Extended power outages are a real possibility after a serious hurricane, winter storm or even the result of a terrorist attack affecting the power grid or an EMP strike. The U.S. runs on electricity, without a functional power grid the U.S. would come to a standstill. Without electrical power, gas pumps no longer work, scanners at the supermarket will fail, radio and television stations go off the air and computers fail to connect to the web.
Could you provide for your family?
Everyone should plan for and prepare for the possibility of being without power for an extended period of time, but where do you start. What do you need to put away so the next blackout won’t become a nightmare. Let’s take a look…
EMP, or Electromagnetic Pulse Attack. Most of us have heard of it, some of us understand what it is and what it does, and those who have read “One Second After” have an idea of what will happen if we are attacked with it. Some additional info can be found at here.
The U.S. Government created a commission to study EMP and what it could do to the safety and security of the United States. Unfortunately, this Committee published its report the same day as the 911 Commission, so it didn’t get much news coverage. You can read the report at www.empcommission.org. The bottom line in the report is that it is not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ we will be hit.
EMP will take out just about everything electronic, whether it is connected to the grid or sitting unplugged on the kitchen counter. Things connected to the grid may fry from the 100,000-volt surge brought in through the power distribution lines.
In a world where it seems like disaster is looming around every corner, it is tough to know what to expect and prepare for. Preppers are some of the savviest, most informed people out there. They get a bad reputation for being paranoid or are called Doomsdayers or conspiracy theorists. In reality, preppers are aware. They don’t have their heads in the sand. They want to be ready for anything at any time.
One of the scenarios preppers should be preparing for, and one I cover extensively in my fictional book ‘Dark Retreat’, is (you guessed it!) an EMP. An electromagnetic pulse is not something you hear about everyday, but you should. An EMP can cripple a country. It can destroy every nation. If an EMP were to strike in the U.S., it would not only disrupt the country, but the entire world would feel the ripple effects.
An EMP would shut down communications, transportation systems, interrupt the food supply chain and wreak havoc in general. Life as we know it would be gone for good. The power grid would fail, the water supply would fail. It is hard to imagine not being able to turn on a light or get a glass of water from the tap, but it will happen. You won’t be able to call the police for help or run to the hospital when you are sick or injured.
by M. Edwards I struggled with submitting this article because it is not the typical “how to” one might usually find here. Even so, the content is something I’m not seeing elsewhere and I think it needs to be shared. We all know people who think we Preppers are nuts. They must think we are […]
Think of this as a primer if you will. It is written to cover the basics that will matter most to you as a prepper. I am intentionally leaving out a lot of technical jargon; there are others willing to throw that out at you. There will be some terms and concepts that do need to be understood. One I will use a lot is Ground Zero (GZ).
Ground Zero is that point on the surface of the earth directly under, at, or over, a nuclear detonation. Your location, distance, and direction, from GZ is very important.
Alright, we’ve got our Bug Out Bag (BOB) filled with all the essentials of getting from here to there safely. Flashlights, food, bullets and fire makers are all stashed in their own special place in the hopes we never have to use them. We have publications, tools and weapons we want to bring with us. It’s all been calculated and planned down to the last ounce. We’ve drilled and practiced until its second nature to grab the BOB and jump into our predefined spot in the vehicle.
Many people are looking for an inexpensive Faraday cage to protect personal electronics from a nuclear-generated EMP. Unfortunately, it requires quite a bit of test equipment to determine shielding effectiveness. On the transmit side, it requires a signal generator, a high-power amplifier, and a broadband antenna. The receive side requires a small, battery-operated spectrum analyzer. I’ve done quite a bit of testing on various makeshift Faraday cages, and this article discusses the effectiveness of a metal garbage can.
EMP is just a super-duper version of regular old radio frequency interference. With enough signal strength to blast past the reverse voltage limits of most semiconductors, an EMP attack is expected to destroy many solid-state radios, computers, controllers, etc. I *may* have had my own small “EMP” caused by my own ham radio station, and this article explains what I learned.
My solar power system is based on Outback inverters & charge controllers, so I had their computerized Mate3 monitor installed. This is a very compact little special-purpose computer that displays current and daily total power at multiple points throughout the entire solar power system, including panels, chargers, batteries, inverts, circuits and power being sent back to the utility. In my case, I had it connected via cat5 cable to a nearby private WIFI router so I could read the results from my easy chair. (NOT connected to the Internet!)