7 actions to take immediately following an EMP strike

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by melbo, Aug 20, 2014.


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  1. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    The threat of an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) strike on this country is a very well documented one, I have written about the threat in the past and have used information from the EMP Commission report which was published in 2004 in several of my articles. Most recently I read an article published over on the Economic Collapse Blog which sums up nicely what impact an EMP strike would have on our country.

    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.

    emp1. So what actions should you take immediately following an EMP strike? Remember that time will be critical, the first few hours (days at most) will enable you to get a jump on everyone else and set the stage for your success. You will immediately know that an EMP, be it from a nuclear weapon or massive solar flare, will have struck your area. Your car will no longer work, your cell phone won’t work, the power will be out everywhere, planes will have fallen from the sky. You will know it was an EMP but the vast majority of the public will not, they will be quite literally sitting around waiting for someone to tell them what to do. You won’t know how large the scope of the strike is but you will have to assume the worst, which would be a nationwide outage.

    First things first, if you are at work, get home. Your boss no longer has authority over you, your co-workers no longer are a priority. They will be trying to restart a computer that will never again work, trying to restart their smartphone, sitting in the break room trying to call 911 and saying things like: “This is ridiculous, I’m going to miss my 3pm sales call!” You on the other hand will go to you car and change into the extra set of clothes and shoes you keep in the trunk. You will don your “get home bag” and start walking, hopefully your walk will not take more than a day.

    Once home it is time to start implementing your plan. Remember time is absolutely critical and you only have a small window of it in order to set yourself up for success. During these initial hours and days people will still have faith that some sort of government agency will come in to make everything better. They will expect to see the power come back on any minute because someone will surely do something. They will tell each other to sit tight, just hold on for a day or so because eventually the HMMWV’s will roll in loaded with supplies and some military officer or government official will explain that this is merely a temporary problem, nothing to worry about, sorry for the inconvenience. You know better because you realize just how devastating an EMP strike is and the reality is that it could be months before systems start to come back online. It will only take a week or two (at most) before things start getting really ugly because people start going hungry. With all of that that in mind you take these 7 actions because you were prepared for this to happen.

    1- Use your cash. In the first few days after an EMP strike cash will still have value. Take all of your cash and that radio flyer wagon your kids have and walk down to the corner store. Avoid the big retail stores, I suggest finding the corner gas station or local drug store. The owner of the store will no doubt be there, concerned that the items in the store are unprotected during a power outage. Explain to the owner that you are in need of some supplies, can pay cash and do not require change. Tell him/her that you will give them an extra $100 to allow you to “shop” for a few minutes. Load up your wagon with anything you can find to include cash1. medication, candy bars, water bottles, pop tarts, lighters, hand sanitizer etc etc. Of course you should be well stocked at home but you might as well get rid of your worthless paper money in exchange for any amount of extra supplies you can get your hands on. In a week (maybe less) most stores will be completely looted so you need to take advantage of this moment.

    2- Fill up the tub(s) with water. Hopefully you have a water bob for each bath tub in your home in addition to several other water storage devices and water purification/filtration devices. Remember a down grid means that fresh water will stop flowing to your home very quickly. Fill up your tub as soon as you can, that extra hundred or so gallons could prove invaluable. If you are concerned about the quality of the water remember you can add 8 drops of regular Clorox bleach per gallon to help purify what you have in the tub.

    3- Talk to your neighbors. This step is absolutely critical, you have to get out and talk to your close neighbors and explain to them what is going on. They will be in denial for the most part, hopefully you have copies of the EMP report printed off which you can distribute as you go door to door. Explain to them what is going on and that time is critical, let them know a worst case scenario means that there will be no help coming for quite a long time. Additionally mention the following to them.

    a. Discuss a neighborhood watch. Tell them that in a few days or weeks things will get dangerous with hungry people roaming the streets. It is essential that you define your neighborhood’s boundaries and set up a neighborhood watch of sorts, assigning people to different shifts.

    b. Offer to hold a meeting. Set a time that you will have a meeting at your home, say every day after sunrise in your garage. Tell them they are invited and that every day you will be there passing out information. At first you might not have anyone attend these meetings, in a few days there will be a handful and in a week you might have 50 or more hungry, scared, tired people demanding answers. If you are going to assume the role of a leader, be prepared to do just that.

    c. Tell them to use their cash. Much like you should have already done, tell them that their cash will soon be worthless and that they need to get down to the market to spend it. Most people have no cash on hand, so this probably won’t be a real issue.

    d. Tell them to inventory their supplies. Most people have 3 to 5 days food on hand in their home. You should mention that they need to start rationing what they have, and taking inventory of everything else.

    e. Start identifying those with skills. I wrote about how to organize a survival community as well as what skills will be valuable after T-SHTF in a few recent articles While making the rounds in your neighborhood you should start identifying who has special skills and make note of it. Cops or military personnel could help with security, Doctors have obvious value, and so on and so forth.​

    4- Start rationing food. Hopefully you have at least a 1 year supply of food for your family, if not more. Start rationing immediately because more than likely you will have to share some of your food with your neighbors. It will be unavoidable, you will need their help to survive as a community and there is absolutely no way that they will starve while watching you and your family live high on the hog. This doesn’t mean that you cannot oversee how some rations are distributed, or seek out other sources of food, but just remember nobody gets through SHTF alone.

    5- Hygiene preparations. Consider where you are going to dispose of your human waste, it might be a good time to start digging that pit. Also consider where you will dispose of your trash and if you will bury it or burn it. Remember the trash man won’t be around next Sunday and your toilets will stop flushing very quickly.

    6- Listen to your weather radio. Prior to the EMP strike you had a small solar/hand crank weather radio secured in an old microwave in the basement, it still works. You should monitor NOAA Weather Radio frequencies throughout the day in case there is information being published which you can use to stay informed. Maybe the strike only covered 500 square miles and help will be on the way in a week, or maybe there is nothing but static…not a good sign.

    7- Consider your own security plan. Despite all of the actions you are taking, trying to help those within your community by reaching out to organize them, realize that not everything goes to plan. There could be dissenters within your neighborhood or those outside of your community who might choose to take advantage of the situation. Looting will become prevalent very quickly and no neighborhood will be immune. Consider your security plan, this is no time to rely on the fallout_3. charity and goodness of mankind. Remain suspicious of all activity and never walk around unarmed. Never allow your family members to venture out alone and remember to stay in after dark. All of that said I would caution against using deadly force unless absolutely necessary. Protect yourself and your family but remember that there will come a time when the power does come back on and people will be held accountable for their actions.

    An EMP strike on our nation will be an absolutely catastrophic event and while I’m sure all of us hope that something like this never happens, hope is never a course of action. Despite our best efforts to prepare for such an event there is a good chance that many will not survive. Some have predicted that within a year of a strike, 9 out of 10 Americans would be dead. In sports success or failure on the field of play is determined months before the actual game by how much dedication the athletes displayed during practice. In much the same way success or failure following an EMP strike will have been determined by how seriously we took our prep strategy in the months or years prior, as well as actions which we take immediately after. Life isn’t fair, plan accordingly.

    7 actions to take immediately following an EMP strike | Prepper-Resources.com - The Ultimate Prepper & Survivalist Blog.
    First Steps to Surviving an EMP Attack « Emergency Preparedness « reagangirl.com
     
  2. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Just a few NOTEs, here:
    Assuming it is a Nuke EMP.....
    I would NOT be in a BIG hurry, to unpack the EMP Resistant Containers, and dig out the backup Electronics..... Another .GOV or Outfit set that thing Off, and they likely will have a Second One waiting to Fry, much of the Backup Stuff that comes out, a day or two later.... Just a Warning.....

    Assuming it is a Solar Event..... This will be a Totally Different Senerio for individuals, and needs a totally different Response, in the Backup Electronics Regime. 99% of the damage to Electronics, will be via Transmission Lines, Surges, and Overloads, for things connected to the Grid, and Copper Telco Lines. It will not damage Cars, or other non-Grid, Cable, or Telco Connected electronics. Your backup Genset will still likely work, if it wasn't directly connected to the Grid. Much of your Comm Gear will also not be effected, Physically, but the Ionosphere will be disrupted for Days, and even Weeks. Portable electronics will still operate, as well as Solar and most Alternative Energy Sources. Again, do NOT be in a BIG Hurry to unpack the Backup Gear, as these events usually last 24-48 hours, and once they have dissipated, then is the time to start getting your situation back online.....
     
  3. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    @BTPost is that how you would tell the difference between a nuke EMP vs. solar flare? By whether your car will start and that which is not plugged in will work. I have heard/read that a solar flare would be easier to recover from.
     
  4. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    The solar "storm" about the turn of the century melted wires, switches, etc. Am thinking that the micro circuits of today would suffer badly.
     
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  5. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    @Motomom34 that's the thing about a solar EMP, it's impossible to accurately say exactly how powerful it will be until it has already left the sun and headed on its way, and even then we won't be too accurate. The sun has the potential to do far more damage than any nuclear weapon ever could, and it has loosed an EM barrage in the past, only we weren't in the technological era at the time.

    The EMP threat from a nuke can be far more precise, and they have the potential to be devastating within limited regions, but if set off properly, could take out most of the power grid to the United States with one or two well planned aerial detonations. A strong EMP from the sun could wipe out (the power grid) entire continents or potentially hemispheres in seconds.
     
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  6. DarkLight

    DarkLight I self identify as a Blackhawk Attack Helicopter! Site Supporter

    The reason they melted (and caught telegraph shacks on fire and electrocuted telegraph operators) was due to an increase in something called Geomagnetically Induced Current (GIC or GMIC). This exists all the time inside of the magnetosphere (which includes where we all live) and was pumped up to incredibly high amounts as a result of the CME of 1859 (Carrington Event).

    The difference between a solar generated "EMP-Like" event (it isn't actually an EMP but a number of the effects are similar or the same) and a Nuclear generated EMP (which is actually an Electromagnetic Pulse) is just exactly what causes the damage. There is a LOT of misinformation out there with regards to this and a lot of people assume, incorrectly, that they are the same with the exact same effects...not so.

    The majority, if not all of the damage caused by an X-class solar flare and the accompanying CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) is due to this spike in GMIC. The Very High Voltage and Ultra High Voltage lines (yes, that's what they are really called) pick up that energy and rectify it into current. That additional current on the lines results in damage to a) the line, b) the transformers at the ends and c) anything that acts as a short between those lines and ground. The surge, which is actually what causes the damage, is generally limited to stuff connected to the line, but, it has to do with the amount of conductor (wire, typically) and based on the area exposed to the GMIC. A car, for example, is both grounded via the tires and protected by the fact that there's not enough cross-sectional or surface area to rectify sufficient energy into current. A computer that is connected to the wall, however, is most likely toast, as is anything with a "soft" power switch. If it's drawing power, it will overload, short out and die (possibly in a fiery conflagration).

    An EMP generated by a nuke is a completely different story as there is literally a pulse wave of electromagnetic energy that is far more energetic over a smaller surface area than that generated by a solar event. Electronics have been reported to "self-power" or energize with as the energy wave passed through, almost always "in the wrong place" in the circuit which will blow out the circuit, melt electrical traces and again, start fires. What an CME via GMIC can do on a macro scale, an EMP can and will do on both the macro and micro scale. Electronics don't have to be plugged in to energize as there is sufficient energy available to generate power on the spot.

    All of the negatives related to a CME/solar event hold true for an EMP but not the other way around. It's not just possible but likely and probable that anything NOT directly grounded and not plugged in drawing even that trickle charge will continue to function after a solar event (including cars, generators, cell phones, radios and computers). There might not be a cell network to connect to or a station to tune in but those devices will very likely still be viable after a CME. Not so much after an EMP.

    @-06 - Yes, if it's plugged in and drawing power, it's not going to fare well at all.

    @Brokor - Yes and no on the intensity. They actually have a pretty good idea of how big its going to be (worst case at least) by the size of the sun spot and the history of said spot (they last a while...usually several revolutions of the sun). Check out Space Weather Alerts from SWPC We got 4 just today (G2 falling to G1 by tomorrow...not really anything to worry about) and a couple of months ago they warned ahead of time of 3 or 4 X-class with almost a day heads up.

    ---ETA---
    I'm in no way an authority on this but I did do a LOT of research on CMEs and their relationship to EMP and how both would play out in preparation for the books (shameless plug for Dark Grid)...
     
  7. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I knew somebody was gonna say something. I specifically worded my post to allow for discretion and not be too specific so as to avoid somebody saying something like this.

    No, we do NOT possess the science to predict EXACTLY how powerful the EMP will be by the sun, we can come close, but close is not exact.
     
  8. Bear

    Bear Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++ Founding Member Iron Monkey

    Aloha Monkeys,

    Interesting that @melbo posted this at this time... I am privy to a private area on another board where FOAF and first hand warnings are posted... of course none have ever actually come to light ... or at least none that impacted me out here... but you never know... it just takes that ONE... so I always listen and make check and recheck my own preparations... Hurricanes have kept me busy that past couple weeks in my free time... I have always said... "always be prepared to be unprepared" and "always expect the unexpected"

    Anyway... a FOAF with great credentials and credibility shared with a member who posted a warning... that some sort of terror attack on the grid was coming by the end of this month... take it for what it is worth... but I find it "interesting" that Melbo would post this now... take heed... if nothing else... you will be better prepared... hopefully at least mentally... which is the most important thing...

    There is a good book I've mentioned before... The Unthinkable by Amanda Ripley and another Deep Survival by Gonzales... who dies and who survives or thrives... is all mental toughness... there is a good thread on that here too...

    Anyway... one more thing to consider as I posted on the Ebola thread... any threats from anything that would go critical with the sustained loss of power...

    One of my big concerns is all the nuclear power plants across the nation... both for power and research at universities... I won't google it here... you can do that and see what's close... oh and look at the prevailing winds... because it may not be near you... but the wind may bring it... like Fukushima wafting it's radiological goodies across and throughout the Pacific... someday... all around the oceans...

    A good detector can be small, inexpensive and give you a good heads up if something wafts your way .....

    So take heed on Melbo's advice... it won't take much... the grid is not all that robust in some places and most certainly... people as a whole are not used to not being able to run down to the store and pick up what they need... most homes are only good for a few days if that...

    Anyway... here's my contribution to this... these plants rely on the grid and it is not in their contingency plans to go long term without the grid... power to refuel emergency tanks to power emergency generators to keep things cool... and no... they don't generate their own power to keep cooling indefinitely.... things that make you go... hmmmmm....

    Here's the link to the thread... it's post number 222... all you ever wanted to know about just how fragile our nuk power plants might be in a longer term grid down...

    Sleep well Monkeys... the end of the month is less than two weeks... nothing will probably happen... but then...

    Ebola patients to be flown to the US for treatment in specially designed DoD isolation chamber | Page 23

    Take Care and God Bless, Hug those little ones... oh and yeah... go ahead and hug the big monkeys too ;)

    Bear
     
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  9. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    Now there is the statement of a lifetime!!!!!
     
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  10. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    That walk home from work will be a lot easier after going primal and getting back into shape :) 45 miles...lol
    I carry what i need, might have to borrow a horse along the way. guess i better carry a rope and bridle too.
     
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  11. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Buy an Old Bicycle for cheap, and just leave it at work, @Quigley_Sharps... It will save you HOURS, on your way, getting home, and if you do score a ride, along the way, you can just leave it on the side of the road, for someone else to use..... No big loss.....
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014
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  12. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Good Idea! I own two mnt bikes .
     
  13. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    My sister had that problem on 9-11 . She had to walk home. all public transport was shut down, bridges and tunnels closed. shank's mare was the only choice, and she had more than ten miles to walk. I've been looking at those folding electric scooters for her. (more of a glorified, skateboard with a handle) that she could leave at work or in the trunk for a backup.
     
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