Skip to comments.Life After An EMP Attack: No Power, No Food, No Transportation, No Banking And No Internet
Posted on 02/23/2012 8:49:06 AM PST by chessplayer
Most Americans do not know this, but a single EMP attack could potentially wipe out most of the electronics in the United States and instantly send this nation back to the 1800s. If a nuclear bomb was exploded high enough in the atmosphere over the middle part of the country, the electromagnetic pulse would fry electronic devices from coast to coast. The damage would be millions of times worse than 9/11. Just imagine a world where nobody has power, most cars will not start, the Internet has been fried, the financial system is offline indefinitely, nobody can make any phone calls and virtually all commerce across the entire country is brought to a complete stop. A nation that does not know how to live without technology would be almost entirely stripped of it at that point. Yes, this could really happen. An EMP attack is America's "Achilles heel", and everyone around the world knows it. It is only a matter of time before someone uses an EMP weapon against us, and at this point we are pretty much completely unprepared.
(Excerpt) Read more at endoftheamericandream.com ...
“I would venture NO. “
They have. It simply didn’t end the world as we know it. EMP has been blown out of proportion by the survivalist drama queens. EMP simply is a rather weak force generated by all nuclear bombs, and while it can affect some long wire devices, it simply will not destroy all things electronic or electrical. The most I would prepare for in the event of an EMP burst is perhaps the electricity going out for a few days if it actually managed to do any damage to my electrical distribution system. The problem is only two countries have the ability to launch a nuke over the US; the US and the old Soviet Union States. Not much to worry about. If the Soviet nuke us they are going for broke with lots of nukes hitting all over the place and EMP is the least of our worries.
14 miles isn’t at all irrelevant. For straight up travel it’s a huge distance, and for the coverage area it’s a dramatic reduction.
Not assuming anything. A nuke big enough to put forth an EMP that would remain strong enough to do damage to electronic systems would weigh thousands of pounds. And again we’re talking about moving something straight up, adding a zero to the weight of your payloads multiplies the effort necessary by more than 1 zero. Straight up is the hardest direction to travel, all distances and weights are magnified.
If they’re going to launch nukes at the east coast the point will be the nuke itself not the EMP. That’s always been the problem with the EMP fear, for the size of the nuke necessary and for the effort to get it there you can do more damage easier with the actual explosion part. That’s why EMPs were never part of our strategic plan, or the USSR’s, because we all figured out if you’re gonna nuke somebody NUKE em.
Great piece, Cuban Leaf. I intend to pass this around while noting that it has a copyright. Thanks.
“Exactly right. I bet I am one of a handful of Freepers that have actually worked on, around, and in nuclear weapons with the DOE NNSA/OST. EMP is real, however its effect is exaggerated. “
It depends what you mean by “exaggerated”. If you are saying that the “Hollywood” version of everything that uses an electron dies, I agree.
What isn’t clear is what specifically it would affect, and to what extent.
What is likely is that it will be statistical impact. You take 10 identical devices, some number will be unaffected, some will need a reboot, and some will be bricked.
This is a gross abbreviation What the military basically says is that you need to reduce the Nuclear EMP by a factor of 10,000 to be assured that your electronics will not fail, or be permanently degraded.
What does the average person need to be sure their electronics won’t be adversely impacted by EMP? There is and will never be effective guidance on that.
The power grid is another story. The nature of an EMP can have a profound impact on transformers and other power grid elements. The trend towards higher transmission voltages, in some respects makes, the vulnerability worse.
What happened in Hawaii that is often written about is probably not relevant today - as we have a different grid today than we did then.
So the answer is, in my opinion, yes it is exaggerated by Hollywood, but no its not necessarily well understood - and it could have a significant societal impact, but not “back to the stone age” stuff.
Except Obama is downsizing our nuke force by 80 percent
So it only takes out the electronics in the eastern half of the US. wow big improvement
I’m not worried about the USSR or even China, they aren’t going to do it. Iran, Pakistan or another country with a limited supply of nukes may see this as a way of striking the US.
People like Iran want Armageddon.
While we are on the subject of GOOD FICTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.....
....might as well mention On the Beach since we all need to prepare for mass suicide...>GIT UR Cyanide now!...
...and how about Lucifer's Hammer...All of you preppers need to sell any property lower than 7,000 feet below sea level, and
....finally, Earth Abides. Be sure to store rattlesnakes in your bug out bag so you can become immune to human-destroying virus's!
Actually, the death and mayhem will be more extensive than you apparently imagine. Think of the planes int he air which will drop wherever they happen to be at the time of the EMP, the massive trucks which will crash to a halt among the litter of autos suddenly stopped in a chaotic mass accidents, the fires which will erupt, with no fire fighters rolling to the rescue, no water being pumped into the immediately drained water towers, the gas lines drained from eruptions and fires all over the pipeline system ... the continent would be lucky to just get tossed into the 1800s ... the chaos and mayhem will be on the order of stone age meets special forces. And it won’t take long for the surviving feral ones to become very well armed and roaming nearly unopposed through every neighborhood within their walking distance and then driving distance when they get vehicles operating. Yeah, teotwawki will be much more catastrophic than you can imagine. Trust me, I’m a writer.
“In my estimation in many areas the resulting panic and unrest will cause as much or more damage than the actual attack. “
I agree, Jim Burkes books are very good too.
My son met Burke at ASU 10-12-years ago.
What protects chips from absorbing the charge? What is that little thingy that your computer is plugged into? How does it work? Why do they recommend that you connect your electronics (including your TV) to those little thingies with the extra outlets in it?
Just Google "Carrington Event" and "Farady Cage" for starters.
No offense, but MMGW can produce a lot of studies too.
I don't doubt the effect would be damaging if not devastating to certain areas. I picture a few cities of New Orleans style disasters (without structural damage and death).
Remember, they didn't even use grounding in the 1940's. Circuit breakers and fuses were primitive compared to today. They didn't even completely understand the correlation between conductor size, voltage, amperage and phases to properly ground systems and breakers. It's why there are so many fewer electrical fires today than say 50 years ago.
Again, I accept the reality that large localized power outage and device destruction is likely. But I don't think Denver and Ohio would be plunged into the 1800's if a EMP detonated 250 miles above Kansas. I have read about the experiments that have been done. While a small island can be affected with 1940's technology from 400 miles away, I remain skeptical that the entire nation would be plunged into the 1800's for 5 to 10 years.
Ping to the ‘snap!’ List! (in case some of you are not on Kartographer’s prepper list).
Hell the border is so porous al-Qaeda could just drive one across the border in a Tijuana Taxi!
While everyone is doing this^^^^^^^^^^
I'll be doing this ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ at the Drunken Clam.
Thanks for the hugh chuckle. Seriesly!
yup use the Rodney king beating as an example
To “only” take out the electronics on the eastern half they still need to increase the size of their payload that they’re getting to that altitude by about 20 fold. Quite a few serious jumps in their technology.
If they want armageddon the best bang for the buck is ground nukes. Cheaper, easier to transport (heck you can ship them in here if you can forge documents), much more destructive. The more limited your supply of nukes the more reason there is to NOT waste any on a silly assed high altitude EMP. Putting one in a truck next to the bull on Wall Street will kill more people with less effort lower traceability and lower failure rate.
“But I don’t think Denver and Ohio would be plunged into the 1800’s if a EMP detonated 250 miles above Kansas. “
Not by the EMP, by the resulting breakdown in society.
The Report Card for America's Infrastructure, prepared by the American Society of Civil Engineers, gives the US Electric Grid a rating of D. Its summary says the following:
The U.S. power transmission system is in urgent need of modernization. Growth in electricity demand and investment in new power plants has not been matched by investment in new transmission facilities. Maintenance expenditures have decreased 1% per year since 1992. Existing transmission facilities were not designed for the current level of demand, resulting in an increased number of "bottlenecks," which increase costs to consumers and elevate the risk of blackouts."
ERCOT in Texas is trying to put 3 billion into infrastructure upgrade.
A late second to this - please tell your friend Mr. Forstchen I found his book to be chilling as you say, and really an eye-opener. I’m honestly not sure this is not the #1 threat, when you do an objective analysis (and ignore the ignorant comments here and elsewhere). It’s a case of bang for the buck, and all an enemy has to go is detonate one nuclear EMP weapon successfully to basically sent us back to the 1850s “one second after”. Not only is the gov’t not preparing for this, but I’m afraid there is not much that they COULD do to prepare. It would quickly come down to survival, not based on how much stuff you’ve accumulated, but on how much knowledge a person possesses.
Exactly, just look at what happened in NYC in 1977, in just minutes after the blackout.
An "EMP Bomb" is really just a nuclear or thermonuclear bomb.
It is a documented and well known fact that nuclear and thermonuclear explosions create an EMP effect. In fact, the man-made version of the phenomena became known by observing the aftereffects of nuclear explosions.
An EMP event, manmade or natural, is a very real threat.
The military and government has, and is, spending untold millions trying to sheild critical systems from EMP effects.
Anyone who believes what post #101 says is true should go to the links below and do their own independent research:
Yep. I worked with the DoD and DoE in regards to both weapons development and weapons effects. I am REAL familiar with EMP and all other effects as my job was to be the "expert" for the big wigs at the Pentagon and the political class, including the White House.
EMP can do major damage but the Chicken Little's who run around claiming the sky is going to fall have another agenda.
I say "follow the money."
But if Denver and Ohio aren’t effected by the EMP there isn’t going to be a breakdown in society. You know how much people west of the Mississippi were effected by that big north eastern black out? We weren’t. It was a curiosity on the news, anybody that had relatives in the area maybe spent a few minutes worrying, other than that life went on. If Kansas loses its electronic brain that’s not going to effect much of the rest of the country in any way.
In 2011 Texas a power exporter had blackouts due to just a couple plants going off line due to the weather and that’s nothing compared to what is being discussed here.
They actually have built and detonated one in the 1960’s, and it worked pretty well. It knocked power out in Hawaii, I think and caused various and sundry issues.
Like anything else, a SINGLE EMP detonation (discharge?) likely wouldn’t wipe it all out, but it would do damage.
Irreversable damage? No.
Best place for EMP in the order of battle is to move it up front and use it while blinding the other guy’s comms satellites using something that isn’t going to pollute low-earth orbit with millions of bits of high speed junk that will eventually take out your satellites.
After that, you pretty much have to invade at that point. If not, then don’t bother and just start making neutron bombs in sufficient quantities that you aim to depopulate the US so that you can invade them. The neutron bombs have the EMP effect you are looking for as well.
Nobody’s going to set of a supermassive EMP device and then leave us alone in the 17th century. They’ll use it and then invade.
You’d have to want to take us for just the mineral goods, and then discount all the intellectual property and human capital to zero. To much cost and too little return.
You’d have to take us intact and convince our scientists that there’s a new boss and they are better being alive and productive than brave and dead.
Colonialism is an anachronism. If China had enough water to cut loose Tibet, they likely would. It’s a pain in the neck. So much cheaper to control nations through debt instruments than through force of arms.
Fortunately the sequential taillights are motorized, not electronic so they’ll continue to impress. ;-)
Got the wrong sow, much like an EMP I’m sure you’ll survive.
Works for me. That's the best idea I've heard yet.
We saw a breakdown of society in New Orleans. The same did not happen in other areas.
Saw the upper east coast was attacked by nuke or EMP. Sure the west would not be immediately impacted but the economy would collapse. Martial law would probably be declared.
depends on the attack, to say EMP isn’t real is wrong. Are there other threats which are possibly greater? Yes, but its wise to consider EMP as a possibility in your plans.
I can't argue that. People can be pretty unpredictable, especially in large population centers where fear begets fear and there are mob tendencies.
I live in the suburbs and could feed the family with rabits and canadian geese for a while anyway. :o) Any neighbor who complains about hunting at the retention pond doesn't get any of the take.
Read the book Lights Out for an interesting take on life after an EMP attack. Some of it is a little over the top and requires a bit of suspension of disbelief, but it is an interesting read.
250 miles over Kansas?
Called Nuke um from Orbit.
But again that was only IN the effected area. Dallas didn’t freak out.
The economy probably wouldn’t collapse. The western US economy is a lot more dependent on CA than NYC. Things would be a little lumpy for a few weeks while we got up a new stock market, but we’d get that together. Data these days is spread around. Martial law might be declared in the effected area, but again the rest of the country would go on.
It’s a waste of time to consider EMP. It’s an ineffective attack that we have no indication anybody actually wants to use. Anybody with a limited supply of nukes will go for ground or near ground explosions, much more effective. It takes a very specific combination to make an EMP attack that would be effective: a big nuke and the ability to get it 250 miles in the air. Not many have it, and even the ones that do don’t consider it an effective form of attack.
I may be a patriotic fool, blinded by pride in my fellow countrymen. I do not believe any nation could coordinate a successful invasion of the US mainland. As long as they have to put armed boots on the ground, I believe in us.
I believe in America where if war came to my backyard, I’d be perched in an upstairs window armed to the teeth along with my neighbors in their windows. The wife and kids might be elsewhere.
“...A gun behind every blade of grass.”
“I seem to recall that the single largest atmospheric nuclear test ever conducted was by the Soviets and was a stratospheric detonation of something around 50 megatons yield. “
Ah, yes. The TSAR bomba, over the islands of Novaya Zemlya, in 1961:
Is there any possibility that you can develop an ability to use herbal/naturopathic medicine that would replace this one vital med?
In our experience, the doctor has been after my husband to get him on diabetes medication for a while now. - Thing is, his blood sugar level is not high. Very rarely, it will get a little over 100, but most times it runs well under 100.
He takes chromium, benfotiamine (a B vitamin), and sometimes cinnamon. Has lost a lot of weight lately.
I take blood pressure meds, and it seems like they keep ramping the “normal” BP numbers down to ridiculously low numbers, almost like the drug companies intend to eventally get EVERYONE on their drugs no matter how low their BP is. 120/80 used to be the norm, and always what mine ran when I was younger and skinnier.
I tend to agree, but you never know about warfare and the technology behind it.
I’m quite positive the Japanese felt similarly until we dropped the bomb on them - twice. One time to show we could do it, and against everything Truman was as a person, one more time to show we’d be willing to keep on dropping bombs.
Combine a technology that could be used to disable or render useless our existing armed force with something as devastating to a local populace as a 20KT bomb and we’d likely surrender. You could levy terms around paying a tribute of certain types of commodities with the promise that if we didn’t pay the enemy would pick a new city to waste. We’d surrender.
Hell, if Russia hit us with an ICBM right now, I’d say it’s only a 40 percent likelihood Obama would retaliate.
What you gonna do for gasoline?
I am not convinced that anything less than 2 dozen weapons at high altitudes (nothing like 250 miles) would be necessary to completely destroy our power system and immobilize our population.
It is not a simple matter to evaluate. Depends on the device targeted and the weapon design. Not just Kiloton blast size. EMP weapons are low yield nukes in terms of blast. Frequency of pulse generated. distance does deteriorate the electromagnetic pulse. Especially outside out ozone layer.
This type of weapon is not a magic bullet.
And there is the question of what price the aggressor will pay in our retaliation. That is a serious deterrent. Unless Obozo is successful in reducing the numbers like he plans. Talk of reducing our inventory to 300 weapons. (all types) Insanity!
Can you say "Northeast Blackout" of 1965 and 2003?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.