EMP Proof Truck Will Be Limited To The Fuel You Have On Hand

1975 GMC Pickup Truck 4x4 EMP-proof

Your EMP proof truck, car, vehicle, tractor, will only be as useful as the fuel you have for it!

Most all preppers will prepare for short to medium-term disruptions of life. Some preppers will also prepare for absolute worst case scenarios. Catastrophic events that could severely change life as we know it today.

Typically, logically, these SHTF events are much less likely to occur. However, “if” this were to happen, we could be talking about MAJOR casualties and extreme lifestyle change.

One of these is the nuclear EMP (electromagnetic pulse). Detonation at high altitude. Gamma Rays colliding with electrons in air molecules transferring their energy to other electrons via the Compton process. Cascading roughly 30,000 electrons for each original gamma ray. Traveling at the speed of light, the EMP radiation field “piles-up” in an analogous manner to a “sonic-boom”.

Long story short, an extent of electronically controlled equipment on the ground gets zapped into oblivion. Most or all of our infrastructure may theoretically be damaged or destroyed.

There are lots of caveats, and “it depends”, but I’m not going to discuss them in this particular article. Because I want to point out something else:

You Do Know That Fuel Infrastructure Will Be Down, Right?

You may have your EMP proof truck. Or maybe what you think is a EMP proof vehicle built prior to the 1980’s.

But when your fuel runs out, that’s it! Done. That vehicle is now a hunk of dead weight.

So you’ve got fuel stored. And it has been treated for long fuel shelf life with PRI-G for gasoline or PRI-D for diesel. That’s great! But it’s still going to run out, eventually. Have you thought about what you’re going to do after that?

Bugging Out in your EMP Proof Truck

It happened. An apparent EMP. Most everything electronic has failed. Except for your EMP proof truck! Let’s say that you’re not already living at your “bug out location”. That ideal place to ride out the storm so to speak.

But let’s say that you do have a bug out plan. You’ve prearranged to head out to your Uncles farm nestled in a broad mountain valley far away from population dense ‘civilization’. Great! However…

You are only going to get as far as a tank of gas (or diesel). Do you have enough to make it there? Have you figured that out?

And you do know that you better leave soon, right? Because it won’t take long before it gets dangerous out there… Before the bad element begins to rob, take, steal what others have so they themselves can survive another day…

Enough Fuel at the BOL?

You have arrived at your designated bug out location at your Uncle’s farm. Now the hard part begins. Survival. “If” the EMP has taken out critical infrastructure, life is going to get very, very difficult. And for possibly a very long time.

Life after the EMP will probably mean life without fuel. At least until “the system” may begin to be rebuilt and get back online. But that might be too long before mass casualties take place. It’s hard to say. It hasn’t happened before.

So you have a EMP proof vehicle. Once you’re at your BOL, what are you going to use it for? To run down to the store? No, you’re not. Electricity is out. Grid down. There are no supplies out there anymore (at least there won’t be after the public realizes what has happened). Plus, it will likely be dangerous to ride out there (attracting attention)!

Tractors and farm equipment that require fuel. Lets say your tractor survived the EMP. It’s a great asset for farming and such. How much diesel do you have and how long will it last, given the usage?

What happens when the fuel runs out? Can you still produce?

The Takeaway

The ideal EMP proof truck will have no computer, no electronic engine controls and no circuitry that could fry with electromagnetic pulse (EMP) from a high altitude nuclear bomb or other source.

But my point is this. An EMP proof truck, car, or tractor may be important to your own SHTF preparedness plans. But if that EMP actually happens, it will likely take down the fuel supply with it. It’s about the fuel… Or living, surviving somehow without it.

Continue reading: Catastrophic Power Outage

Tip: EMPShield has a product designed for vehicles. Again, we have never experienced a purpose-built-detonated nuclear EMP event in modern times. However there may be things we can do to potentially mitigate it.

How Far Will The Horde Get On A Tank Of Gas?


  1. wood gas generator. mother earth news has done articles on running trucks on same.

    1. The highways will be jammed and blocked. The National Guard will not let you take any main road. You’ll be lucky to get a mile in your truck. The ultimate ATV is the human body. Stay in shape, stay hydrated.

      1. Excellent advice to stay in shape! If and when the SHTF for real (as in this article’s hypothetical example), it will not only be mentally/emotionally demanding but physically demanding. A whole new world (for most).

      2. You’ll have at your disposal all the fuel left in the vehicles that will no longer run because the computer is fried

        1. I have wondered about building a battery or hand-crank siphon that has a long hose to pull gas up out of the underground tanks at gas stations.

        2. The vehicles they are talking about are pre 80 amd don’t have those fragile computers. Good old points and carburated systems.

      3. Yes, highways will be blocked with all the cars pointing off in various positions. Plus people will be on the road, some will be wondering, and voicing their frustration and confusion to the event. Others will be walking in the general direction they want to go. Getting through that will be an act of Congress, and you may have to peddle down to clear the area. No National Guard will not be in place and if by the wildest chance they are it will be a very limited force. They will have confusing rules of engagement and limited supply or logistical support. Don’t expect to see any uniforms on main roads after the initial event. It will take several hours just for things to settle and most understand what’s happening. If do see uniforms in various shapes and sizes walking around Main Street or other main body of travel will be militia or crooks. If it’s in the city then you can probably lean towards crooks.

  2. ok the grid has gone down no more to pump the gas out at the pumps SO HAVE IN YOUR TRUCK EITHER A HAND DRIVEN PUMP OR A SMALL GENERATOR IN THE TRUCK TO PUMP IT OUT there will be A LOT of gas stations with gas STILL IN THE UNDER GROUND TANKS there will be LOT of gas around IF YOU KNOW WHERE TO LOOK FOR IT

    1. True. But after a couple years gas will go real bad or more likely will be entirely gone. Get a vehicle with TBI throttle body injection, upgrade to stainless steel fuel lines, get either a plastic or stainless fuel tank, and a stainless steel fuel pump. The reason: grow potatoes; lots of potatoes. Mash up the potatoes and cook them to 185-195 degrees to pasteurize mash and begin breaking down starches. Cool to 85-90 degrees. Inoculate with Brewers Yeast. Ferment for a week. Build a wood fired alcohol still; a good one capable of double distillation. The doubly distilled alcohol will be 170-185 proof plenty good for fuel. An acre of ground can grow upwards of 4000 lbs of potatoes. This can be converted into upwards of 275-300 gallons of alcohol.
      A TBI injection system especially the one offered by Holly at Summit Racing can handle this fuel. You should get about 3/4 the fuel mileage with alcohol as with gas. If you got 16 mpg before you’ll get about 12 mpg now.

      1. What about pyrolysis oil? Pyrolysis oil can be turn into gas or desiel and pyrolysis oil is made from plastic. Certain types of plastic though

      2. Just my 2 cents, but i think during a long term EMP event lasting more then a few months you’ll be MUCH more inclined to be eating all those potatoes your growing, instead of turning them into fuel for your truck.

        1. Ken, I do not know how sweet potatoes would work for fuel,I do not know enough about the process… but i know for sure i have had better output from them than regular potatoes…have been able to keep sweet potatoes for slips,year to year.

        2. @Just Sayin’
          My sweet potatoes will be used for FOOD. Not fuel.
          Where I live (northern latitude) regular ‘ol white potatoes grow better than sweet (is that racist?). Anyway, I did successfully grow sweet potatoes in raised garden bed whereby the soil was much warmer.

        3. That’s why I have an electric car with solar panels on its roof. I keep it stored in my shielded garage I’m ready to go I don’t have to worry about no stupid gasoline either lol

      3. I thought the point of a BOV was to get to your retreat when SHTF, rather than keep driving it around for years after the collapse.

    2. True. But do not touch bottom if underground tank, unless you want all junk sitting at bottom. Trust me . I haul it.

    3. Various tools are available that are hand pump types. What you need to consider is that any gas station will be a danger zone after several days. It has shelter, snacks, etc and be a place for people to congregate. It’s a familiar place, and those not used to walking, wearing the wrong shoes, in heels, and slapping pavement with bare feet will gravitate there for help.
      In the city you can expect groups or gangs will control those areas. they will be armed and they are basically used as places of business to trade sex for drugs or food. They will have back up in other areas or in the back. Street gangs are organized and can communicate through runners, or kids on bicycles. If you find a gas station abandoned, you will be in luck you just better come with a group and get in and out. If not your inviting drama and increasing the chance of someone being injured.

  3. gotta love that 8 miles to the gallon! Some of the tv/movies on shtf have the old land barges running and running along like the fuel never runs out. If I am not mistaken diesel can be made with oil, lye and some other ingredient that begins with a M. I cannot recall what it is. Still like a diesel engine. Do not have one now, but did in the past.

    1. Transesterification is the chemical process of converting the fatty acids found in vegetable oils into lighter polyolefin oils suitable as a diesel or jet fuel by removing the glycerine group and substituting a Methodist group. What this means is you take lye, dissolve it into methyl alcohol to form sodium Methoxide. And dump that into your warm veggie oil.
      Stir the immediately cloudy liquid vigorously for an hour or so. Cool and let settle. Water and glycerine drops out to bottom. Biodiesel on top. Separate biodiesel, filter and store. Add a good biocide for storage. And add to your diesel fuel tank as you would diesel. And drive!

        1. The other cool thing is you don’t actually need methyl alcohol. Ethyl alcphol will also work just fine, in fact in some ways even better. Lye can be made from wood ash if you are careful and methodical. It’s a lot of work but it can be done. Any suitable oil seed product like peanuts, jojoba, cotton seed, or sunflower seed will work.

  4. Nice old Chevy,
    Im more concerned with having fuel for my tractor and welder.
    Going anywhere, is not in the plan. Certainly not bugging out, and if i die in a pile of brass in my living room, so be it!

    1. You seem to have that wish about that pile of brass. With that said, yes, you, and many others here, already live in our BOL’s.

      But I pose the hypothetical for:

      1. Those who intend to bug out (maybe in their ‘EMP proof’ vehicle – or otherwise)

      2. For those who are there already but may not be fully factoring running out of fuel. It’s food for thought. The fuel.

      1. Its metaphorical,

        More likely than not it will be one case landing on my head as i slump to the floor

      2. At some point and time fuel will go, wood will go. Those are luxury items, main focus will be food, water, defense and if possible meds. Cities have copious dogs and cats, problem is once you start that fire to cook the aroma will travel and the horde will be beating down your door, some will be armed. For the first few weeks those traveling during the day will be in need of help because they have no clue and will be expecting someone to come help. On the flip side anyone traveling after several weeks will be desperate and will pretty much do anything to survive. In the evening anyone moving about in groups are scouts or looking to do bad things. They will feed off of the fear of others because of their numbers. Civility will be non existent, violence will be wide spread. It will be a dog eat dog period of time, and unless you’ve actually thought it out and developed a plan it’s going to be extremely rough!

        1. Eyewitness to Madness,
          good post’s. you and i are on the same page on this. that was some good information. i give it 3 weeks until the water runs out or people get sick from drinking contaminated water, the unprepared will thin themselves out. it’s not cool, but they have been warned time and time again.
          thanks for your posts and i look forward to hearing from you again

    2. Ken, Kulafarmer,

      My old “pasture truck” is almost identical to the one in the picture, well, other than the straight body, good paint, and a Chevy bowtie instead of the GMC emblem on the grill. Still runs good, still gets that 8 mpg. I use it only when I fear my nicer “go to town” truck will get scratched up.

      Yes, fuel will be a finite commodity. Even though I keep a pretty good supply on hand, frugality and rationing will begin on day one. Like you, Kula, minus a chemical/biological/nuclear event close by, I’m living where I plan to die. I don’t see myself going to strange turf with a hope of better chances.

      I do know the locations of numerous diesel storage tanks on remote farms. Nearly all are either elevated for gravity flow, or have 12v DC pumps to be run off the battery on a tractor or other vehicle. My 1967 Ford diesel tractor has no electronics except the alternator that replaced the original generator. Even if an EMP event fried the diodes in the alternator, the engine only needs the battery/generator for starting, not for running.

      I also have several natural gas wells fairly close to my home. These may be a threat or a blessing. A threat because they can be sabotaged, a blessing because I have the equipment and know how to convert my generators to run on natural gas for a more or less endless electricity source. Hope I never find out if it’s a viable plan.

      1. You might have most things figured out except, an engine unless it has a magneto must have a alternator or generator to power the coil that fires the spark plugs or fuel solenoid on a diesel. Better get that EMP prove while you can!!

        1. Mdad,

          You’re in over your head. The 67 Ford diesel has glow plugs, not spark plugs, a mechanical injector pump, and injector heads that just vaporize the pressurized fuel from the pump. The glow plugs just heat up from the 12v DC current from the battery, independent from whether the generator/alternator is functional, and don’t have to fire in a timed sequence. They just heat up. The glow plugs themselves are not even necessary unless the ambient temperature is at or below freezing.

          Didn’t have to figure it out. Raised by a mechanic and independent garage man. Worked on them, rebuilt them, farmed with them. Some are lucky enough to have education that didn’t come from books or school, separate from our chosen education and avocation.

          Now, on my ’77 Chevy 350. It has a electronic distributor which may, or may not survive an EMP. I’m guessing it will, but if it doesn’t I have several old point/condenser distributors, complete with caps and wires that are a direct swap if needed. The distributor off an original 265 small block up to the advent of electronic ignitions on GM engines will interchange. The coil may or may not survive, but have spares in Faraday cage. The fuel pump on it is a standard diaphram mechanical pump

          Thanks for the input.

  5. Plan on having the community vehicle if yours is the only one that’s running.

    1. CR,
      Yes, it WILL draw LOTS OF ATTENTION! Maybe that’s okay based on one’s immediate like-minded neighbors or neighborhood. But like you said, plan on it… I believe one of the popular survival novels has that happen in the community (I forgot exactly which one).

    2. M35A2 multi fuel, I run most of the year on filtered used motor oil and transmission fluid with no problem. As for getting it in a shtf scenario I have onboard air and an air powered pump. Stick the hose down either dipstick tube and pump into a 250 gallon tote then another air pump to pump through 2 micron filter into another tote. Abandoned vehicles will be plentiful plus I can cut the oil with a gallon of gas for cold weather.

  6. I had not considered that ‘thats all folks and thanks for the fish’ on gasoline availability. So having a siphon for taking gas from other vehicles already disabled would be a very wise move. A lot of abandoned vehicles will be along and in the road.

    It also means A LOT of people will be attempting to stop and steal a working vehicle so keeping a firearm on your person while on the road would be extremely wise.

    1. A very dangerous time for sure! I hope we NEVER find out. However knowing that it is technically possible…

  7. Hopefully I’ll be where I’m going when I run out. I’m more doubtful then most of the EMP significance as no real testing has been done on modern vehicles and the one that I’m aware of did not kill every car. The variables are just to much to say one way or the other definitively. I think the grid will be hit harder than cars, tractors, riding mowers etc.
    Some see dead cars I see resources.
    The vehicles, once dried up, will be used as road blocks once the proper measures have been taken to render them ineffective as cover by the enemy. IE doors removed, obstacles placed on the far sides,tires flattened (leave them on in case you should need to move it later though).
    Spare tires and seats will be piled for a burn to decrease the visibility and cause physiological effects on any aggressors. The oil, power steering fluid and brake fluid drained form the roadblock cars will be used to soak it all. Some of the oil will be kept for forging, generators and any chainsaw blades still going. It can also be used to slick up skids on larger objects that need moving. It will also help preserve your hand tools that will become more important than ever.
    The batteries can be used for welding and powering up devices till they are dead. The lead would then be collected for bullets, fishing weights, sling shot ammo etc.
    One truck will be pulled to the edge of the carport and tarped to collect water in the bed. During a decent rain it only takes a short time to fill it. I got it done once in 20 minutes.
    Lots to siphon and collect in the first 60-90 days before the fuel starts turning though. Extra PRI-G or D would come in handy.

    1. Matt in Oklahoma,
      I agree regarding the unknowns of actual real-world EMP effects and how they may or may not (to an extent) affect vehicles. I too have read test reports. Mixed results in the lab. The greater issue will be critical damage to infrastructure – all which relies to one degree or another on electronics and electricity.

      1. Ken, Ain’t it amazing? A fatal weakness in our infrastructure acknowledged by just about every scientific mind, a weakness that can be corrected, is being ignored by the “powers that be” in favor of projects of nebulous need. One could almost come to the conclusion they sort of hope for a catastrophic reset.

        1. Yes, it really is quite troubling. There have been several EMP Reports presented to government which detail the risks and areas of concern. But all we hear are crickets.

          Conspiracy? Who knows… some of them actually come true.

        2. Or….. they’re going to cause the catastrophic reset on their terms to manage the outcome to their advantage.

        1. Jim Gest
          If that’s directed at me then no. I’m in Oklahoma.

  8. Much has been discussed about pumps, etc. for getting gasoline/diesel out of service station tanks once electricity goes down. Am I the only one to toy with the idea of a length of PVC pipe, one end capped, weighted at both ends to insure it would lay flat when lowered into a service station tank with a length of rope attached to the uncapped end? Depending on the diameter and length of the pipe, one could retrieve anywhere from a quart to possibly a gallon of fuel with each drop, sorta like drawing water from a well. Of course, you would need some bolt cutters and possibly a good crowbar to gain access.

    Any thoughts?

    1. That’s clever regarding your method of removing fuel from underground tanks. Good old fashioned rope and ‘bucket’. The trick is getting the tank cap unlocked and opened. And without setting a spark!

    2. And a funnel and fuel containers. A way to get them home and a tarp to cover them up. And chemical gloves or a jug of water and small bottle of dawn. And someone to watch your back. And if you think you might visit the site again, your own hard-to-cut lock to secure it.

      I try to keep enough fuel on hand to be able to meet folks coming my way and get them to the farm.

  9. Ken,

    I haven’t paid much attention to modern lids on service station tanks, but years ago, during my childhood, I worked at several. Back then the lids were made of brass, reducing the chance of spark, and had padlocks to secure them. I’ll make it a point to check next time I fuel up.

  10. Ohh
    That pic of that Chevy makes me wish I still had my ’83 Chevy 4×4…….

      1. Chevy
        Yes I had an 83 GMC, not a Chevy……

        …..You are in reference of the picture.
        77 – 79?

        1. If I had a truck like that one it would be hidden in a barn somewhere. Just imagine driving into town with that rig and all the lights are out and everything has stopped and someone points at your truck and shouts to the crowd “Yo dude!” and you hear the sound of stampeding feet…..

          I might have to change my alias to rickshaw

  11. Most stuff that you can survive won’t generate enough of an EMP to permanently kill anything that isn’t hooked to the bulk electric system. When I was in college we did plenty of experiments with spark gaps. I was a bit of a junkyard rat so I brought in all sorts of things to experiment on.

    A lot of equipment did die. Anything with a lot of conductor had a high chance of death. But for the most part the ECM/TCM/BCM/PCM of cars survived fine.

    I tried playing with a spark gap and a waveguide on running cars in the junkyard. Once in a while I could get the vehicle to stumble or cook a sensor. But for the most part they were fine.

    Basically, if it can survive a close proximity lightning strike it can survive a what the cool kids call a HEMP.

    So if your generator isn’t permanently connected to your house and you don’t leave your car plugged into a grid-connected battery charger then you’ll more than likely be fine. Well, your generator and car will likely be fine. Not sure about you.

    1. Well pinky, I do caution the opinion that everything will be pretty much just fine following a nuclear EMP event. There are commissioned reports by knowledgeable scientists that suggest otherwise. Since it hasn’t happened in real-world modern life (thankfully!) we can only go by scientific hypothetical’s, testing, and common sense. And for me, I assume (prepare) the worst, while hoping for the best!

      A surge of 30,000 to 50,000 volts per square meter will certainly ‘fry’ a lot of electronics in my opinion… at least that which is not protected.

      1. 50kv/m2 is lightning territory. This is a lot of energy. Yet unless there is a direct strike rarely does lightning kill electronics. Infact, if there is sufficient grounding or otherwise isolated, a vehicle can survive a lightning strike. Very disruptive for sure. Often it will break communications or cause something with logic in it to “reset”. Some EEPROMs are wiped clean. Things that have a lot of conductor per unit of mass can be destroyed (like a cellphone, but a calculator usually survives).

        I spent a lot of time in college studying the effects of transients on bulk electric systems. Last I knew the lab was still using a 286 PC sitting in a 1/2″ thick copper box used for data collection. It was a long time ago but other than bulk electric systems having way more electronics to control the same equipment remotely… It’s the same stuff we’ve been using for decades.

        One of the things I was paid to do as an undergrad lackey is to test electronic automobile parts.

        EPRI has spent a lot of time and resources studying EMPs. They don’t think it is a big deal. NOAA does send out solar flare alerts to the utilities. Utilities plan for direct lightning strikes.

        As far as automobiles go it is really easy to shield them. Most of the time they come already hardened, especially if anything they have also gets used by the military. Chances are if it is a truck it will be fine. Not a Honda Ridgeline… A real truck.

        I suspect anything that a human can survive a vehicle will survive. I guess if you’re paranoid you can put it in a metal-sided metal-roofed heavily ground strapped shed. Then the vehicle will survive something you probably won’t.

    2. Well, we use tiny EMPs to stop modern cars on the road today. You must have seen them demonstrated on TV. We used remote controlled “toy” cars to go underneath a driving car to carry the electronic device..and stop it cold, when it detonated. That was years ago. Today, one could use drones to carry the devices, placing them in the road ahead, and even ON the hood of the car.

      1. I’d like to see evidence of this working.

        If you are talking about the popular ones that use microwaves to temporarily disrupt communications on the canbus… Sure. But it isn’t permanent. And they are easy to defeat with shielding. The ones that aren’t easy to defeat are the size of cars themselves.

  12. I use a gasifier. It works great. I power my whole farm on it. No bills. No grid tie. No debt to anyone. #freedom. Learn. Build your own. Quit being dependent on resources.

    1. Vincent good to hear! Do you have any suggestions as to webpages you found useful? Did you build your own or buy a wood gasifier unit?

      Save some of us part of that learning curve friend. Details please!

      1. Vincent, me2
        I have built a total of three different wood gasifiers. It takes a lot of either black iron or galvanized fittings. Plastic won’t handle the heat involved. I ended up using exhaust piping for longer runs of pipe. Depending on the size of engine you’re wanting to power, up to 2″ piping may be required. There are a couple of ways to build a gasifier and numerous ways to filter the wood gas. Filtering and then more filtering and then one more filter will be about right. Wood gas is a dirty fuel and can make valves stick, if not properly filtered. There is nothing quite like the black goo produced by wood gasification.

        The thing is, ya hafta build the gasifier to fit the engine you want to run. The engine literally sucks the gas from the gasifier which in turn gins up the gasifier to produce more gas. If your engine is too small, it won’t keep the gasification process going.

        You can build a gasifier to power a vehicle. Ya hafta size it correctly. Wood gas is roughly 65%–70% as powerful as gasoline. You’ll get 6 cylinder performance from a v-8, even though all 8 cylinders are working.

        There is a lot of effort involved in producing the proper shape/size of wood chips/chunks. At some point before entering the engine, the gas must be cooled. This can be accomplished in several ways.

        Wood gas is doable. Is it easy? NO! I do not forsee any road trips, post emp. It would be great for hauling firewood or other chores. Vincent, I’m impressed!!!! Good work.

  13. – One, I have an old ’69 Chevy half-ton with a service bed. I keep telling myself I need to change out the in-line six engine it has at the moment for a V8 engine. I also have roughly 45 gallons of stored fuel on hand that has been treated and at least two siphon hoses on hand.
    Two, Dennis, have you considered a PVC hand pump? They are capable of transferring at least 5 gallons per minute, and can be made to fit pretty easily in a truck bed. Look at the EMAS hand pump website. It is in both Spanish and English, and is pretty clear. I have one on hand for my water well. A second, shorter one would be a pretty cheap backup for fuel.
    – Papa S.

  14. Don’t know about the rest of the world but there is a lively street racing scene in Texas, most of the racing now takes place on little eighth and quarter mile rural tracks, but there are people all over who build cars in their home shops just for fun, often collecting parts and creating their machines from the ground up. I know guys who would kill for that 60s Jimmy in the pic, dropping an 800 horse small block Chevy engine they whipped up in their garage in it…
    So I don’t think a running vehicle will be all that unusual after an EMP, and have no doubt plenty of people will figure out how to run them off of all the old ‘spoiled’ gas that’s going to be around for the taking.

    1. Ivy Mike
      Yep, definitely a consideration, theres a bunch of guys up in our area who build rock crawlers, i doubt an EMP will do anything to them, then theres all the guys who have dragsters, restored old cars, classic muscle cars and just plain 4wheelers, then theres the dirt bike crowd, street bike crowd, custom bike crowd,,,,
      Everybody in my neighborhood has a UTV or 2, available fuel will be the biggest issue, but thats why my theory is i aint goin nowhere

    2. You bring up an interesting point. Depends on the ‘normal’ for a given region to an extent. Although it will still attract attention during such a catastrophic infrastructure failure (should it ever occur).

  15. Ken,

    Did the anniversary today of the infamous 2 day grid failure in the northeast prompt this article?

    1. Dennis,
      No, that was not in my head at the time of writing. Here’s a link for those interested: Northeast Blackout of 2003

      “The blackout’s primary cause was a software bug in the alarm system at the control room of FirstEnergy, an Akron, Ohio–based company, which rendered operators unaware of the need to redistribute load after overloaded transmission lines drooped into foliage. What should have been a manageable local blackout cascaded into collapse of the entire Northeast region.”

      I wasn’t living in the northeast when that happened. But it goes to show the potential vulnerability of our grid.

      1. Ken,

        Even though that blackout lasted only two days and covered maybe, what, 1/10 the area of the lower 48, it is blamed for 100+ deaths. A non-scientific extrapolation of that figure would be 1000+ deaths due to a nationwide event in the first two days, on top of the normal death rate. That’s before there should be any food or water shortages experienced, and not counting the deaths due to gangs and other criminals taking advantage of the confusion the average citizen would be experiencing. That’s proportionally more fatalities than many catastrophic tornado/hurricane/earthquake events. Should get people’s attention.

  16. Two mules, wagon from Model T frame, forge and home made charcoal will get me any where I need to go. Have two pack saddles when the wagon can’t go.

  17. If the EMP is caused by the deliberate attack of an enemy nation, using it as a first strike, it would only mean a new war has begun. So, the EMP would only be the first event of this new war and not a “stand alone” incident. Several EMP attacks could be made against us, in a timed sequence, as part of the enemy’s strategy.

    An EMP attack, being the first event in a nuclear war, would cause us to retaliate fully against the identified enemy. (Who knows if the attacking nation would be acting alone, or in coordination with other, possibly superior, nations, such as China?) The trick for the attacker is to not be immediately identified as such, and to work with its allies to blunt any attempts at retaliation by us.

    After all, the need for the enemy to nuke our population centers would be pointless after their EMP attack, as the people in them are as good as dead already. Besides, why destroy the existing valuable structures and facilities? And, if the EMP attack is not a desperate act of national suicide by the enemy, they will need our structures and roads, as they shall be forced to invade to control our nuclear assets. All the enemy forces would need to do is to manage our naval forces at play and our foreign military bases…which would not be an easy thing to achieve…but would not require nukes to do so.

    Acting in coordination with the planned EMP attack, our most threatening NON-CONUS assets could be neutralized with conventional weapons, delivered by unmanned systems and minimal piloted aircraft.

    For example: A single aircraft could incapacitate every single military threat presented by Japan, before we would realize what was happening..and before we could address the attacking systems. The attacking aircraft would not even be in Japanese airspace during the attack, and would already be gone…when the attacking systems carried out their missions all within five minutes of each other.

    We studied such tactics many years ago and realized it would not take much to knock out any airbase using just conventional devices and chemicals. You see, modern jets are not very hardy things when they are on the ground and do not like runways with holes and debris all over them. And, with timed chemical weapons..of various, mixed, sorts…popping off in planned sequences from unknown sites about the base…people, who are totally unequipped to work in such environments…cannot do their jobs. One bomb in the center of the runway..and three chemical mud bombs..and done.

    So, man caused EMP is WWIII, with nukes..and all the rest.

    Now, SOLAR events are a totally different matter! There would be no one to retaliate against, and no immediate nuclear war. Just a whole bunch of people wandering about beating on their cell phones.

    The effect of a Solar event is much worse than a localized EMP attack, as it effects hemispheres..and the Earth turns under the radiation stream for as long as it is there.

    In either case, I think survival for very long after the event is a fantasy..especially if you are over 60. But, why would you want too? You finally going to write that book?

    1. Much more cost effective
      The idea that another nation or group of nations would wack us and not get slapped back to the dark ages themselves is far fetched at the least.

      Perhaps we would be better off if the big cities devoured themselves.
      We dont have one anywhere near me so doesnt affect us, but really, what is the downside to say chicago population eating itself? NY? LA?

      Just sayin is all, sure theres lots of good people, but just as those who hate us have no compunction about causing collateral damage for us, one good turn deserves another. I hate to be that way but so far, i have seen little good about the big cities in near history

      1. Russia whacks us, we whack them back. China is innocent but if we don’t whack them too they will run Russia and US in less than a year. IMHO.

  18. If it has enough to get you to where your people are, it was worth it’s weight in gold.

  19. A lot of different variables come into play on the EMP scenario and its effect on vehicles.

    More than likley if you are living away from the eastern central and / east coast area and the west coast and Texas the EMP strike will not reach your location. It will however knock out the entire electric grid from coast to coast. Shut down production & distribution of fuel. I plan on using my TBI truck to get us to the BO Location. We I do have spare parts to get it running again (fingers crossed) if there is a direct emp hit over our location. (that would be a remote chance however). So most likely the majority of vehicles in my AO would be up and running.

    All Fuel would be consumed within days. I can just picture all the morons cranking up the genis to keep the fridge cool for a few short days. That would be hilarious to watch but I plan on not being around when the genis go quiet in my neighborhood.

    1. Short term solutions for permanent problems. All one would be doing is allowing enough time to eat all the refrigerated food before it goes bad. Otherwise, what good is a month of electricity when faced with years of blackness?

      Besides, Germany and South Korea are the only places our critical power components are built, and which take about two years to make. And, that is WITH electricity being available in those places. How far back in line do you think we would be?

      If we suffer an good EMP….or another Carrington Event….make sure you have enough Scotch on hand, because its party time!

  20. 2×300 gal. fuel tanks may not solve the problem but it will provide some breathing space and allow for opportunities to secure more fuel without ensuing panic.

    1. @93-B, Good point!
      Though it may eventually run out under the hypothetical EMP example, it sure would be nice to have fuel on hand for, ‘whatever’…

  21. Typing in mother earth news wood gas generator to a search will take you to their store where are plans for making your own generator out of a couple of old water heater tanks.

    There is also an article on a guy running his truck on wood gas.

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