Topic of the Month Feb. 2017- EMP A Real Threat or Fiction

Discussion in 'Survival Topic of the Month' started by Motomom34, Feb 1, 2017.


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  1. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    As a prepper one is introduced to the concept of an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) blast and the aftermath through books like One Second After and Lights Out. We also have had television series like Jericho and Revolution that started with a flash….. The EMP blast is used quite often in PAW fiction but fiction is fiction or is it? Is an EMP a reality and should you be prepping car parts, have a faraday cage?

    EMP's reality or fiction?
     
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  2. chimo

    chimo the few, the proud, the jarhead monkey crowd Site Supporter+

    I prep to be self-sufficient. If I am dependent upon electricity or for others to supply my electricity, I am not self-sufficient. So my preps are more designed to be able to live without electricity and the technologies it enables, rather than trying to protect them from harm.

    That said...I do have a couple of metal trash can Faraday cages that I keep some items in to protect them from an EMP/CME because those items may make it easier for us to survive the initial days of some electrical disaster as we transition to a life with limited or no electricity and related technologies.
     
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  3. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    I think an EMP attack is a high probability because it's a cheap and easily delivered knockout punch.

    A government is not required: any garden-variety fanatic with $10 million dollars or so to spare could get the job done with a reasonable minimum of evil associates.

    While everyone usually presumes a missile delivery and a nuclear trigger, neither is actually necessary for an EMP attack.

    Three to six in mini-EMPs in dispersed utility vans could do the job quite well from ground level using ordinary high-explosive triggers.

    The difference would be like blowing a house up with a grenade in each room instead of using one cruise missile.

    It might not be as "efficient", but it would certainly get the job done.

    If EMPs are used, having a pre-computer BOV could be critical. While most people think in terms of four-wheel off-road diesel monster trucks with mega cargo capacity, 150cc dirt bikes with game trailers could do the job with a lot less expense, much greater fuel economy, and the convenience of indoor and upstairs parking.

    Maximum concealability, IOW.

    It's pretty much mandatory to have enough basic preps and a safe base for a family (or individual) to hold out until civilization can re-nucleate locally.

    After that, tribal affiliation will provide the stability necessary for people to get on with their lives in a reasonably safe and productive manner.

    I find it interesting that when people talk about the rise and fall of previous technological civilizations nuclear war is always presumed to be the cause of their collapse.

    In fact, abundant evidence exists for such attacks in the past, but I think EMPs would have done the job just as well, with much less evidence left behind.
     
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  4. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    From Wiki -
    "An electromagnetic pulse (EMP), also sometimes called a transient electromagnetic disturbance, is a short burst of electromagnetic energy. Such a pulse's origination may be a natural occurrence or man-made and can occur as a radiated, electric or magnetic field or a conducted electric current, depending on the source.

    EMP interference is generally disruptive or damaging to electronic equipment, and at higher energy levels a powerful EMP event such as a lightning strike can damage physical objects such as buildings and aircraft structures. The management of EMP effects is an important branch of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) engineering.

    Weapons have been developed to create the damaging effects of high-energy EMP. These are typically divided into nuclear and non-nuclear devices. Such weapons, both real and fictional, have become known to the public by means of popular culture."

    The takeaway from the above is that there are both natural and man made sources of potentially disruptive EMP.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
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  5. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey++

    The EMP threat is very real.
     
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  6. wetfootwilley

    wetfootwilley Monkey

    Pre computer BOV I read about the motocross bike Idea here and it triggered a thought - anyone here seen these or used one? I'd love to save up to get one of these for my summer commute, (There's a street legal one) Trail-Breaker
    WFW
     
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  7. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey

    EMP Commission Report: http://www.empcommission.org/docs/A2473-EMP_Commission-7MB.pdf

    Communications equipment is obviously very susceptible to damage by EMP

    What they say about vehicles based on their testing:
    " We tested a sample of 37 cars in an EMP simulation laboratory, with automobile vintages ranging from 1986 through 2002. Automobiles of these vintages include extensive electronics and represent a significant fraction of automobiles on the road today. The testing was conducted by exposing running and nonrunning automobiles to sequentially increasing EMP field intensities. If anomalous response (either temporary or permanent) was observed, the testing of that particular automobile was stopped. If no anomalous response was observed, the testing was continued up to the field intensity limits of the simulation capability (approximately 50 kV/m).

    Automobiles were subjected to EMP environments under both engine turned off and engine turned on conditions. No effects were subsequently observed in those automobiles that were not turned on during EMP exposure. The most serious effect observed on running automobiles was that the motors in three cars stopped at field strengths of approximately 30 kV/m or above. In an actual EMP exposure, these vehicles would glide to a stop and require the driver to restart them. Electronics in the dashboard of one automobile were damaged and required repair. Other effects were relatively . Twenty-five automobiles exhibited malfunctions that could be considered only a nuisance (e.g., blinking dashboard lights) and did not require driver intervention to correct. Eight of the 37 cars tested did not exhibit any anomalous response.

    Based on these test results, we expect few automobile effects at EMP field levels below 25 kV/m. Approximately 10 percent or more of the automobiles exposed to higher field levels may experience serious EMP effects, including engine stall, that require driver intervention to correct. We further expect that at least two out of three automobiles on the road will manifest some nuisance response at these higher field levels. The serious malfunctions could trigger car crashes on U.S. highways; the nuisance malfunctions could exacerbate this condition. The ultimate result of automobile EMP exposure could be triggered crashes that damage many more vehicles than are damaged by the EMP, the consequent loss of life, and multiple injuries."
    If this report is accurate the effects of EMP are harmful but not exactly sending us back to the stone age with the flip of a switch.
     
  8. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++

    Interesting topic especially since I just finished reading 'The Final Day' and 'Alas Babylon,' haven't started 'Lights Out' yet but have it now...

    I don't think I am as concerned about a man made EMP as I am about Mother Nature doing something nasty, especially considering she has already tried twice that we know (Carrington Event, 1859; Quebec blackout, 1989). I did read a while back that there was a real nasty solar flare in July of 2012, twice as strong as Carrington but it missed us. Personally, in regards to a society changing incident, I consider an EMP type of event to have the second highest possibility of occurrence, right after an total Economic Collapse which I consider first, lethal and a certainty.

    I also consider the EMP event to be the perfect event to plan for as it covers all aspects of emergency survival. So, that is what I plan and train for. Having been back only 2 years, I am not as prepared as most on this forum. I try but it takes time, time to truly understand the problem so that one does not waste money and resources and time to implement it. This Forum has proved to be go-to source of knowledge and experience and quite frankly I seldom purchase anything of significance until the item/idea as been vetted here. I have done well in the time given but there is still much to do. I am constantly either thinking and planning or doing something to improve our preparedness.

    Should an EMP hit, right now, we would have enough to eat, drink, warm and defend ourselves, good medical supplies for 4+ months plus basic communications (for a time) but we have much more to do. Oh! And, yes, it's a definite reality as proven in times past.
     
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  9. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    Actually I think one in a van could take out a major city. Just crippling a city could start things into a tail spin. Imagine a smaller EMP in NYC or in a port city. The impact would be felt all over. Maybe not the loss of power but in other ways.

    We used to have a vehicle that was old enough that if an EMP went off, we could repair it so it would run. The jeep is gone and I have considered getting older dirt bikes in case an EMP happens but currently we have bicycles because I have not read enough on dirt bikes and EMP's.

    That report is from 2008 and since then, things have changed. I would assume that officials would have started hardening things more and more. I saw fiber being buried in CO but would burying cables only a foot protect them?

    @Bandit99 you will love Lights Out. I have read it many times.
     
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  10. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    An EMP device triggered at ground level would have less effect that one fired at altitude--but one could still disrupt a large city, and just one triggered in the right place could knock out the entire national power grid.

    Solar flares are a very real and very underrated danger. The one that missed us in July of 2012 crossed the Earth's orbit seven days off from a direct hit. One week earlier (or later, I forget which) would have put the whole planet back into the the late 1700's, MOL.

    And then it would have been a long hard grind to get back to the late 1800's.

    We, as a species, have made ourselves critically dependent on electrical power. If that goes, most of us will go with it.

    Fortunately, our fall-back dependency is on fire. As long as fire still works, some of us will survive.
     
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  11. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Fiberoptic cable will not be affected at all. Now, wire cable is a different question, and how deep it has to be buried will depend on the energy of the incident pulse. (For what it's worth, energy is directly related to the frequency of the radiation. The intensity of the incident pulse will fall off with distance regardless of frequency.)
     
  12. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey++

    NASA claims that there is a 14% chance every 11 year solar cycle that another Carrington event (solar storm of 1859) will happen.
    But our stupid government worries or worried more about global warming than this.
    We almost got spanked pretty bad by solar storms in 2012, 2014 and 2015.
     
  13. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey

    I would figure that shielding in vehicles would be improved, but more bluetooth/OnStar type of connectivity could lead to more entry points. I don't think officials are too worried about hardening against EMP - it isn't the kind of thing that gets votes and drains money away from social programs that do. Maybe something a more pragmatic President can push over the next four years? I think he sees threats more clearly than Mr Feelgood did.
     
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  14. wetfootwilley

    wetfootwilley Monkey

    Another option for a cheaper alternative to the pre-computer BOV is one of these, [​IMG] I've made two so far, and we ride them quite often. This one is my son's and mine a heavier mountain bike handles trails easily. On'y about $200 to build. Gas, no starter.

    WFW
     
  15. GOG

    GOG Monkey++ Site Supporter

    I think it's a very real possibility. I have some basic comm gear in a couple of ammo can Faraday cages but other than that I've made no special preps.
    I would definitely miss my electronic/electrical toys and conveniences, but as long as I'm healthy I'll get by just fine.
     
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  16. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey++

    Oh I just use precious computer vehicles as my daily drivers.
     
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  17. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++

    I never thought of using or even considering a Dirt/Enduro motorcycle as a bugout vehicle before...until someone just now mentioned it. Now, I don't know what all the new motorcycles have that could be affected by a EMP but...but wouldn't a simple spare electronic ignition be all you need? They're small. Slip easily into a ammo box/faraday cage for a rainy day. What I don't know anymore is since a lot of bikes use fuel injection if the electronic ignition part also controls the fuel injection or if you need a separate part (chip)? I would bet the same part controls both, not only the timing/spark but also the fuel injection...but not sure. Anyone know? But, I think that is all one would need... Anyone know?

    What I am trying to say is perhaps a moderately new motorcycle would suffice with a bit of forethought and planning and certainly reliability would be greatly improved. Frankly, I remember cars/motorcycles using points and hate them to this day. First thing I did to my old BMW 1000RS was to get rid of the points as soon as electronic-ignition was available for it...but it had carburetors.
     
  18. VHestin

    VHestin Farm Chick

    Do I think an EMP is something to take into account when 'prepping'?
    Yes.

    Do I think life without electricity is necessarily a bad thing?
    Not at all. Humanity has only had electricity for what, less than 150years? We don't need it for survival, we just think we do. There's a reason for the term 'modern convienences'...that's it, it's just convienent. I like electricity, don't get me wrong, but I think if it was gone, it would only take a month or so to get used to it. We've lived without it for a whole summer once. It wasn't "hard", just different. I would miss my laptop and desktop and all my games and videos, but I'd probably be too busy to do much about it. At least I've got lots of books! And board/card games too.
     
  19. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I eat vegetables. My friends are not vegetables.

    Almost all of our food (everything that comes in a bag, box, can, or jar) is made in food factories. And they all depend on electricity.

    If the conveyor belts stop, 75% of the people in this country will probably die within six months.

    Or three, if it happens at the start of winter.

    The surviving 25% will mostly be hardcore scavengers. But they will eventually run out of things to scavenge. Then they'll have the choice of becoming farmers or marauders.

    Very few people can grow 100% of their food. The Amish can, but they won't survive because they won't kill to survive.

    Individual preppers can't do it, especially without fuel and electricity. Or they can only do it at a very minimal subsistence level, for a little while. That's why farm families have lots of kids, plus elders, and hired help. It takes a lot of hands to meet the minimum requirements of farming.

    Only well-managed prepper/farm communities will be able to feed themselves from the land, and even that will require immense amounts of hard labor. Plows (or hoes) instead of tractors, scythes instead of balers.

    Leisure time will be essentially nonexistent.

    Electricity is the life's blood of our modern civilization. Without it, civilization stops being modern in a hurry.
     
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  20. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Moderator Moderator Site Supporter++

    That is an issue also. I have heard so many different things and ways that your "stuff" could be protected. I have heard metal sheds, in Lights Out an ammo box in a file cabinet sufficed as a Faraday. Some say a metal shed, others say bury a grounded box. I have also read put stuff in an old microwave. Amazon sells EMP proof bags. Not sure what would work unless it was used. I question how confident people are that their set up to protect their electronic will work. You will not know that you have a correct faraday until a blast happens. I like the concept of easier is better but how simple is okay? I read wrap a radio in tin foil and place in an ammo box. Real easy but will it work?
     
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