Skip to comments.Storm Warning: The Gloomy Forecast for EMPs
Posted on 07/07/2012 7:41:45 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Almost a week after the D.C. area was pummeled with raging storms, many individuals are still suffering in the July heat without lights, phone lines, and, perhaps most importantly, air conditioning.
In the immediate aftermath of this event, tens of thousands of Washingtonians, Marylanders, and Virginians were left without power. Storms across the country had similar effects, and Americans from Richmond to Detroit are still facing the summer heat without many basic comforts.
As awful as this is, things could be even worse. Imagine for a moment that that the power never came back on.
(Excerpt) Read more at blog.heritage.org ...
I am sorry but except in a "Dies the Fire" fantasy where the laws of physics get rewritten the power will come back on.
It may take a while, even a few years at worse but it will be back. Making a generator is not that hard, they were doing it in the 1700's. Got a river or stream? You have the engine to turn the wheels to generate electricity. No flowing water? Wind will work. You will need to make wet cell batteries but they were doing that 2000 BC.
Will we have "all we need"? Probably. Not all we want but enough to get things back up and running. And that will be built on.
In case of EMP that took down the entire grid all over the world (Unlikely as that is) with in a week you would have some clever folks generating their own electricity. Certainly with a month.
Getting the entire thing back up and running would only take a few years if people were properly motivated. I have no doubt they would be motivated.
The trick be surviving until things began to sort themselves out.
It would be pointless, for example to protect all my electric devices by whatever means, if the distribution control points fail. Or the generation controls, even if they control relative "low-tech" but huge hydroelectric generating facilities. Can those control rooms be "isolated" and protected from EMP by any reasonable means?
I have no idea, but can't help wondering if anyone does.
6 days of no electricity for me in 100 degree heat...It sucked tough guy...And I had a 5500 watt generator.
The USA is different from all other empires and great nations in history. It can never fall. /sarc
“Y2K was a real threat that was wisely diverted thru a great deal of money and effort.
Calling it a scam is like describing the flood risk along the Mississippi as a scam.”
Kinda like that biblical Jonah and his Nineveh scam huh?/s
In all seriousness, that truly was a disaster averted.
No, no, no, they just didn’t have the computers required to print enough stimulus. Get your story straight!
“I lucked into some almost free solar panels. ... I hope my hard drives survive if this ever happens, got 6TB of data Id hate to lose.”
Most hard drives, plugged in or not, would be toast. And if your solar panels have any integrated electronics they would be gone, too.
I read about a trick using an old microwave as a protective box for hard drives and small electronics. The post said an old microwave plugged into a grounded outlet can act as a shield for hard drives, acting as a faraday cage. I don’t know if it works, but you might look into it. You could get several external hard drives and rotate them between the computer and the microwave.
Memphis is majority black and can whine with the best of them. They are just ignored on these kind of issues, while New York, Chicago and Washington get the press for minor issues.
Look at much of post-colonial Africa today. Roads collapse and are never repaired. Copper is stripped out to make bracelets and the wiring is never replaced. Etc. I know that Africa is a rather special case, but it proves that declines can become self-reinforcing, even in our modern era.
The difference is, there will be nearly instant recovery from a heat wave. The impact of EMP would decimate the population and recovery would take years, if not decades.
I guess the best thing to do would be to transfer the data to blank blu ray disks.
The solar panels are stored in a shed. They have no integrated electronics other than a 3amp diode to prevent the batteries draining when in the dark. I have a bag of diodes in protected storage that should be alright.
I have tube gear for just in case the solid state stuff is all fried. I can rig a vibrator power convertor for the solar system to power the filament and hi voltages for the old gear if the solid state inverters all fail.
The “sorting out” is the problem, however optimistic a scenario you wish to paint. The book “One Second After” offers a plausible scenario of post EMP chaos and survival. The power will not come back on quickly enough to matter for the sick, frail, or anyone dependent on medication, they will be gone within a month. While we can envision enclaves of technologists (perhaps you and I, for example) who will find ways to spin a water wheel or wind generator, there are more efficient ways to make light and preserve food, especially considering there are a lot more of “them” who would kill and steal to take things of value than there are of “us”. If the majority of the population is reduced to survivalism within a month or two, getting the lights on will be a relatively low priority.
However, generating sufficient power to enable communications would be a top priority, I’m with you there, and ignoring the potential to restore radio communications is one of the few nits I would pick with Forstchen’s book.
There are many who have it worse off than I do...I realize that. Why do have to be a righteous dick about it? This past week wasn’t fun for millions on the East coast. Maybe you should get over it.
“.......The book One Second After offers a plausible scenario of post EMP chaos and survival.......”
Thanks bigbob. I just ordered “”One Second After” from Amazon. Was going to order it in the Kindle edition but decided to instead pay 20 cents more and get the paperback...just in case my wife’s Kindle gets fried by an EMP before I can read the book next week. Just kidding about the EMP—I usually prefer “hard copy”.
maybe you should get over it. Your whining is tiring
The reason is the main transformers that exist at big baseload power plants. There's one monster transformer for each phase. Those have a lead time of over a year. There used to be one and only one plant in the US that made them. A Carrington level event would destroy hundreds of those transformers if the report is to be believed.
It is conceivable that some areas might not recover for decades if at all. The immediate result of a Carrington level event would be the death of millions in a very short time due the loss of modern infrastructure such as water treatment facilities and the ability to transport food stuffs. Large cities would be uninhabitable.
You can forget the idea of continuity of government. I've personally seen the level of planning that ignores reality. Locally during the current power outages, the level of incompetence is staggering. I'm seeing that in the utility effort which exemplifies the failure of top down management or central planning and even the Red Cross which is showing some unbelievable lack of basic preparedness.
It was very instructive to talk to three Red Cross crews in the past two days and realize they are unprepared to the point they can't accomplish something as basic as find an address. Same with the National Guard.
If the basics can't be accomplished in something like the current situation, the reprecussions of a Carrington level event are so extreme they are simply beyond the comprehension of most.
These are pictures of the specialized Schnabel rail cars used to transport the main transformers used at power plants. These are also few and far beween. I suspect there are only a couple in North America.
BTW, there's only one plant that builds large generators in this counry too.
I had the same type of discussion on another thread just tonight.
The thing with people wanting to point to Y2K as an example of why theres no need to prepare is a misnomer, yes nothing happened, but not because there was no problem. Nothing happened because companies and governments spent millions of dollars and IT people spend thousand of man hours fixing the problem before it could occur.
Taking heed of a problem and preventing a disaster does not prove disasters can not happen.
If a farmer stores bails of sand bags and water pumps in case of flooding and one spring the Weather Service announces a river crest thats 6 over the levee that protects his farm, and then he and his neighbors work together and raise the levee a foot. And between the sand bags and the water pumps the farm which is below the rivers crest doesnt flood.
Does that mean the farm was never in any danger of flooding. Was the farmer and his neighbors fools for working so hard to sand bag the levee and keep the pumps running? Hell was it foolish for the farmer to store the sand bags and the pumps to begin with? Was the Weather Service wrong in issuing their Flood Warning?
Pointing to a disaster averted is NO PROOF that disasters can not and will not occur.
I worked on several large/y2k projects, it was real, there were real needs to get those programs updated to ensure things ran without incident.
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