Deep dive on EMPs

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by The_Prepared, Mar 10, 2019.

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  1. The_Prepared

    The_Prepared Derpy Monkey

    Hello Monkeys. EMPs are one of those prepper topics that has a lot of misinformation and fear mongering. So we dug in to learn about the science, threat profiles, how a pulse would actually affect things, and if there's anything you can practically do to prepare.

    We spent 95 hours on research and expert interviews, including with leaders who've recently testified before Congress and whose work is part of FEMA's (and the DOE's, DOD's, etc.) risk modeling.

    What we learned: Prepper guide to EMP attacks

    The primary researchers are around if you have any questions or feedback?

    Some highlights:
    • Nukes and solar events are the culprits. Sci-fi EMP ray guns aren't really a thing.
    • Only major nations have the ability to get a nuke-based EMP high enough over the country to do meaningful damage (plus then we're in nuclear war anyway).
    • There are two forms: high frequency, that hurts small wires in portable electronics, and low frequency, that hurts long wires like those buried underground in our power grid.
    • Nukes put out both forms, while solar storms only affect us with the low-frequency type.
    • The power industry has been downplaying the threat by ignoring data (or even intentionally using bad data), similar to the tobacco / sugar / oil / etc industries.
    • Politicians and the military complex have been overplaying the threat to get more budget / justify war.
    • The science around the topic is pretty bare. We need a lot more work and action.
    • There isn't much you can do to prepare for an EMP beyond what you'd normally do to prep for grid failures and major war.
    • Faraday cages do work, but they're often built wrong, even in professional settings. e.g. all the seams have to be welded shut, otherwise waves can sneak through, even where the paint coating on the metal touches (thus creating a gap / preventing the metal from actually touching).
    • There isn't enough evidence to support that all of your modern cars would shut down. It's possible, but unlikely outside of the near area of a nuke blast.
  2. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

  3. Illini Warrior

    Illini Warrior Monkey+++

    probably the poorest - least technically correct article in many a year >>> any article that simply throws CMEs in with EMPs is a joke ...
  4. The_Prepared

    The_Prepared Derpy Monkey

    If you care to RTFA, you'll see the explanation that nukes create E1 and E3 while CMEs only create the equivalent of an E3. They are different but in the same realm for this convo. It's literally the single largest risk EMP experts are worried about, testify to Congress about, etc.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2019
    Seepalaces, Gator 45/70 and oldman11 like this.
  5. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Emp's and CME both can cause power outages but they are different.
    The Difference Between EMP and CME

    As for the main question; when I first started prepping, EMP was a huge scare to me but not so much now. If it happens, it happens. Some will be worse off then me but we will all end up in the dark. The threats that are on my mind more are pandemic and a slow strangling economic collapse.
  6. Salted Weapon

    Salted Weapon Monkey+++

    In the 1970's there was a solar event that took out allot of technology at the time in the Northeast ,
    Most of us would still be exposed to this, at the time it partially crippled a semi=low tech area.
    Today it would no doubt do far more damage because its now 50 years later and people can't start a fire
    without a lighter.
  7. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Emp or actually a CME are of major interest to me. We go on and on about the possibility of it but have less than 200 years of any data, Carrington Event, and only about 100 years of observations based on scientific detection. Thus all of our models are based on a very limited database of a small fraction of time out of the last few hundred million years. We don't even know enough to know what we don't know. Could be it happens every 500 years on an average and we would have never noticed prior to about 1850's and the telegraph lines. If it does happen, it could send us back to about the 1880's tech wise and we have neither the ability to painlessly transition back to that time, nor to feed the present population using that level of tech even if we do transition back. In my mind the possibilities are higher than asteroid strike or super volcano, and possibly up near nuclear war, civil war, or economic collapse and thus need to be considered. Don't base all my preps on it, but have complete spares for Ford 9 N tractor in faraday cage in a spam can soldered. Cheap insurance and it does seem a likely event that could remotely occur.
  8. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    The Canadian power outage is unique owing to several factors...

    Quebec power blackout
    GOES-7 monitors the space weather conditions during the Great Geomagnetic storm of March 1989, the Moscow neutron monitor recorded the passage of a CME as a drop in levels known as a Forbush decrease.[8]
    The variations in the Earth's magnetic field also tripped circuit breakers on Hydro-Québec's power grid. The utility's very long transmission lines and the fact that most of Quebec sits on a large rock shield prevented current flowing through the earth, finding a less resistant path along the 735 kV power lines.[9]

    The James Bay network went offline in less than 90 seconds, giving Quebec its second massive power outage in 11 months.[10] The power failure lasted nine hours and forced the company to implement various mitigation strategies, including raising the trip level, installing series compensation on ultra high voltage lines and upgrading various monitoring and operational procedures. Other utilities in North America and Northern Europe and elsewhere implemented programs to reduce the risks associated with geomagnetically induced currents (GICs).[9]

    Also - there is this:

    multiple, seconds long direct hits from over 1 MILLION volts.
    He starts the car and drives off.

    If someone is popping off nukes, we have more problems to worry about than EMP.
    mysterymet, Gator 45/70, 3cyl and 2 others like this.
  9. Tempstar

    Tempstar Old and crochety Site Supporter+

    babbling Bullsh^t
    BTPost and ghrit like this.
  10. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    Lightning is pulse that lasts seconds.

    Solar cme is more like a tsunami. It hits, hits harder and keeps on coming. It lasts hours and energizes the atmosphere for hours.
    Nuclear is its own thing. The first and most intense pulse lasts a few milliseconds, the strongest pulse measured from thermonuclear detonation in the thermosphere hit the ground with something to the tune of 6 megawatts per square meter of energy, this charges the atmosphere like a lighting strike for a few seconds then leaves the upper atmosphere energized as the earth's magnetic field is disturbed for hours jamming long range communication kind of like a good cme.

    The June 2012 solar storm didn't go unnoticed. It landed a direct hit the stereo A solar observation satellite. I watched it happen. It missed earth by at least 90 degrees. The 2017 solar storm known as the big one almost hit the earth. It redefined the speed and power of what we thought a CME could do.

    That's really cool. I never saw all thst data side by side.
    The top 2 lines x-ray spectrum power shows when the solar flare popped on the suns surface and sent a blast of x-rays at the earth spanning the gap from the sun to the earth in a few minutes.
    Then about 64 hours later the main mass ejected from the sun hits.
    The proton charge goes off the charts for like 2 hours when the bulk of the wave hits.
    Cosmic ray neutrons from beyond the solar system drop way down below base line due to the coronal mass blowing them away from the earth.
    At the bottom the earth's magnetic field goes ape shit as its deformed and magnetic layers blow away and then try to reform after they are broken.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2019
    snake6264, Bandit99 and The_Prepared like this.
  11. Lancer

    Lancer TANSTAFL! Site Supporter+++

    The_Prepared likes this.
  12. Salted Weapon

    Salted Weapon Monkey+++

    Bottom Line =
    • Nukes, Solar Events and EMP's Bad.
    • Puppies, Whiskey, Trucks and Guns Good.
    Reality, most of the big SHTF stuff prepping only helps for a limited time and depending on said event
    could take out ones years of dedicated prepping. Not saying don't prepare. Saying Dinosaurs are extinct.
    Many other forms of life have come and gone. We only can guess at their cognitive levels other extinct
    species had. So hey Id say if prepping makes you feel secure do it. Do what ever makes your life more at peace.
    You only get one shot at this life and Science nor 99% of all religions debate this cold hard fact. So
    enjoy life why we can, and maybe try and train others for their future. That is why our 2nd Amendment right is so valuable
    in a SHTF having the ability for hunting and defense could mean life or death.
  13. The_Prepared

    The_Prepared Derpy Monkey

    Thanks, agreed, that was one of our sources.
  14. Oddcaliber

    Oddcaliber Monkey++

    I do consider EMP as a factor but not as a hole. During WW2 when we dropped the atomic bombs on Japan neither plane fell from the sky as a result of EMP. Probably because of the lower level of technology used then,but at this time period it was state of the art. However with my luck something else is going to get me!
    Cruisin Sloth and The_Prepared like this.
  15. Lancer

    Lancer TANSTAFL! Site Supporter+++

    My daily commute is at the top of my list for risks....
    3cyl, Cruisin Sloth and Oddcaliber like this.
  16. The_Prepared

    The_Prepared Derpy Monkey

    fwiw, most of the experts we spoke with proactively brought up the point that modern tech is much more sensitive than the stuff used in the WWII and Cold War eras. Lower operating voltages, more connectivity, interdependence, etc.
    Cruisin Sloth and Oddcaliber like this.
  17. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    IMO ,
    Doing something, the best you can ,beats doing nothing and having had the fore warning .
    Radio gear and spare electronics are put in steel cabinets .
    Spare LED lighting and incandescent lighting is put away as well . I like having spares for every thing seeing that the price of things only goes up and dollar value goes down.
    If nothing happens by the time I pass away , my children have the advantage in their hand.
    I refuse to be suicidal and simply give up on life ,just because of some interruption .
  18. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Hahaha,I saw an old Chrysler hit by lightning on I-49.
    Fried the electronics leaving the car dead on a 75mph interstate,Needless to say 2 people ended up dying in the chain reaction wreck,Even bent the antenna about 90 degrees!
    The_Prepared likes this.
  19. Lancer

    Lancer TANSTAFL! Site Supporter+++

    I actually collect select older tube gear and the associated spares....
    Especially HAM and broadcast receiver stuff.
    The_Prepared likes this.
  20. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    I mostly make sure that my comms devices are protected from EMP when not in use. I can't control damage to the grid except to keep nagging politicians about replacements for parts most likely to be destroyed, especially those that are no longer manufactured in the US.

    I really don't make other preps specifically for EMP. Besides, we are more likely to experience a loss of the electrical grid due to a generation of voters who have been brainwashed into becoming Socialists. It only took Venezuela ten years to go dark, I bet the US can doit faster thanthat!
    Lancer, Oddcaliber and The_Prepared like this.
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  8. Lancer
  9. Lancer

    EMP theory 2018-04-11

    Stumbled across this while looking for old schematics.
    Posted By: Lancer, Apr 11, 2018 in category: Communications
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