Skip to comments.After the Lights Go Out: Is Your Community Prepared?
Posted on 08/30/2012 8:13:44 PM PDT by Mad Dawgg
This week, Heritage observed National EMP Awareness Day.
An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on the United States would have truly devastating effects. An attack would change the very fabric of U.S. society, and millions could potentially lose their lives in the aftermath. Yet as the name EMP Awareness Day suggests, Americans and our nations leaders remain woefully unprepared to protect against this threat.
An EMP is a high-intensity burst of electromagnetic energy caused by the rapid acceleration of charged particles. Caused by either a nuclear weapon detonated high in the atmosphere, a radio-frequency weapon, or a naturally occurring solar storm, an EMP event could cause entire regions of the country to lose electricitypermanently. Cars, cell phones, and computers would all be dead. Water, sewer, and electrical networks would fail simultaneously. Banking, transportation, food production and delivery, and even emergency services would collapse.
(Excerpt) Read more at blog.heritage.org ...
When the lights go out in the city and the electricity is all gone. I don’t wanna be the one to tell you we don’t have a back up plan.
Journey eat your heart out.
An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on the United States would have truly devastating effects.Balderdash; the lone sole support for this is a 'tale' of series-wired fluorescent street lights in Hawaii blowing a line fuse ...
Let's take a look at a paper written by somebody who has taken a closer look at this issue (than me even).
Effect of the FAST NUCLEAR ELECTROMAGNETIC PULSE on the Electric Power Grid Nationwide: A Different View(pdf)
by Mario Rabinowitz
of Electric Power Research Institute
Here is the abstract:
This paper primarily considers the potential effects of a single high-altitude nuclear burst on the U.S. power grid.
A comparison is made between EMP and natural phenomena such as lightning. This paper concludes that EMP is no more harmful to the power grid than its counterparts in nature.
An upper limit of the electric field of the very fast, high-amplitude EMP is derived from first principles.
The resulting values are significantly lower than the commonly presented values.
Additional calculations show that the ionization produced by a nuclear burst severely attenuates the EMP.
Not sure how many FReepers are old enough to have seen the above, or remember it, but it is in my book one of the best movies about collapse following a major breakdown of some sort. Not to mention I have always considered Jane Alexander in her prime to be one of the finest example of American womanhood ever, and always worth watching!
The power went off for an hour today, and we broke out the boat stove, and made omelets. :)> ...We are working on our survival skills.
One of my favorite post-apocalyptic movies. Mainly because it looked real. Not the special effects but the way people looked after society broke down. Which is why my opes are not too great for Revolution being all the promos I’ve seen has the young lady looking like she just got her hair done at the stylist.
Now that our society is so tech heavy would an EMP be more damaging? 1960’s electronics compared to 2012’s electronics.
wolf - but look up magnetohydrodynamic effect on long-lines.
A) We engineer for ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) today whereas we did not even just 20 years ago ...
B) The effects of EMP are overstated. (read the EPRI paper above). Starfish Prime effects on Hawaii were really minimal.
Is that the same thing as the E3 pulse of the EMP?
What did the EPRI paper say?
Michael Pritchard: How to make filthy water drinkable
Just wondering considering we’re so “chip heavy” as compared to 1960.
Man made EMPs are more problematic. Suitcased sized EMPs will fry all electronics within a few blocks. The nation wide catastrophe is if they deployed these suit-cased sized EMPs next to the 150-200 power junction points connecting the regional power grids - local power production goes on, but the balancing of supply and demand is destroyed. So unless your town gets most of its power from a steady hydroelectric source or natural gas plant that can moderate power generation to power demand or a local power grid with multiple power sources, we risk an India scale blackout until new transformers are in place. Areas that use more power than can be locally supplied risk brown outs and blackouts. Areas with greater supply than demand can scale back production but face challenges mediating power supply.
The other use for EMPs like this is someone surrounding Google server farms with these things in the back of a bunch of trucks and setting them off, shutting down a major portion of the internet and crippling, but not killing, the economy. Conversely, the same small scale EMPs could be used around the NSA / federal data center being built in Utah to cripple that.
Very large EMPs are the size of big bombs. Someone could probably ship those in via Mexican trucks or Chinese shipping containers. You'd end up with most high end electronics in a major city permanently toasted, a local blackout that takes weeks to repair as you spend time replacing everything burnt out, and deaths from pacemakers, insulin pumps and elevators failing. If there was an attack similar to a large nuclear scale strike on major cities, the same places that are safe from nuclear blasts due to distance and protective mountain ranges are safe from EMP blasts. As with all radiation, twice as far away reduces its strength to a quarter. A number of BIG EMP blasts in the major cities, or even just big ports like Boston, New York, New Orleans and San Francisco could cripple the nation. Not many people would die from these blasts. But if it were set off in a port, you're also in range of the connecting railroad stations and within a short distance of airports, highways and the transportation control centers that keep our Just in Time Economy going. Imagine a traffic jam like people trying to flee Hurricane Katrina, but it is all the people who want to leave AND all the trains are stopped AND all the planes are stuck AND most ships are dead in the water.
People inland and in rural areas are physically fine. Their local water, sewer and probably power are unaffected at first. Then the impact of a JIT delivery system hits. Stores empty from lack of deliveries from the coasts, businesses suffer from challenges shipping anything out, and anyone dependent upon imports suffers. Imagine the business disruptions because of the Japanese tsumani leaving their suppliers short, and then do it to several major manufacturing cities and the hubs that connect the rest of the country. Even if your factory is fine, if you have trouble getting key components, you're idle. And if someone sets of a large EMP weapon somewhere like Houston and Lake Charles, LA at the same time, they've just destroyed a huge proportion of our refining capacity.
And the so called "smart grid" where all appliances are smarter and everything talks to everything else to monitor and manage power usage just makes us MORE vulnerable to EMP strikes.
I think just like many things, we would be looking at bell curve type results.
There would be some areas very heavily hit where nothing electronic works. Not the grid, not the cell towers, not computers or even most transistorized radios.
But there would in all likelihood be other areas where the damage would be much less severe.
A study of the whys/wherefores is something that could only be done following the event.
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