Monday, July 20, 2009

Hmmm...a post-EMP society? How do you prepare?

Thought this was interesting. Sort of what the projected experience of Y2k was thought to be. A very viable threat, giv en the terrorist capabilities of our world today.

:::The Reality of a Post-EMP Attack:
Obviously, the risks to our electrical and utility infrastructures are sufficient to categorize an EMP attack as TEOTWAWKI.  However, the picture painted by most EMP alarmists doesn't do us any favors as we consider our own personal preparations.  I'm convinced that many preparations are either completely ignored, or resources are allocated in less-effective ways because we haven't focused clearly on what a post-EMP society will look like. 

First of all, the lights will likely go out; and for most of the grid they will stay out for a long time. 
However, most of the cars we drive will keep working with minor electrical problems. 
Most gas-powered generators will start up, and as long as the back-up power supply holds out, we might even have land-line and perhaps even cell phone telecommunications.  If service stations have back-up power generation, then gas will still be pumping (plan on paying with cash though) until the tanks run dry.  A national priority will be getting the gasoline distribution lines back up and running and with back-up power at key points, this could be accomplished in a matter of weeks or months. 
If we can get the gasoline flowing, then harvesting equipment will work, the food supply will begin flowing again, and crews will be able to repair the electrical grid. 

Don't get me wrong, an EMP attack would be catastrophic and would probably be the worst attack ever to affect our nation.  Millions would die as a result, but I don't expect it to be the end-game that some make it out to be. 

It should be entirely survivable for a well-informed and well-prepared groups and individuals.

Lessons for Preppers:
Preparing for an EMP can be overwhelming—especially when one fully grasps our reliance upon technology.  Few of us are in a position to buy and move to a resource-rich piece of farmland and then be able to plow, plant, and harvest a decent crop with nothing but 19th century farm implements.  The good news is that even after an EMP, society may remain intact—at least initially.  And just like we see in the novel Patriots, some areas of the country can be expected to escape societal collapse indefinitely. 
For those of us who can't relocate to a retreat property, the proper selection of our current residence can play a significant role in how we might fare after an EMP attack. 

Here are some considerations:

• Do you know where your power comes from?  How far does it travel before it gets to you?  Hydroelectric, nuclear, and wind -powered generators will likely be back online soon and have enough supplied fuel to run indefinitely.  If you live close enough to one of these, then less equipment needs to be repaired before getting your town or city back online.

• Do you know where your water comes from?  How much treatment is required to make it suitable for human consumption?  Those living in mountainous areas will likely see minimal impact to their water supply after an EMP.  Fresh gravity-fed water usually requires less chemical treatment and no electrical pumps to fill water storage tanks.  Those living in flat areas and who rely upon treated river or ground water pumped into water towers will likely suffer the most from water shortages after an EMP.  Hygiene-related diseases will spread quickly; and if you also happen to live in a relatively dry climate, then dehydration deaths will soar as well.

• Do you know where your gasoline comes from?  Do you live close to a refinery, or does your fuel come from a combination of pipelines and tanker trucks.  If you live close to a major gas pipeline terminal then your location will likely be better supplied than areas located off the main trunk lines.  Refining capacity will be limited and gasoline will be rationed, but expect those towns closest to the source to be in better shape than those further away and to be among the first areas where order is restored—if lost.

• Do you know where your food comes from and could your area be food self-sufficient if needed? Those living on the fringes of America's bread basket will be better off than those living in the large cities on the East Coast. 
Your grocery store has about three days worth of food without an EMP and about three hours worth of food with an EMP. 
Regional food distribution warehouses carry about 30 days worth of food—much of which is dependent upon refrigeration.  Do you know how close you live to one of these regional warehouses?  Living close to the regional food distribution centers could buy you and your town some time, but the best solution is to live close to a productive agricultural region—supplemented with your own stored food.  The apple you eat today could have been picked 3,000 miles away almost 8 months ago.  It has been stored in one of these warehouses in a carefully climate-controlled environment.  How will your location be affected by a lack of modern food distribution?

• Do you know the kind of people who live in your area?  Not all demographics are created equal when it comes to EMPs.  Do you live in an area where people are looking for an excuse to riot or loot or do you find yourself among hardworking, religious people who tend to support each other? 
Notice the different responses between a tornado hitting a small town in Oklahoma and a flooded neighborhood in New Orleans, or even something as inconsequential as a national basketball championship in Los Angeles?  Not all big cities are created equal and not all small towns are created equal either. 
If there is a large number of welfare-dependent residents in rental housing nearby, I would seriously consider moving. 
A demographic with a low-income, highly liberal population will pose different threats than a demographic with a high-income, conservative population after an EMP.  Populations who support a larger role of government in providing security and livelihood tend to react negatively when neither is provided on demand. 
A good resource to analyze these risks on a state by state and county by county basis is the book Strategic Relocation by Joel Skousen.

When it's all said and done, we need to accurately understand the threats we are preparing for in order to make wise decisions regarding our limited resources.  An EMP would be catastrophic for sure; but the reality of life "post-EMP" is likely to be much different than the most-common pictures being painted these days.  Do your own due diligence, research the risks and how they affect you specifically, and you will be much better off than just taking the arm-chair advice of even the loudest prognosticators -- this author included.

The rest of the article, talking about what an EMP is and can do, and what levels to expect is really good and informative.

Just something to think about.


Aimee Kieffer, aka "Momzoo" said...

Interesting thoughts. I am good with food, I have pretty close to a year supply, but I need to store more water and gas. I am thankful to live in a conservative, religious neighborhood most of the people I know have food stockpiled,I would say 90% of the people in my area have something stored.

Anonymous said...

Here are a couple of interesting things related to EMP:

One Second After:

Hope we don't scare ourselves witless!


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

Blog Archive