Sunday, May 17, 2009

Preparedness Tip - EMP

Another key element to surviving an emergency situation is learning about potential (realistic) threats around you.

The potential for an attack on any country by a rogue military nation state, terrorist entity or enemy detonating a high altitude nuclear blast is now entirely possible. The effect of doing this would cause an Electro-Magnetic Pulse or EMP.

The effects of such a blast that now could come from a variety of sources would render electronic devices we have come to depend on totally useless.

Subways, aircraft, autos, radios, tv will all of a sudden stop. Oddly, humans would not for the most part be aware of such an attack as it occurs.

Sounds a lot like SciFi but unfortunately it is not. It's real. Many in our military or former military are aware of this threat.
It has been well documented for some years but is not widely talked about in everyday circles. Understandable.

So, how does this affect your preparedness efforts? Well, if all the work you do to prepare relies heavily on electrically powered and electronic devices to see you through a tough time then you should reconsider non electrical powered devices. Yes, they still do make them. Also consider protecting electronics using a "Faraday Cage" and considering some of the storage and preparedness suggestions we have mentioned in previous blogs. Spare parts for vital equipment such as generators is a must.

See more discussion about EMP from Military Training Manuals (TM)

One good source for non electric devices is Lehman's where you might find some things your grandparents used to use Many of the items are handy and have other applications as well.

Another good idea would be to read the book "One Second After" by William R. Forstchen to get some perspective about the likely scenarios that could play out after such an attack. It also is relevant in portraying human nature in some of the other potential disaster scenarios that could occur.

No, we aren't asking you to run out screaming "the sky is falling" and go nuts (although some of the characters in the book do that) over this but we are suggesting that if you were unaware that you learn more about how fragile our infrastructure has become and how vulnerable it is - and we are. The author has some easy to read information on the same website. Do check it out.

Our government has taken steps since the 1950's to harden certain critical government and military systems against such an attack but as of late many of the civilian systems have become vulnerable and thus a national security issue of considerable concern.

A government commission had been empaneled in 2001 to study and report on this issue and you can download several highly informative reports on this topic at : Their report was delivered on or about the same time the 9/11 Commission delivered theirs, so their wasn't much notice at the time.

As always the choice is your on whether to be prepared or not. Those that are stand a greater chance of surviving.


  1. Can't believe this issue isn't getting more attention. Don't need to run around like a nut, but it should come up in conversations once in a while, and folks should make some preparations for this (actually, any) type of disaster.

  2. Great blog! Thought I'd let you know that former Chairman Pete Hoekstra of the HPSCI is going to be on a radio blog show called EMPactRadio Wednesday the 11th of this month to talk about this topic. It should be extremely informative and interesting. Here's the link if anyone wants to check it out:


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