SYSTEMIC RISKS

EMP Attack – What The Average Citizen Can Do For Themselves

Prepare for EMP

Rather than rehashing the technicalities of the EMP weapon itself and how it works (electromagnetic pulse), instead let’s talk about what the average citizen can do for themselves to prepare for an EMP.

Some tech talk:
Nuclear EMP Components E1, E2, E3, and what they mean…

 

Prepare For An EMP

Question: Is it even practical or worthwhile to prepare for an EMP? Given that so many reports suggest that it will end the world as we know it and countless millions will lose their lives, do we even stand a chance at survival?

Answer: Yes. We all have the opportunity to prepare for and survive an EMP attack.

Question: Do we know what the effects of an EMP will be and how badly it will destroy electronic infrastructure and our way of life?

Answer: Not exactly. The effects of an EMP are scientifically known. However we have not yet experienced an EMP attack. The resulting damage of an EMP is largely theoretical and hypothetical. Although I do trust the science thereof. There are lots of variables that will affect what actually may happen in your own region. This makes it difficult to accurately predict the outcome and how exactly it may affect you and where you live.

Question: Will someone actually ever use an EMP? The results are forecast to be so devastating it seems that no one would ever dare to do it given “mutually assured destruction” from an opposing nation…

Answer: Don’t assume that all people are reasonable or sane. History is filled with sociopath crazed rulers who have killed countless millions of human beings. History may not exactly repeat, but it rhymes.

 

What Can The Average Citizen Do?

Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. I suggest that you don’t assume that the damage from EMP will be partial. It is possible that an attack might not destroy everything (depends on size, location, other factors). Better to make contingency plans based on more of a worst case scenario (because it could be).

Categorize what might be affected. Basically, think of all things rooted in electronics. Unfortunately that’s almost everything to do with our modern day lives. I wrote this awhile ago which touches upon the subject: 5 Nanoseconds To Lights Out.

A nuclear EMP weapon detonated high in the atmosphere will send out an extremely high voltage pulse (50KV, maybe higher) for several nanoseconds. Enough to theoretically ‘fry’ all electronic devices within range. This will also likely result in a system wide power outage, or a large region (regions) of electrical outage (again depending on many variables). This itself will stop the engine of our modern day lifeblood. Some of the resulting major affected elements may include:

– Lights Out
– Communications equipment failure
– Home appliances failure
– Water & Sewage treatment failure
– Gas stations failure
– Banking & Credit/Debit card transactions failure
– Home heating & cooling systems failure

Other systems to be affected may include inoperable vehicles, inoperable transportation and distribution, debilitated hospitals and medical care centers, police – fire – ambulance response.

The more you think about it, the more you realize that “if” the electronic infrastructure were to be destroyed, almost everything that we depend on for our modern survival would be damaged, halted, or destroyed.r

 

Duration of EMP Disaster

Having a reasonable idea of how long an EMP disaster might last is tremendously important to contemplate. The hard part is making a ‘best guess’. It has never happened before so there’s no historical record to follow.

If you convince yourself that such a disaster would only last for several weeks until they ‘fix’ everything, well then this is no big deal compared to what many others say would happen.

Many agree that an EMP attack could result in many months or even a year or more to recover from. If the later is accurate, then it will be extremely important to adequately prepare because many countless millions will surely perish during this time frame.

Unfortunately the results of EMP attack could also spiral out of control. Let’s say for example that NoKo decides to detonate one or more EMP’s over the U.S. (as they have been threatening to do). There surely will be retaliation with nuclear missile launches. There is also a likelihood that China and/or Russia may get involved. If and when nuclear missiles start to fly, not only will the EMP have potentially knocked out our infrastructure but now we might be dealing with targeted nuke detonations. Do you live near any targets?

US Nuclear Target Map
Military Nuclear Targets in USA Mainland

 

Prioritize what would affect you the most

You might say that ALL of the EMP effects will affect you badly! However take a look at this potential disaster from the standpoint of literal survival. Don’t become overwhelmed.

The priorities for survival include being able to breathe, drink water, eat food, having safe shelter.

We should all still be able to safely breathe (see ‘nuclear reactor’ section below).

A source of drinking water and the ability to filter it will be of highest priority because your faucet will run dry after the system pressure drops.

An ample storage of food will be critical because grocery stores will run out in days.

We all currently live under a roof. However will it remain that way afterwards? Will it be safe where you live?

 

Examine where you live

The Lasting effects of infrastructure damage from EMP will bring on frightening and terrible desperation. This will be especially problematic in population dense regions.

If you live in an especially potentially dangerous area, you might consider bugging out to an alternate location that may be safer. It is crucially important to plan all of this well before you ever need it. Bugging out presents serious risks, but if you have established a well thought out plan, a place with resources, you might be better off than otherwise.

Note: Don’t just ‘show up’ at your Uncle’s rural ranch (for example). Things will be different after the fact. Talk about it ahead of time, get permissions, and plan to bring as many supplies as you can. You will be put to work. So be ready to work.

In the event of system wide power outage, nuclear reactors will become a concern. While a nuclear reactor will safely ‘scram’ and shutdown, their nuclear rods must remain cooled for a long period of time afterwards. If backup power fails (generators and fuel supply) then there may be a meltdown. Especially if you live within 50 miles of a nuclear power plant, you need to preemptively plan a bugout.

U.S. Nuclear Power Plants, safe distance?

 

Get Specific

Now it’s time to get specific about what you can do for yourself to prepare for EMP. After having identified the areas that need attention, take action. Go get what you need. Make plans to bugout if that’s what you’ll need to do.

Look for water resources in your area. Get the means to transport the water back home. Plan on your vehicle not working, so figure that part out too (wagons or carts for transporting water jugs). Have a supply of water jugs for this purpose. Get a quality drinking water filter.

How much food do you think you’ll need? In the hypothetical example that we’re talking about here, I would suggest as much as you can tolerate. Everyone’s risk tolerance is different. Examine your own.

Is your home location safe? Will it be safe afterwards? Do what you need to do to shore up your personal safety and home security. Another extremely important relevant question regarding your place of residence is this: Are you anywhere near a water source? If you’re not, then you better think about what you would do…

 

Get Out Of The Affected Region

One way to potentially overcome the extreme disaster of a collapsed infrastructure from EMP is to (somehow) get out of the affected region. Maybe that means leaving the affected country. If the U.S. has been successfully targeted and affected, leaving the region and traveling to a non-affected region may be an option.

There are very big problems and issues with that however. Unless you were wealthy enough to have a place to go, you will essentially become a refugee. How will you get there? There’s only so much stuff you could take with you. How will you pay for what you need? Etc..

 
In closing, an EMP event may be one that never happens to us. I certainly hope not. I am not blind though to the fact that there are crazy people out there (there’s one in particular who comes to mind in NoKo). And some of them are in positions of power who may actually have these weapons. I am also not blind to the fact that there are those who are continuing to acquire these technologies (Iran anyone?) and our world is becoming increasingly weaponized and dangerous. Cool heads may not always prevail. And this type of weapon system would end our way of life as we know it. Would you be prepared if it happened? Hopefully this has inspired some of you to think about it.

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I think the odds of NK doing an EMP are more likely than not. Can you really properly prepare for it though? Personally I think there’s too many unknowns about what will and won’t work. The best you can do is prepare to a level that you feel is responsible and sane. I read the gov report, I can no longer find, that obummer put out. Its gonna be dark for a long time if it ever does happen.

Look to Puerto Rico for a small scale look at waiting for the Government to help you. 3 Months later only 50-65% (depending upon who you listen to) have even intermittent power. The whole island is under boil water (If they have running water at all) fuel is short to boil water and run generators. Can you NOT Prepare if you have family and friends you care for?

For less money than most families will spend on Christmas Gifts this year you ca do a LOT to reduce the EMP effect on you and yours.

On this site and others is plenty of useful information. Why reinvent the wheel here?

Electrical power will be restored in localized areas fairly quickly. Transmission over vast distances, as we have now, will be difficult to restore.
CA comes to mind as a big loser. They import a lot of electricity from other states.

Possible, and yet the only locations that will have the possibility of electrical power are those who rely on water, solar or wind–fuel supplies will run out. The replacement parts the power plants will need are made in other countries and even today they take two years + to manufacture and deliver. Those parts aren’t stockpiled. Also keep in mind that most power plants are run by computers and power distribution is controlled through the internet, both of which WILL be damaged by an EMP.

Ken, has our time traveler been talking to you about whats ins our future?

I think I’m in a fairly good place to ride one out. No plants upwind and no nearby targets to get hit along with. Fairly well supplied in a benign climate with lots of water.

What does worry me is the more we sanction Kim the more likely he is to sell a nuke to ISIS or somebody similar.

EMP is not the only scenario with the same probable outcome. Cyberwarfare would mimic the outcome. We already are seeing signs of potentially hostile government entities in our critical infrastructure. Or maybe its AI just masquerading as a government.

I do worry about an On the Beach outcome. I will admit to there being a point where it could conceivably be a time to drink the koolaid. In the meantime I’ll continue to prep for a more favorable scenario.

– In an earlier post I covered some of what my family have done in case of an event like this. Really and truly, I believe this would be a worst-case scenario. I shudder to think what would result in our larger cities, and this is what I fear most as I do prepare for the unknown. Do I think it is a genuine possibility? Absolutely! Were I Kim Jon Un, this is exactly what I would be working toward. It is the only way a smaller economy like NK has any hope of doing major damage to a people they always refer to as ‘bastards’ in all of their internal writings. The North Koreans absolutely fear the American troops. Just one of our smallest services, the Marines, put that fear in them. To every Marine out there, current or former (never ex-), here’s a salute from this old Army soldier.
– Papa S.

Really the best way to prepare is to learn and practice using manual methods of doing things. Our forefathers survived just fine without electricity, the Amish still do. I realize the time saved using electrical tools, allows us to accomplish our task in a shorter time period, giving us more time to pursue other activities, however now you will have to manage your time better to accomplish what you need to do, leaving little to no down time. You will have to prioritize your time.

I’m wondering how many people that “Prepare” actually do “Lights Out” weekends or weeks just to practice?
Now I know that a weekend or a week+ is not “the real thing” but it may help let you realize what to expect from what you do have and how the family is going to react.
Now I’m not anywhere near ready for the total EMP ‘were toast’ thing, and I doubt many are, with that said though one had better think about even what’s going on in CA right now with the freeways and road closures, the ramifications of just trying to “Get Out” of somewhere. How about everything that hit this Spring? How’s that going Porta Rico/Houston/Florida/Great North-West? And how about Ventura CA right now?
So my question back to Ken is, what are 320,000,000 people going to do when “Lights Out” and Grandpa is in a ‘home’ 3 cities away, how about even how are you going to get the Kids from the School that’s in ‘Lockdown’ and won’t allow anyone to leave? What are YOU and 320 MILLION other people going to do when you run out of TP?

On the technical side, a LOT say that a single EMP would not be that bad…… maybe right, but let’s say Kim-Boy, aka Rocket Man, takes out 1/3 the country, what do you-all really think it’s going to do to the rest of the Country?
What is going to happen if only Texas is hit? How about the Four Corners….. ahhhh maybe not the Four Corners, nobody care for my neck of the woods. HAHAHAHA

Good food for thought Ken, thanks

We have a back up supply of Valium to ride it out. We will give it the kids in their water. Oh not really………………………………………….

Mrs.USMCBG
.
I LIKE!!!! that idea… HAHAHAHA

Good topic Ken, especially at this time of year when Canada & much of the USA will be cold for the next few months. While DH spent from birth into his upper 30’s with no power & I have spent from 20 until my early 30’s with no power we do enjoy the comforts that power provides. Now in our 70s & 80s we will likely need more medical care so that is something we think about. There is one question I have wondered about. Could this cause an electrical house fire & if so is there things we could do to lower the risk? I have thought that if it was a CME rather than an EMP & we had warning we could shut the power off at the switch on the pole in our yard & it might help. but if unannounced what then. If any one knows the answer to my question I would be pleased to hear it.

Canadagal

Theoretically yes an EMP can/would cause the electrical wiring in a home to overheat and start a fire. Most believe even disconnecting from the Grid would not help in stopping the EMP or CME discharge from this because the wiring can ‘catch’ the electrical pulse and react the same way in overheating and fire

Again, unfortunately, we just don’t know for sure.

That is scary. One of my biggest fears is fire. Yes, I do have a fire extinguisher but I am not sure I could put out a fire, especially if the fire starts wherever there is wiring. this is something I had not thought of.

If my house catches fire, my only shelter will be my garage. It is not wired for electricity.

Daisy, start researching fire-retardant sprays. They are very effective! There are a number of these treatment sprays available — they are designed for whole-house protection. Some are also safe to spray on foundation vegetation.

Ken what signs would I look for to determine that my “Power Outage” is an EMP?

From what I’ve read given an power outage I expect that my cable and thus TV and computer internet signals lost. I do call the power company to report the loss. I would be VERY CONCERNED if the cell phone was not functioning.

Thoughts?

NH Michael,- I have experienced several catastrophic regional power outages due to ice storms and tornadoes, a couple of which lasted two weeks plus. I never lost my land line telephone service which uses underground cable. I would be very worried if I lost electrical power AND my land line phone, especially if there was no weather event coinciding. Should this happen, my first test would be taking one of my small am/fm battery powered radios out of Faraday cage protection and search for a signal. If no signal located, I would figure EMP. Of course before I got that far, I would have already attempted to get powered up with my generator and failed.

If your generator is an old fashioned type ie no circuit boards or other electronic controllers, then it should recover in about 1/2 to a couple of hours. The electromagnetic pulse disrupts the magnetic field of an old style generator, or an electric motor causing it to not work — Electricity is generated by rotating a conductor (the copper windings) inside of a magnetic field (usually supplied by magnets) When this field is disrupted no electricity will be produced. Unless you are really close to the EMP the magnets will recover and the generator or motor will work.
The weak link for modern motors and generators are the circuit board controllers they fry very easily. this applies to household appliances and cars also. If you have an old sixties pickup or tractor, and your not so close that the wires actually fry, then they should be functional once the magnetic field in the motors recover.

Learn to FLASH THE FIELD to get things going again ,,,lead F1 and F2 hit with a 12v battery for 2 to 6 seconds should re energise the fields if not hit again for a longer time ,watch that you don’t over heat the windings is the only caution ,,,

Yes a structure fire IS likely but you reduce the risk by removeing the GROUND ,yes I said remove the GROUND and remove the main breaker and the utility meter ,,for the wiring to over heat you have to have a current flow !!!! The reason to remove breakers and meter is a CME will probably jump the gap in them in
the shut off position ,,,think of when you have static electricity and you touch a door knob ,you make the circuit,till you do that you don’t feel the current load you have ,,as far as a EMP the duration is to short to start a fire in your home unless a appliance burns and spreads to some thing else

Goodness Ken, reading this list I know you have replacement Solar Controllers and Inverters in your Faraday Cage..

Maybe a Faraday cage for the generator too?

I have spent thousands of dollars since 2009 (when I read One Second After) preparing for an EMP. I live in a rural area in a semi-arid climate where the temperature can go down to minus 35 in winter and up to 100 in summer.

I have added R-50 insulation, storm doors, a propane furnace and a 500 gallon propane tank, storm windows, solid metal doors, a Kelly Kettle, two Kandle Heeters with 4 cases of 50-hour liquid paraffin fuel, a sterno stove with lots of sterno, a folding stove with lots of canned heat, several solar lights, flashlights with lots of extra batteries, and other useful things.

I have had a 6-foot privacy fence built around my property and also around the vacant lot next door. I have fixed up my new garage (that I acquired when I bought the vacant lot next door) so my car may be stored there, and added solid doors with locks to the garage.

I have had a large enclosed garden with raised beds put in; then I added another large garden with more raised beds that I built myself (with help from some of you on MSB.) I also have additional gardens, including planters along my north fence, raspberry & blueberry bushes, rhubarb plants, and last summer I planted 25 cherry trees, of which about 22 survived.

I have an emergency radio, which is protected in a homemade faraday cage.

I have a year’s worth of cat food, kitty litter, and litter box liners.

I have accumulated enough of my medication to last a year by cutting the pills in half over a long period of time. In fact, I only take them when needed (when my heart starts beating too fast) so I probably have enough to last 2 or three years.

I also have dozens of rolls of toilet paper, and dozens more of paper towels. I bought a couple dozen cloth hankies and several extra packages of washcloths. I have tons of first aid stuff, insect repellant, soap, dishwashing liquid, laundry detergent, & bleach. I have several kinds of antiseptic, iodine, Neosporin, silver solution, silver gel, alcohol, peroxide….

I have over a year’s worth of stored food and three kinds of water purifiers. I have two rain barrels and lots of stored water. Supposedly we will still have water from our town’s well, though it might not be treated. If not, I live walking distance to two rivers.

I have bought lots of books on preparedness, and books on homesteading skills.

I am convinced that my best friend in this town is also a prepper. She keeps OPSEC, as I do, but we slowly and carefully disclose information to each other about emergency planning.

Some of the preparations I have made for an EMP would also work for other long term emergencies, such as a pandemic, financial meltdown, etc. I am not completely prepared, but I have done what I can.

DaisyK

My friend, when TSHTF, I’m heading to your place…. HAHAHA
You’ve done a fantastic job, you should be very proud of yourself.
PS; Blue ask to stock up on a little Dog Food.
Thank You.

NRP, my dog died last August, but I will stock some food for Blue. You and Blue are welcome to come here if the four corners gets hit.

I forgot to mention some other preps: two handguns and a BB gun — plus ammo, solar lantern, citronella candles, headlamp, blood pressure cuff & extra batteries to keep track of my heart rate, sunscreen, lots of toothpaste & dental floss, plus extra toothbrushes & Orajel, dozens of hand warmers, hot water bottles, indoor and outdoor alarms (which we won’t need if you bring Blue), duck tape, wire, matches and more matches, charcoal grill and lots of charcoal, hatchet, saw, tarps for collecting rain water & trash cans to store the water after I collect it, plastic film to cover my windows, chicken wire to cover the outside of my windows to make it harder for someone to throw rocks through them, window insulator kits in case some windows get broken, crutches and a walking boot in case I break my leg or sprain my ankle,

My garage is more than 100 feet from my house and on a different lot, so it will be a last ditch place to stay if my house burns down or gets overrun by marauders. I have extra clothes and sleeping bag in the trunk of my car and a propane heater with about 2 dozen 1-pound cans of propane in my garage. I have not stored food and water in there due to the extremes of temperature here, but I would transfer a bunch of my preps to the garage if a disaster happened.

Like I said, thousands of dollars, for things I probably never use and which will make my heirs angry when they see what they inherited instead of cash.

I see I accidently posted before finishing my list again, but you see I am pretty well set. The only thing I still need is a dog. And maybe a man or two to help with defense if the dog sounds an alarm.

Wow DaisyK I wish you were my neighbor. Can I humbly suggest at least a 22 rifle for your weapons. If you were closer I would loan you something better but money and all that I understand. Being out ranged pistol vs long arm is an awful feeling.

NH Michael,

I am no longer strong enough to handle a long gun. My hand shakes. I have looked for a 22 rifle, but I have short arms and weak muscles. Also, for a long time you couldn’t buy 22 shells. If you have a suggestion, for a rifle that would work for me, I will drive to the nearest gun store and check it out.

A scoped Ruger 10/22 with the magazine release replaced with that longer one (name escapes me tonight) as the factory one is hard to use with gloves or cold hands. A few 25 round magazines and some practice to know bullet drop in your area and even 200 yard shots will concern troublemakers. I can hit a torso sized target at 200 yards at least 50% of the time. A lot better than my ability with a pistol at that range. An under barrel laser is nice for fast 100 yard shots. An AR in 5.56mm would be better but costly. Both are light enough my 13 year old niece to handle and she is tiny.

NH Michael, I have written down your info and will check next time I get to Cody. Thanks.

DaisyK Hi, you also might look at an AR style rifle in 22 caliber w/collapseable stock (you will be able to adjust the stock to you).

Wow, you are who I want to be. The only thing is do you know bleach expires. Have you considered bleach crystals or pool shock. Thanks for your post it gives me a lot to think about doing.

!Daisy, when you see the semi truck with Charmin on the side it will be NRP

Daisy, if I may ask. What’s the name of the heart medication you take and why were you started on it?

me:
It is Metoprolol. I have had a few instances of Supra Ventricular Tachycardia. (about 8 times in the past 11 years.) It causes electrical interference that causes my heart to beat several times faster than it is supposed to — up to 240 beats per minute. Even at 164, (the last time it happened was 164 beats/min) that is too fast for my heart to fill up between beats and my brain doesn’t get enough oxygen.

The first 2 times I had to go to the emergency room to have my heart rebooted. Then the doctor prescribed Metoprolol and 25 mg usually fixes the problem. I kept refilling the prescription even though I didn’t take the pills so I have several extra bottles. But last summer, I took a total of 3 pills (75 mg) and it didn’t work. A friend took me to the emergency room. Now, I am supposed to take the meds every day, whether I need them or not. However, I have found that as long as I take a half pill before any type of exertion or before getting overheated, I am fine.

If an EMP or any other disaster struck, I would have to take a pill every day since I couldn’t be sure I would be able to cure myself after that experience last summer. In the meantime, I am saving up extra pills.

Are you prescribed 25 mg twice a day?

me:

No, I am supposed to take 25 mg per day. Either one extended release or 1/2 of a regular tablet twice per day. Cardiologist said I could do either when I complained that the extended release cost almost 4 times as much. But if I have a tachycardia incident, the extended release tablets probably won’t have enough OOMPH to work. I tried the extended release, but still have most of the 90 day supply that the cardiologist prescribed.

One thing you need to remember that if saving meds, you need to take the oldest first, so I am taking the ones from 2-3 years ago right now. I have checked with the doctor and also on line and they are still good after the expiration date, but after a couple of years, they could lose some potency, Since I have two different prescriptions (metoprolol tartrate & metoprolol succinate) from two different health care providers, I may be able to double up and fill both prescriptions. I will have to see if the pharmacy notices.

Since I have never had an incident at night when I am sleeping, just when I am under some physical stress, I usually just take 1/2 pill early in the day when I start to do my house/yard work. I can tell when my heart rate starts to go up. I test it and if it is over 66 or so, I take another half pill. If the SHIF I will rely on the extended release and just take a full pill of the regular if I have an incident.

When you had to go to the hospital did they try having you do a Valsalva maneuver? Something like take a deep breath and try to blow it out while holding it in?

My question on your dose is related to cutting your medications in half. Walmart has a 3 month supply of 50mg tablets twice a day for 3 months for $10.00 In many states you can get 100mg twice a day for the same cost. You might consider asking your doctor to increase your dosage and explain to him your concerned about the rising costs of your heath care and would like to save some money while you still can.

Metoprolol is a beta blocker. You might recall the doctor in One Second After telling the Colonel that all of his heart patients died when they ran out of their beta blockers. I kind of think that you should probably be taking it regularly as it might help prevent the onset of the much more lethal ventricular tachycardia. IMHO asking for him or her to double up on the dose is probably your best bet as far as getting ahead.

To me:

Yes, medications are cheaper when you buy them in larger quantities and in larger doses. I ask for 90 day supplies, As I said, I will take the extended tabs if the SHTF, For now, though I won’t waste the ones I have accumulated. I am taking them First In, First Out. and I have over 300 of the regular tablets stored.

They have told me about the two ways to try to bring myself back to regular rhythm — putting my face in ice water and holding my nose and blowing. They did have me try that last one in the ER, but it didn’t work.

I am hoping to accumulate a year worth of the extended tabs. The cardiologist said I might need a larger dose, so I could ask for 50 mg tabs and cut them in two. You can’t chew them, but there is a little line, so I assume you can cut them in two. You had a good idea; I will try that.

Kudos to you, Daisy!! You have been so diligent and organized — proof that you can plan and prepare, and succeed!

I am glad to read that you solved your heating issue if your home-heating system fails.

As for some added protection, have you thought of getting a few bear traps? Set on your perimeter zone, during very difficult situations, might offer you some extra protection.

modern throwback;

I had thought of bear traps, but couldn’t because of my dog. But now, with him gone, I have only to worry about myself accidently trapping ME. I am senile and forget things such as “watch where you walk”!

My cats are indoor cats, so I don’t have to worry about them.

I can only start hardening critical prepper electronics I have by building and using a faraday cage/cages and storing batteries, radios, etc in them as a prep. Otherwise I’m not sure what else to do. I’m within 35 miles of an active nuke plant (TMI.) As Ken stated, we just don’t know for sure what or how a EMP attack will really affect us along with a Carrington type event.
I’ve practiced doing a full powerless weekend and I have to say, depending on the season, it’s no fun. We’ve done one in August and Feb. After the second day and an honest evaluation, I found more holes in my EMP plans then solutions. Excessive heat and freezing cold were both areas that in a continued grid down scene would/will be very hard to live with long term. My two basic backups were battery/solar to run electronics, and propane/butane for heating and cooking. Thus my need for a generator, portable battery operated fans, and a lot more propane/butane became evident. Slowly but surely we’re working on getting these items in house and ready.

To look at the maps that have been generated to give a “view” of the area of effect that an EMP/HEMP could produce, it’s easy to see that the middle of the country would give the best result. Major military installations, road & rail junctions, power & oil infrastructure would all be hit hard.
Transportation through the area to get from one side of the country to the other would be difficult at best from disabled vehicles and trains dead on the tracks. The major transformers used at power generation and distribution site are made overseas (Germany and S. Korea) and each unit is custom built. Over-pressurized gas and oil lines may burst since them may still be getting pressure from a pump outside the effected area.
I can kind of see two separate nations coming out of the ruin an event like this would cause. The Eastern State and the Western States split by what would become the largest salvage yard in the world. This is all worst case of course, but who knows?
What one can do for themselves and loved ones has pretty much all been said. It all boils down to risk tolerance on a personal level.

Jon wrote, “I can kind of see two separate nations coming out of the ruin an event like this would cause. The Eastern State and the Western States split by what would become the largest salvage yard in the world.”

Did you watch the series “Revolution?”

@ Modern Throwback… No. Never heard of it. I try not to watch television to much. Why? Is how I think the way it plays out?

@Jon
The US was divided into large sectors after an electrical shut-down. I didn’t see the first couple of shows so I’m unsure if it was from an EMP or a computer-hack job. There were a few segments where electricity was being turned-on via remote connectivity but I ddn’t watch enough of the segments to make much sense of the show as a whole. Maybe someone else here saw it all. I think Revolution lasted a few years.

@ MT…. I looked it up and it was canceled after 2 seasons so it was never finished on tv. I saw there is a 4 part “digital comic” that is supposed to be the full story.

An EMP or CME
Probably one of my biggest fears. And GF and I have talked about the possibility and what to do, many a time.
Think about it. Any enemy nation could wipe us out with an EMP. No communication, no travel, no harm to the infastructure. Within a yr 90% of our population gone.
Undrilled oil to be had, natural gas, ahhh uranium,..,etc. The perfect plan. Anyway..,.
Our home would be very secure for a few weeks, but then we would probably have to move to the BOL
There would be a lot to transfer out of the house to the BOL. That’s for the case that hopefully dad’s 58 Ford tractor still runs and if need be, pull the loaded manure spreader full of,…. essentials. And GF’s 85 quad. (Wish I hadn’t sold my 83 GMC 4×4)
A couple days ago, my bro asked for the first time, how long a supply of meds I had. Approx a yrs worth.
How many rds of ammo do I need?
As many as you can afford.
Good job folks, for thinking outside of the box and being aware….so many aren’t.

The amount of ammo you need depends on
How long you expect to need it and for what purposes.
If you only need it for hunting, and you have stored a lot of food, your ammo could last a long time.
If you expect order to be restored within a couple of months, and if you have food stored it is not that critical. If you expect the end of civilization, then you need enough to meet your needs until you can feed and protect yourself with more primitive weapons.
Now if your need it primarily for self protection – you are expecting hordes of hungry, mean, nasty looters – then you need as much as you can get and store.

I see that 62 million in bitcoin was lost somewhere. I wonder what a EMP would do to that currency that is become more popular. ha ha.

A small example of what we could expect is the current situation in PR. Article on ZH now. No short term solutions for a major outage. Would be hell in most cities.

If we had a CME or EMP we would be living like we did when we first arrived, It took several years for electric and phone to come in and then we had to have a well dug. One good thing is how quiet it was. It is quiet here but without any electricity it is really QUIET! Water would become our biggest problem as our tanks are used mainly for the garden and our well is electric. We would have to use a well bucket as our well is 300 feet down and that would be slow but at least it would provide some.

Look up Bailer bucket on you tube as a DIY..

old lady
You said your well was 300 feet down, but you did not declare the static level of your water. The surface of your water will be different then the well depth, and you may be able to use a bison or other type of hand pump.

Have you ever had the constant water level checked and the rate of recovery for this well? It will make a difference IF you were to require the above options. Something to think about.

@ DaisyK… check out a .17 HMR rifle. Savage makes one that weighs 6 lb at 36” long with a 5 shot box magazine. Not to sure on effective range, but a few close ones would make quite a few think twice about what their doing.

On my solar power set up, I put Metal Oxide Varistors rated at 20 percent over max working voltage in a delta configuration between the positive rail, negative rail and ground to shunt excessive current at each solar panel serial feed. I also have a sand quench lightening arrestor from positive and negative to ground. Each non-shielded solar panel feed line I put a ferrite choke. I am considering a seperate reactor transformer on the DC and AC side. I am also considering using the old farmer trick of putting a kink in the solar feed line and winding an inductive choke to have the kink act as an arc-gap to ground. The farmers did this with wind mills for lightening protection.

From what I understand about EMP/CME solar panels themselves are pretty tough but the controller from the Solar Panels to the batteries (Lead Acid very tough wonder about high tech Power Wall by Telsa) and the inverter to you are weak points.

Happily a galvanized steel garbage can insulated inside with cardboard (BTW Make SURE no Staples are in it) can hold a spare controller and inverter or two. Most of my electronic geek friends cast serious doubt about Varistors being fast enough to stop the EMP damage.

That why I put the MOVs upstream of the ferrite chokes. The inductive reactance caused by the fast rise time of 2 nano-seconds across the ferrite impedance will give the MOVs a chance of working prior to the current overcoming the chokes. The reactor transformer or the previously mentioned farmer’s inductor would use the fast rise time across a coil to impede the current to the charge controller and shunt to ground. At that point the voltage would be high enough to arc shunt (ionize the air) to ground across a spark gap.

I’m not so sure abut what Not so sure said. Actually I’m clueless to most of it! I know to make sure I have diodes in line and that’s about it. What can I say, I’m electrically challenged?

Some thoughts about generators. I have a very nice Honda rig. I bought it when we lived in a semi-rural backwater on the southern Oregon Coast. We had an all-electric home and power outages were not rare. Our house was on a raised foundation and sometimes the monsoon-level rains would flood underneath us and it was necessary to use a submersible pump.
Now, we live in North Idaho, in a cookie-cutter housing tract full of SUV’s, kids mesmerized by their electronic pacifiers, and adults who put green and blue exterior lights around their homes to profess their adulation of the Seattle Seahawks. Catch my drift?
So, KIM FLUNG DUNG decides to pop a nuke and the area goes dark. The Sheeple go bat***t crazy and I pull the Honda out of the Faraday Cage and crank it up. The noise and the lights are going to attract a lot of desperate Walking Dead. At least, that is what I think. I am leaning towards selling it and getting a passive solar system to run LEDs for lights with a sine wave inverter to charge needful devices. I know the girls will have a fit when laundry day is a wash tub, wash board, plunger, and lye soap. I would rather be alive to do laundry than die in a pile of bodies on my front lawn defending my small tribe. Any thoughts, critical or not would be appreciated. Thank you.

Dweezil, It sounds like a more viable solution with the picture you have shown., any possibility of a bug out location? sounds like a place to bug out from…? Solar sounds like best option unless know of some other quiet motor,ie magnet motor, hho kit or such.. plans are out for those.

I hope you have adequate supplies for the laundry. consider basic supplies for making own. If your family has a problem with allergies to detergents, be sure to test before you make up a large supply of anything. Many people are allergic to Borax which is one of main ingredients in most recipes for powdered detergent…can be made without it. and with what ever soap your family prefers.that and plenty oxi type cleaner makes presoaking and getting clothes cleaner with less supplies much easier.

They need to be introduced to all kinds of skills to get them into a mode where they will be able to adapt instead of being unable to function..
Having the “girls” to learn to start a campfire, outside, in the grill, and knowing when to say nothing.. will be two of your most important preps…

DWEEZIL,,,,You can get quite gen sets , but not from a big box ,,look for made in USA or Europe ,go to a real generator shop. Not cheep but worth it ,

Your neighbors are why I keep repeating my tribes first plan is to GO DARK until most of the walking dead are done. Roughly 30 days is my best educated guess. Nobody is so Bad *ss that they can run a generator (noise/lights) BBQ some steaks and wave hot coffee around when others will be dying to TAKE them from you. A good Daddy will murder to get food for his kids.

Small solar array, some lights (BLACK OUT DRILL), hand pump for the water, rocket stove and thermal slow cooker to eat with out wafting BBQ smells everywhere. Act like your also in trouble or they will come and get it from you. Facts of real life. I’ve seen it in 3rd world war zones and heard it from my PR friends lately.

I recall reading somewhere about wearing oversize clothing to make it look like you too are losing weight.

It is gruesome to contemplate but there will be cannibalism. Posting signs on all nearby roads that due to reports of cannibals in the area all strangers will be shot on sight might be helpful. Shooting somebody should be an absolute last resort. (Need to say that for legal reasons)

Thanks to all of you who replied. I will take all comments and advice into consideration.

Ken, thank you for putting this topic up again, I do not think there is a thing as too much warning or too much “take heed”… every time it is said, someone else may hear it for the first time…OK, I am going to put something out here, that I’ve shared before but so that others may hear it for the first time…
In April 2016 I had a very clear dream-vision of an area along the east coast of the USA
in the Washington D.C. vicinity…I felt much grief and sadness coming from that area…perceived that an attack had occurred
What kind of attack I do not know, immediately I saw people’s phones all lighting up calling their loved ones. I saw my phone, it is the one I have now which I got over a year ago, which tells me we are close b/c phones don’t last long now with non-replaceable batteries. I do not know if other cities or area were affected. I do not think this is an EMP (yet), as our phones were working.
Please take preparing seriously, it doesn’t have to be expensively, keep some supplies, especially water to drink, in your car at all times.
Keep your gas tank full.
Know your alternate routes, off main interstates if you can…
May you know the Peace in whatever storms are ahead…

Shepherdess-the one thing this site/all of you have hammered into my head-always have gas in your car! I was one of those ‘run it till the gas light comes on’ drivers. Now I try to keep my tank with at least a hundred miles on it, which is more than enough to get me home from wherever I’m at in my day to day routine. I’ve gotten after my husband about this too, since he works all over the state (today he’s working on a job site almost 4 hours away, expressway driving). Such a little thing, but it might be crucial in an emergency situation!

Maybe the scariest scenario that is rarely discussed is the effect a long term power outage might have on nuclear power plants. If we face the potential of 100’s of Fukushima’s all happening at once how could you prepare for that?

CL ,,,,,,,unless something really odd were to happen (never say never) a forced shutdown is what we were trained for ,can be done with no problems. There are exceptions like a 60ft wall of water ,, I can think of a lot of things more likely to happen,, my worry is more along the line of some crazy rag heads trying to do the unthinkable even then the boys and girls at the plants have real bad a$$ toys. Relax a bit
Try some good tea ,i do

I should add that the problem will NOT likely be at a nuke plant but more so with the grid itself and the transformers at your end. Without saying to much. I do think the plant will come through an event with little or no damage. ,,,forced to shutdown yes ,without any place to send the power you have to go off line ,,
But then hydro power has some problems too ,take the example of Oroville dam last winter over topping the spillway ,they were unable to control the flow and lost grid hence the spillway doors ,till a emergency gen was brought up on line. You have not been told how close that was to a total failure of the dam
I do not think much of a EMP on the other hand a CME as Ken noted will most likely burn a lot of things down that had wiring in them ,,have you ever seen what happens after a lighting strike? Now that’s over in a split second ,were as a CME would go on for some time ,how long will a home last with the wire glowing? And glow it will unless it’s in metal conduit. Grounding will only make matters worse ,go back to the example of the lighting rod,the ground cable needs to on standoffs to keep the heat from the current off the barn etc, and yes a GI ammo can can be very effectitve at shelding and no you do not need to replace the rubber seal. Maybe some other time I can explain how things work , till then ,i use ammo cans to protect some things
Just for the record I do have training and advanced degrees in engineering ,related to this. Hope this helps understand some things

If all else fails who is John galt?

Preps also depend on age and so ‘me’ as a single senior living in central Oregon will be different than someone else. It’s been getting down to 14 degrees at night and so I am glad that I have an emergency Buddy heater if the power went out. Guess that I would like to have a solar cooker – lots of clear skies here so it would be worthwhile. Coming from the valley it wouldn’t have been worth it there at all.
I walk a lot with the dog and I know that if people think of heading for the hills that they will have to go a long way – there are footprint and tire tracks a long ways out

Timely post today, a sobering reflection of where we’re at as the NK situation continues to escalate. An EMP attack has been foremost on my mind as I’ve started prepping and is the reason why I jumped into this whole thing to begin with. Realistically we’re no where near being prepared enough in an attack, but we are better off today, from where we were in September when we got started.
I had started reading One Second After, but quit reading it after a few pages because it was getting to me. Need to pick it back up and get through it, will most likely get some ideas on how to focus our preps right now.

Ken you talked about losing power and the effects it would have such as no running water. Can you recommend a water filtration system I could uses. Alexapure is one I’ve seen, but seems pricey. Thank you

Pricey is a relative term friend. What you need is effective. What is the price of you and yours dying from Diarrhea from bad water? Look around and see what health care workers in 3rd world countries use. Then get SPARE FILTERS.

Flash back. Back in the day (mid 70s) I road-raced motorcycles. I wore full leathers and a Bell Star helmet which was top of the line at the time. I was in a bike store and a customer commented to me about them wanting $15.00 for a helmet, mine cost over a $100.00. I looked at him and said how much is your brain worth?

well said

I should have known you were already on it! Thanks again!!

Ken,

I bought my Big Berkey several years ago and they included two sport bottles with the smaller filters which have the same filtration rating as the big filters. I recently decided to buy several of the smaller filters to have on hand for these individual bottles and ran across the “Woder” sports bottle filters which appear identical just looking at them and claim the same contamination filtration. These filters (Woder) are substantially cheaper ($7.95 as opposed to $19.95 for the Berkey. Your thoughts?

Ken-what are your thoughts on boiling water as an option? Our property has a lot of natural springs and in a SHTF situation I was planning on boiling it after I run out of bleach. Because of this I haven’t looked into buying a filtration system, (focus right now is food and then it will be ammo). Our springs are close to the house, out behind, and I’ve already designated the transporting job to my kids LOL.

Svzee

As a side note; When Ken says “You won’t know till you try,” That does NOT mean go out with a glass and take a good drink, please get it tested, you can usually take a ‘CLEAN’ sample to the County Extension Agency and have them to a test, usually for free, or a very small charge.

After you know the conditions of the existing Spring, than you need to work on a method of gathering the water and either cleaning it (if contaminated) or using it (water).

I agree, you should put a ‘GOOD’ filter on your list. There are a lot of Berkey Filters, you don’t necessarily need the “Big Berkey” maybe a smaller one would do.

Please be aware that spring water can be tested today and be good and have some undead fool foul it with his/her human manure and you are in real trouble.

If you do not control the water source and know with out a doubt that upstream folks have safe sanitary habits FILTER your Water. Preventable Sickness is far better than hoping your fish antibiotics can cure the mystery disease.

NRP-too late, caught the kids drinking from one of them this summer lol. Nobody died so I think it’s pretty good water :) Good idea taking it in to be tested though, adding that to my ‘to do’ list!
We also have a shallow well, which isn’t supposed to be allowed around here, but at our purchase inspection the well passed with flying colors and they didn’t make us put in a new one, even though that’s regulations.

Svzee,
I agree with both Ken and NRP here . You should have the springs tested by the County. Then you should designate one or two as your backup water supplies, maybe install fencing around them to keep the critters out. Good water sources like springs need to be properly ‘developed’ to remain clean and pure. this means a good critter proof cover and a good water tight structure into the ground to prevent surface runoff from going into the spring water. I have seen springs that were tested as ‘clean’ but due to the way they were left unprotected, became unclean in short order.just my 2 cents worth.

Minerjim-we want to set up ram pumps in the area and channel/control the water better, even thinking of having them feed into a natural pool for swimming down the road-we have so many ideas for our new place and way too little time!
We were digging channels this summer (putting drain tile in), and we were pulling craw fish out, so there’s definitely ‘critters’ in them!

Svzee,
You want to get to the location where the water is actually ‘boiling’ out of the ground so to speak. this is the area that needs to be developed and protected. Ram pumps are good, but you need a fairly large flow of water with a big drop (momentum) for them to work well. worth looking into.
Great to hear your enthusiasm with your new place, I remember that here on the farm, way back when. With a good clean water source for back up, you have one of the most important preps in the event of a grid down situation.

Svzee
Budget constraints makes one think outside the box. In 2012, a gentleman did a U tube video on how to filter water with 2 food grade buckets, spicket and filter. It was not a high grade system but it worked, for less money. He was doing these for his neighbors who were on fixed incomes giving them the availability of purified water. Until you could afford a Berkey or other system this could work for you & your family.

With respect the SODIS system is decent (far better than no disinfection) but is not 100% fool proof. Was developed for use in India where the PREVIOUS method was filtering through your Sari (clothing). A 90 to 97% reduction effectiveness was noted given the variables of user training and such. A VAST improvement over basic cloth filtering but I find comfort in .999 reduction of Berkeley water filters and I do not have to hope 6+ hours of strong enough sunlight occurred. We are not yet a 3rd world country :-) IF I can afford a big Christmas I bet I can afford a Berkeley.

Ken no disrespect intended. I just fear some folks here MIGHT take your article, not read it all the way through and think they do not need a good water filter. I call it the Guru effect.

If we were to experience an EMP, we would shift our current lifestyle backwards into yesteryear. We have quite a bit of the gear needed to do this and have even incorporated some of these things into daily living. I do confess to being somewhat of a throwback… Some of our time-tested household items are used here and there because we thoroughly enjoy putting these things into use. We love the gifts of family that were passed to each of us — they serve as constant reminders of a time less encumbered and more community-based. We have the husband’s granny’s kerosene lamps, her 8 large crocks, some of her old dishware, and even the large pin that she’d use to hang her squirrels onto as she walked through the woods with them dangling off of her waistband. We have the 30-gallon brass kettle that my grandmother made apple butter cooked over an open fire. We have the box of tools once used by my FIL who was a carpenter by trade. I have a very large button collection because I was given the buttons from my grandmother’s sewing box and those included buttons from several of my great aunts’ sewing. Small items, yes, but when put together, these small items make the household function. We will take these things forward as we go back…. I’m sure we’re not alone in saying that we have books from the family, and a number of stories that were written to share with future family members. We have the FIL’s divining rods and his skill was passed on to my husband. I learned to forage from my mother who learned from her father, and he learned from his mother. (Where did she learn to forage? She came from a wealthy family but married a man who was not a wealthy farmer — was foraging a necessity for her to feed all of her children?) We have reminders of our family history scattered about. Photographs, the McGuffey Readers once owned by my grandfather, the cow bells for Mamsey’s milkers. I have the wash bowl and pitcher that my great-grandparents used every day. I have their chamber pot. We have the cotton scrap quilt that covers a worn wool quilt my grandmother made during the Depression — it is my reminder of frugality. And then there are my grandmother’s aprons — a reminder that we no longer seem to feel that we need to protect our clothing because we can throw it away and buy it again on-the-cheap, using foreign slave-labor. We have a family Bible from the very early 1800s, complete with birth entries written in by my great-great grandmother. (Keeping records were important for the future.) We can cook from scratch, and prefer it. I use my grandmother’s 3 bowl set that she got from S&H Green Stamps way back when I was a young’un. We can even track time manually — but will we need to? Regardless, I have the wind-up grandfather clock… Read more »

MT-you are very fortunate to have things passed down! We did recently get my husband’s grandparents generator when they moved into the retirement home, and then things like an ax, battery powered radio etc. I was bummed though that another grand kid received all of their canning supplies. She’s using it for craft projects and won’t even be using any of it for food preservation :(

@Svzee, I was the oldest of 2 kids and we were a small family in the last 2 generations. My grandmother wanted me to have specific items and even had a Codicil drawn up to name the items. Heirlooms were important to her and she made it a mission to make sure that I understood their importance. She was the family record-keeper and a grand story-teller, so I listened intently. She ‘lit the fire’, as it is said.

A shame you were overlooked on some of the canning items. Maybe you could offer a swap to get some of those items and say it is for posterity or something?

We are lucky in that when we drilled our well this summer, we installed a Simple Pump. It is wonderful because we can get about 3-5 gallons per minute of hand pumping directly into a pressure tank, keeping our small homestead supplied with water from the faucets.

I have a question: how far do all of you think a person needs to be – mileage – from the nearest larger city? We are about 30 miles away from one. Does anyone think this is enough to be “safe” from the walking refugees? I have read many of the books listed here, but I do not really get a sense of how far away is enough. If an EMP happens, I am hoping that the average Joe cannot drive.

Pegasus,
The farther out you are the better. I have read the 2008 EMP report that was done for Congress, and in it was reported that newer cars had few problems from an EMP, so there will likely be a number of people mobile after an EMP, unless you are very close to ground zero, then you will have other problems. 30 miles is good distance to be safe from walking refugees, at least for a few days. I understand that it is difficult to move farther and farther out. I would concentrate on making your place as ” indistinguishable ” as possible from the road, as to not drawn attention.

From my research and experiences in 3rd world disasters a few ideas. I can see small lights across my valley, that is about 7-10 miles. That is WITH Light Pollution from a town in the middle. Going DARK for a month or so will help you avoid folks searching for food and stuff. Black out TEST your house with black plastic bags and blue painters tape (so you will not ruin your paint).

Generators WILL be a wonderful idea to bring unwanted visitors to your home. Quiet is a relative term just like dark. When folks are seeking stuff for their kids or less noble reasons they will hear much better with out daily road noise and such. Solar panels and a small battery bank WITH Blackout training will be very useful. From my POV 200 watts of power can run fans to spread heat or maybe cool me off enough to sleep well as well as LED lights and recharge small electronics you have saved in a Faraday Cage garbage can.

Smells and or light from fires and even better cooking can also bring new friends to visit. Please use the fine china OR prepare to hide by going dark for a month.

Your walking distance Neighbors can be a hazard or an asset to you. Know them now and decide how to best handle them. OPSEC is that sexy term for keeping your mouth shut AND ALSO not broadcasting across the valley you have a generator, you have lights and you have good food a plenty.

So in a sort of answer to you friend IF they can see/hear or smell you having stuff they need expect visitors. We do not know if cars will run after a hard EMP the testing done in the 60’s was started at low levels with borrowed vehicles and they ramped it up until folks got nervous about damaging those borrowed cars. I assume some Hard Cases will steal what ever runs and drive looking for stuff. Prepare to hide until most of the trouble has resolved. Psalms 118 and Proverbs 27:12

NH Michael-you bring up excellent points. A few months after we moved into our new house earlier this year we got hit by a big storm and lost electricity for a few days. I was shocked at how many of our neighbors had generators going within a few minutes after going down-the noise was crazy! In a SHTF situation I figure we have just a couple days of being able to use our generator, before we need to shut it down due to the noise. When the neighbors start going quiet then we’ll be shutting down too, even though we have a decent supply of gas on hand.

Thank you all! We are building a metal structure, so black out should not be a problem. And one of my neighbors already told me we live in the “most heavily armed valley”….so I am thinking the neighbors will probably band together and keep folks out.

The city close to us is about 300,000 people.

Back to the faraday cage issue, a person logically might consider having more than one cage or at least redundant radios etc. this is because if there is an emp, there will likely be more than one event, as the bad guys will want to ensure they got the job done. Same sort of thing with a CME as those can go on for a while. No sense having your protected electronics smoked up followed by a decision to pull your back ups out, only to have them wiped out too… Just a thought…

Prepare for chaos, social unrest & disruptions to the supply chain. Value life & liberty. Please Subscribe. -Corey @ Prepared 2 Thrive (on YouTube)

I am working on getting by with no power. Wood stove in basement, gas kitchen stove with dedicated propane tank. Still lack a good hand pump for the well. I feel generators are to noisy in a SHTF situation.