number one … what is an EMP? EMP is short for an Electro Magnetic Pulse and I’m not intelligent enough to explain exactly how it works, but what it does is the stuff nightmares are made of. In short everything built with a circuit of any type would immediately fail … stop working.

Take a second to wrap your head around that. It means anything with a computerized circuit, all automobiles from the early 60s until today, trains, buses, subway systems, computers, cell phones, everything just stops working. Our electricity driven society, our power grids, will come to a standstill.

Again, think about some of the repercussions that will result from this stoppage of functions. Do you realize there are nearly 4000 commercial airline flights in the air at any given time. Seconds after the EMP all the planes would immediately begin spiraling out of control as they plummet straight to earth because nothing on the plane will work, including the engines. That horribly calculates to roughly 400,000 people dying within two minutes of the pulse. The scenarios could go on and on from vehicle traffic deaths, subways, trains wrecking, hospital life support systems shutting down. It doesn’t take much of an imagination to easily account for 2 to 3 million deaths with the first 30 minutes after the EMP attack pulse.

As an after thought … people fear the exposure to radiation from a nuclear explosion, and rightfully so. Think about every nuclear powered facilities in the United States that produce our electric, then think about everyone of them crashing… just like Chernobyl. Without computerized controls to make water transfer, etc etc the reactors will overheat and catastrophes will occur.

This is overwhelming! Let’s back up for a second. Why all the chaos immediately after an EMP attack?

Imagine if you can a world suddenly without radio, TV, cell phones, internet, refrigeration, washers and dryers, microwaves, sewage disposal, clean water, cooling, heating, gasoline, natural gas, the list is endless. Remember … this is not a glitch or a tree limb taking down electrical power lines for a few inconvenient hours … this is permanent!

It may take a day or two for the total shock of a world ended and another in its place to sink in, but people will eventually realize the food chain has been severed. There are no means to get meat, dairy, eggs, produce or any other food stocks from the farm to the city. 300,000 million people will descend on every grocery store, gas station, quick shop, mom & pop store, fruit stand and devour every bit of food. Many people will begin hording, stealing, taking by force, doing whatever they deem necessary to protect their families. That usually does not coincide with the rule of law. Food will disappear fast.

Many people will assume America’s allies will come to their aid, but recent actions by America to life long allies have broken any alliances. In reality they are happy America has met its doom.


Let’s pause and compartmentalize some immediate effects of an EMP attack.

1. To begin with it won’t take long before the entire population is reduced to a “hunter/gather” society.

  • With no working vehicles or delivery trucks working, their electrical circuits are fried, there will be no food deliveries to restock empty grocery shelves.

  • Just as bad, all foods requiring refrigeration will begin to go bad within a matter of a few hours. Imagine a freezer full of ice cream after 4 hours of no refrigeration, but instead increasing temperatures. A pool of muck.

  • Cooking the unfrozen meat will not keep it from spoiling, it’ll only slow the process.

  • Smoking meat is the only way to insure long term edibility. Anyone know the steps required to smoke meat? Thought not.

2. What happens when the lights go out for good?

  • We immediately think of our own comfort at home, but … what happens when the power to every prison and jail in the United States fails? How do you think Americas 1,000,000 (that’s one million) inmates are going to react? Mass riots? Mass breakouts? Mass killing and looting? Mass mayhem?

  • What about medical facilities, hospitals and nursing homes that care for the ill and elderly? Within mere minutes people who depend on life support systems will begin dying.

  • People requiring life saving surgeries will begin dying, more each day.

  • People who require certain medications to sustain life, such as insulin for diabetic patients, which must be refrigerated or go bad, will begin dying for lack of medicines.

3. Death from the skies as jumbo jets and small aircraft fall from the skies.

  • As alluded to earlier, the 4000 commercial airline flights which occur every hour of the day, will begin falling from the skies.

  • There will be no emergency landing procedures. All on board equipment, including engines, will stop functioning.

  • Communication with air controllers will cease.

  • Directions of where airports or possible emergency landing possibilities are located will not be communicated.

  • Millions will die as a result of these crashes, directly and/or indirectly.

Worse Places to be in an EMP attack:

Not that you’ll have any choice, but you may, so here in my opinion are the most dangerous and/or deadliest places to be in an EMP attack.

Commercial Airplane:

The only good thing to say about being in a commercial flight is your pilots are well trained professionals. If there is any chance of a safe crash landing, these pilots will be able to accomplish it. Emergency landings on ground are much more likely to succeed than a water landing. Additionally, since there is no lighting anymore, a night time landing will be more difficult than a daylight landing.

In all honesty, it is quite likely all of the 4000 flights will end up in tragedy, but there’s always a chance of a miracle. They happen everyday.

Trapped in an Elevator:

An elevator disabled in a tall skyscraper, in a large city, may be the most terrorizing experience one could be subjected to. You may be trapped for a matter of hours or days on end. If you work or live downtown and regularly ride elevators your chances of being trapped are greatly enhanced. Based on that fact, it would be a good idea to learn ahead of time the buildings emergency procedures for loss of power.

  • Be rather firm about knowing exactly what the building’s emergency plan for power loss, and most likely people trapped inside elevators, details. Don’t settle for “We’ll call a maintenance man” or the “elevator company.”

  • What if the maintenance man lives 10 miles away? How will he get there without transportation? Same with the elevator company. Where do their employees live?

  • Remember, neither cell or line line phones will operate. How they gonna call anyone?

  • Lastly, let’s be honest here. Who would you be concerned more about … taking care of your family or trying to reach a stranded elevator full of strangers?

That’s why it’s important to have a partial escape plan in mind before the emergency strikes. You can’t think of everything and more than likely you’ll need help, more than one person, to escape. But while everyone around you will be bewildered, you will be able to initiate a plan of action.

  • Keep in mind the entire building may be pitch black, even in the day time.

  • Be sure to make a lot of noise until someone acknowledges your presence and plight.

  • Lack of Ventilation: Another concern pertaining to being trapped in an elevator is lack of ventilation. Buildings are artificially ventilated with HVAC systems which of course are dependent on electricity for power. Shut the power off in the middle of summer and it doesn’t take long for these buildings, and especially interior elevators, to become an oven. Worse yet, these buildings are equipped with electronic ventilation systems which turn over the air supply, which won’t work without power. This stale air can quickly become unhealthy.

Trapped in a Highway Tunnel:

Imagine yourself clipping along at 65 mph half way through a tunnel when an EMP attack occurs. In an instant you are plunged into total darkness along with every other person and vehicle in the tunnel. The tunnel lights have stopped working as well as the circuit driven cars and trucks. There are no good choices here. Stop as soon as possible and you risk being run over by the concrete truck which was tailgating you. Attempt to slow down gently and run the risk of smashing into the vehicle in front of you. Every choice, every action is a terrible one.


Total Pitch Black Darkness

The only good thing that results from the EMP attack is, if you survive the massive collisions and carnage of twisted metal and broken glass, the chances of an explosion or flash fire by igniting spilled gasoline is remote because there are no electrical components to spark. Unfortunately this doesn’t rule out sparks created by metal sliding along concrete or other material.

Can I Survive an EMP attack?

Thus far, and with good reason, an EMP attack sounds like a dooms day devise with no chance of surviving the effects. The world has come to an end. That is not true, but its possible life will never be the same. Even those who are preparing for SHTF scenario will be unprepared in this situation. For example:

Most Prep-er/Survivalists will automatically buy the most expensive bug-out vehicle they can afford. They want it large enough to accommodate everyone, four wheel drive, rugged, Hummers, Jeeps and Suburbans come to mind. However, few consider these vehicles are most likely dependent on electrical circuits to function. An EMP attack renders them totally useless. Very few would consider buying a predated 1965 or older vehicle for transportation. These vehicles have much less electrical dependent parts and those parts can be removed and stored in a Faraday Box / Cage which will protect the items. After the EMP attack, reinstall these protected electrical components into the vehicle and you have ready to go transportation. ATVs and motorcycles are also less dependent on electrical circuits, but are restricted in their carrying ability. Having several mountain bikes on hand is also another option.

Bear in mind…any operating mode of transportation you possess will make you a target of thieves. Plan accordingly.

EMP Attack Protection:

There are ways to protect your electrical components against the effects of an EMP attack, but it’ll require planning much like everything else a survivalist plans for. Once the event happens its too late for action.

A Faraday Cage is one such protective devise and can be constructed out of scrap metal containers, an old microwave oven and other materials. The goal is to redirect the electro magnetic pulses away from your components, insulating them from damage.

  • You can use any metal container, metal filing cabinets, metal gun safe, ammunition boxes, etc. etc.

  • For added protection wrap this box with some sort of copper covering, mesh, wire, etc. which will help ground the box redirecting the pulse.

  • Wrap each devise in a non-conducting material like paper, plastic or cardboard and place inside the Faraday cage.

  • Protective layers is the key. Much like dressing in layers to keep warm, wrapping your electrical devises in layers is the best protection method. For example, place the devises in a tool box, then place that tool box into a larger tool box, then wrap the entire thing in bubble wrap with a copper ground.

What to Protect:

Obviously this type of protection causes many problems. The devises and items stored in the protective enclosure can not be used again unless its an emergency. Like I said if the event happens, you won’t be able to quickly throw the devises back into the Faraday and close it up. Everything happens within seconds, not hours. So what to protect? That’s a personal issue, but here are some suggestions:

  • Emergency AM/FM radio

  • Two way radios

  • emergency medical equipment

  • solar battery charger

  • laptop

  • Ham radio

  • Inverter

  • Small generator

  • Extra batteries (all sizes)

  • Any electrical components you removed from escape vehicles

  • Watches (windup or solar powered) Time is important. It gives a sense of normalcy and will be important in coordinating meetings with other survivors.

This article creates more questions than answers, which I hate doing, but the issue is so massive covering everything would be a monumental task. I wanted to raise the flag on the effects of an EMP attack and offer a couple of helpful solutions in dealing with it. I realize sometimes a little knowledge is worse than not knowing, but … damned if you do … damned if you don’t. Welcome to my world.

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