Category: Natural Disaster

A Massive Electromagnetic Pulse Could Collapse The Economy In A Single Moment

A Massive Electromagnetic Pulse Could Collapse The Economy In A Single Moment

What would you do if all the lights went out and they never came back on?

That is a question that the NBC series “Revolution” asks… but most people have no idea that a similar thing could happen in real life at any moment.  A single gigantic electromagnetic pulse over the central United States could potentially fry most of the electronics from coast to coast if it was powerful enough.  This could occur in a couple of different ways. 

If a powerful nuclear weapon was exploded at a high enough altitude, it could produce an electromagnetic pulse powerful enough to knock out electronics all over the country.  Alternatively, a massive solar storm could potentially cause a similar phenomenon to happen just about anywhere on the planet without much warning.  Of course not all EMP events are created equal.  An electromagnetic pulse can range from a minor inconvenience to a civilization-killing event.

It just depends on how powerful it is.  But in the worst case scenario, we could be facing a situation where our electrical grids have been fried, there is no heat for our homes, our computers don’t work, the Internet does not work, our cell phones do not work, there are no more banking records, nobody can use credit cards anymore, hospitals are unable to function, nobody can pump gas, and supermarkets cannot operate because there is no power and no refrigeration.  Basically, we would witness the complete and total collapse of the economy.  According to a government commission that looked into these things, approximately two-thirds of the U.S. population would die from starvation, disease and societal chaos within one year of a massive EMP attack.  It would be a disaster unlike anything we have ever seen before in U.S. history.

Most people are completely unaware regarding what an EMP attack could do to this nation, but the threat is very real.  There was even a congressional commission that studied the potential effects of an EMP attack on the United States for eight years

The US Congress in 2000 established the Congressional Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack. In 2004, the committee produced a 70-page executive summary on the EMP threat, and it issued a final report on the matter in 2008. According to the report, “several potential adversaries have or can acquire the capability to attack the United States with a high-altitude nuclear weapon-generated electromagnetic pulse (EMP). A determined adversary can achieve an EMP attack capability without having a high level of sophistication.”

Dr. William Graham was the chairman of that commission, and he says that an EMP attack could knock the United States back into the 1800s in just a single moment

An EMP attack “could not only take down power grids, which are fragile anyway in this country, and telecommunications networks, and financial networks, and traffic controls and many other things, but in addition, there is a very close interrelationship among those national infrastructure capabilities,” Graham says.

“So, for example, we need telecommunications to re-establish the power network, and we need the power network to keep telecommunications going for more than a few hours. And we need the financial network to continue to operate to maintain the economy, we need the transportation system, roads, street lights, control systems, to operate just to get people to the failed power, telecommunication and other systems,” he adds.

Life after an EMP attack “would probably be something that you might imagine life to be like around the late 1800s but with several times the population we had in those days, and without the ability of the country to support and sustain all those people,” Graham says. “They wouldn’t have power. Food supplies would be greatly taken out by the lack of transportation, telecommunication, power for refrigeration and so on.”

Unfortunately, very few of us are equipped to survive in such an environment.  We have become incredibly dependent on technology, and most Americans would have no idea how to do something as simple as growing their own food.  Most people would be in a very serious amount of trouble in a very short period of time.

An article by Mac Slavo detailed some of the things that we could expect in the aftermath of a massive electromagnetic pulse…

The first 24 – 48 hours after such an occurrence will lead to confusion among the general population as traditional news acquisition sources like television, radio and cell phone networks will be non-functional.

Within a matter of days, once people realize the power might not be coming back on and grocery store shelves start emptying, the entire system will begin to delve into chaos.

Within 30 days a mass die off will have begun as food supplies dwindle, looters and gangs turn to violent extremes, medicine can’t be restocked and water pump stations fail.

Are you prepared for such an event?

If not, why not?

And actually, high altitude nuclear explosions and solar storms are not the only things that could produce sizable EMP bursts.

For example, the U.S. military has developed “a directed electromagnetic pulse gun” that can take out all electronics within a limited area.  This kind of weapon can be fired from a plane, a cruise missile or even a drone.  The following is from a recent WND article

A pre-programmed cruise missile not too different from a drone has been proven to be capable of blasting out an EMP-type microwave that was able to destroy personal computers and electrical systems inside a building over which it was flying.

The U.S. Air Force and its contractor Boeing have created the High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project, or CHAMP, which was just tested over a Utah desert.

Other nations such as Russia and China are busy developing similar weapons.  The ability to instantly take out the electronics of the enemy would be a very powerful advantage.

Even North Korea has been working on this kind of technology.  According to Newsmax, it is believed that they may have tested a “Super-EMP” weapon back in 2009

North Korea’s last round of tests, conducted in May 2009, appear to have included a “super-EMP” weapon, capable of emitting enough gamma rays to disable the electric power grid across most of the lower 48 states

As this technology becomes more widespread, it will soon be accessible to just about everyone.  You don’t actually need a nuclear weapon to set off a massive electromagnetic pulse.  A non-nuclear pulse generator can do the same thing.  If you set one off next to a power station you could potentially take out the electrical grid for an entire region.

It’s been theorized that enemies could even use portable radio frequency weapons to do a tremendous amount of electromagnetic damage over a more limited area.  The following is from a recent article by F. Michael Maloof

Such an individual with a penchant for electronics can pull together components from a Radio Shack or electronic store – even order the components off of selected Internet websites – and fashion a radio frequency, or RF, weapon.

As microprocessors become smaller but more sophisticated, they are even more susceptible to an RF pulse. The high power microwave from an RF weapon produces a short, very high power pulse, said to be billions of watts in a nanosecond, or billionths of a second.

This so-called burst of electromagnetic waves in the gigahertz microwave frequency band can melt electrical circuitry and damage integrated circuits, causing them to fail.

What’s most alarming is that constructing a radio frequency weapon is, on the relative scale of things, not that difficult.

People need to realize that we live in a world where technology is absolutely exploding and we are dealing with threats that previous generations never even dreamed of.  As the world becomes increasingly unstable, it is inevitable that these kinds of weapons will be used.

It is only a matter of time.

What will life look like after an EMP weapon is used?

That is something to think about.

And we also need to keep watching the sun.  It could produce a massive electromagnetic pulse at literally any moment.  As I have written about previously, scientists tell us that it is only a matter of time before we are hit with a technology-crippling solar super storm.

Most people don’t even realize that the massive solar storm of 1859 fried telegraph machines all over Europe and North America.  If such a storm hit us today, the damage would potentially be in the trillions of dollars.  The following is from a recent New York Times article

A powerful solar (or “geomagnetic”) storm has the potential to simultaneously damage multiple transformers in the electricity grid and perhaps even bring down large sections of it, affecting upwards of a hundred million people in the United States for many months, if not years.

These huge transformers are expensive and difficult to replace, and not many are stockpiled in the United States for an emergency. In the worst case, the impact would be devastating: An outage could cost a few trillion dollars, with full recovery taking years. Not only would parts of the grid be compromised, but telephone networks, undersea cables, satellites and railroads also would be affected.

A 2008 National Academy of Sciences study warned that “because of the interconnectedness of critical infrastructures in modern society,” the “collateral effects of a longer-term outage” would likely include “disruption of the transportation, communication, banking and finance systems, and government services; the breakdown of the distribution of potable water owing to pump failure; and the loss of perishable foods and medications because of lack of refrigeration.”

By the way, 2013 is the peak of the current solar cycle.  So we are moving into a time period when conditions will be very favorable for solar storms.

Let us hope that we are never hit with a massive electromagnetic pulse that is strong enough to take out all of our electronics.

But if it did happen, and all the lights went out for good, what would you do?

Please feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below…

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By Michael Snyder – www.theeconomiccollapseblog.com

Edit – MFSP

The Old-School Forgotten Art To EMP-Proof Electronics

The Old-School Forgotten Art To EMP-Proof Electronics

Even though we’ve all seen the effects of solar flares and their ability to knock out electricity and communications, some do not believe that an EMP attack will lead to social collapse. But it will…

As someone that loves to tinker with electronic devices, I am a firm believer in the potential for both natural (odds have increased substantially in the last few months because Earth’s magnetic field is weakening faster than expected) and human-made EMP attacks.

That being said, I also know that many of the worst problems that will come from an EMP attack can be reduced by using older technologies that rely on electronic components which are far less vulnerable to an EMP.

Electronic Devices Are Not As Complex As You Might Think

If you find yourself confused by electronic devices, simply remember that every component does one of five things with mathematical precision depending on the materials used:

  • allows electrons to flow through it
  • does not allow electrons to flow through it
  • prevents electrons from flowing until enough of them build up on one end of the component
  • allows electrons to flow if they are moving in one direction, but not if they try to go the opposite way
  • atoms within the component may change the organization of their own electrons so that the flow of electricity is accelerated, slowed down, or number of passing electrons increases

Once you understand what each component does, connecting parts in various patterns will create larger devices that meet specific goals.

All you need are the right components and a diagram that shows you how to arrange them.

Electronics Before Integrated Circuit (IC) Electronics

While Tesla and Edison were battling for control of how electricity would be produced and transmitted, most people were relying on oil lamps for light and cranks to start their automobile engines.

Interestingly enough, everything from the first telephones, victrolas, and radios, to televisions and nuclear bombs operated without the use of microchips and other semiconductor components that are highly vulnerable to EMP attack.

Therefore, if we go back to “old fashioned” electronics, we can both store and maintain EMP resistant devices.  Perhaps even better, when you go back to basic electronics, you can fashion components from the same kinds of Earth or nature/wilderness based materials that you might use for a fishing pole or some other survival need.

To Build Or Not Build Semiconductors?

electronics

As you may be aware, a semiconductor is a special material that is selective in how to allow or denies passage of electrons.

When semiconductors are arranged in layers with insulators (materials that do not allow the flow of electrons) and conductors (materials that easily allow transmission of electrons), you can create all kinds of fascinating effects that take the place of older style electronic components.

This includes resistors, capacitors, relays, diodes, crystals, vacuum tubes, transistors and circuits (paths that arrange electronic components).

Many people today mistakenly believe that it is not possible to avoid using semiconductors in electronic devices. Further, there is also a belief that semiconductors will not be available because the technology will be lost to build integrated circuits.

That being said, you can still create some semiconductor based applications by layering glass and copper.  You can also use crystals, capacitors, and resistors to duplicate transistor effects. While they may take more power and require more maintenance, they will still be of use until other technologies can be recovered.

Simple Devices That You Can Build And Keep On Hand

Here are just a few simple things you can use to make fairly powerful electronic components.  Once you master making these basic elements, you can easily go on to building radios, transmitters, perimeter defense alerts, generators, and jury rigging for bypassing electronic systems in other gadgets.

  • salt water, oil, and paper based capacitors
  • wood and paper based resistors
  • speaker wire and metal rings for coils
  • simple grounds from wire and nails
  • earth batteries
  • solar power arrays that use heat to generate electricity
  • Tesla turbines and shell designs that run on moving water or air
  • quartz crystals for translation of sound to electrical pulses

Suggestions for Further Study

Not so long ago, you could visit your local Radio Shack store and pick up an electronics project kit that would easily teach you about electronic components and how to arrange them into useful circuits.

Unfortunately, if you walk into a Radio Shack these days, all you see are endless arrays of cell phones and pre-built devices while “old fashioned” electronic components are relegated to dusty bins in the darkest corner of the store.

To add insult to injury, project kits for kids these days are little more than solar cells, snap together robots, and an IC chip that do very little in the way of hands on educational building and exploration.

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From that perspective, I recommend starting off with a used book on introductory electronics. Make sure the table of contents includes information on basic principles of electron movement, resistors, capacitors, diodes, transistors, relays, crystals, and coils.  There are also some good YouTube videos available if you would prefer that form of learning.  I also highly recommend the Mechanical Universe series if you are math inclined and want to delve into physics more than electronics.

If you do some research online, you will also find a few places that offer surplus electronic components.  You can get grab bags of different components to practice with, and then gradually move towards making your own parts.  For example, once you build a simple FM radio from basic parts, you can go on to make your own capacitors, etc as the next stage in your learning. With regard to tools I recommend the following:

  • a multi-meter that measures AC/DC, amperage, resistance, and capacitance.  It does not need to be digital or hook up to a computer
  • a good quality soldering iron with variable heat settings
  • circuit board etching kit
  • breadboards and wire connectors for practicing
  • grounding strap and non-magnetic tools
  • calming aides for your family members if they fear you will blow up the house or get into some other silly mischief
  • a place to work outside the house if calming aides do not work.

“Old fashioned” resistors, capacitors, relays, diodes, crystals, and simple wire can be used to build radios, transmitters, generators, and many other simple devices. While you may not be able to repair a cell phone or computer, these old technologies offer a starting point that can be used for survival, and ultimately, recapturing lost solid state and other technologies.

Perhaps even better, if you know how to create these simple electronic parts, you can also make them on your own from bits of paper, ore bearing rocks, natural crystals, and other items that you don’t normally think about in terms of building electronic devices.

By Carmella Tyrell 

www.survivopedia.com

Testing Your Emergency Plan

Testing Your Emergency Plan
photo source: caldwellcountync.org

If you read my column regularly, you know the importance of an emergency plan as an integral component of your overall urban survival skills. Yes, it’s great if you keep a first aid kit, MRE and water on-hand, but unless you’ve mapped out how you plan to use your supplies, you’ll be a lot less effective in helping yourself, your family or your neighbors to get through a natural disaster or civil emergency. An emergency plan is vital, and testing that plan is equally critical.

When Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast, we were within the projected path, giving us a chance to really test our emergency plan. We went through all the details that I’ve mentioned to you in previous blogs, and guess what? We found holes in our own emergency plan! Thankfully, we didn’t get hit by the storm directly, and this valuable experience has helped us identify the changes that needed to be made.

How concerned should you be about an emergency plan run-through? I’ll give you some examples of situations that people have found themselves in, and let you be the judge:

  • During a power outage, the homeowner retrieves a flashlight, only to discover that the batteries, which were stored inside the flashlight, have gone dead. (Tip: To keep batteries from discharging, don’t insert them into your flashlight until you need them.)
  • Emergency supplies were stored in different areas of the house, making it difficult to find them during a power outage, slowing evacuation.
  • The backup generator has been stored for years without being used, causing the fuel inside to spoil and making it impossible to start.
  • Critical emergency supplies were storied in the basement and were flooded before they could be used.

Testing your emergency plan doesn’t require you to wait for a massive storm. Simply set up scenarios that you could likely face in a real emergency. I’ll give you three possible drills you could test against your emergency plan, and this will get you thinking about others practice runs you could create for other potential situations you could face.

  • High winds snap a tree branches, plunging your town into darkness. You need to be able to find your generator in the dark, get it started and run the appropriate extension cords to critical appliances.
  • A tanker truck crashes on a nearby road, emitting a toxic cloud. You need to have your go-bag (including food water, spare clothes, insurance papers, ID, prescriptions and any other items) and your family in the car within five minutes, ready to evacuate.
  • You’re alerted to a surprise snowstorm while at work. You need to plan out an effective route home, both by your normal route and by a secondary route in case the roads are clogged. You also need to contact all family members, arrange transportation home, and ensure that there’s enough food in the house to endure multiple days stuck inside.

If you have kids, you certainly don’t want to scare them with doomsday scenarios, but teaching them age-appropriate preparedness skills will make them better equipped to face the realities of life. Many stories have been told of children who saved the family from harm by knowing what to do in an emergency. And instilling your family members with the idea that you’re all a responsible for each others well being is never a bad thing.

Be safe and stay alert,

By Thomas Sciacca – www.campingsurvivalblog.com

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