Sunday, September 16, 2012

Thoughts On Preparedness – EMP’s

“What are EMP’s?” you may ask. The letters stand for “electromagnetic pulse.” Here ( is a Wikipedia explanation. Stated simply, they are massive waves of electrical energy in the air capable of destroying almost anything electrical within whatever the range of that size disturbance may be. Some affected areas may be only a few miles, while some could be hundreds or even thousands of miles.

In 1859 and several times since (, severe solar flares damaged many telegraph systems, even setting fire to some of the telegraph offices. Local radio-active explosions, deliberately set by terrorists, could shut down a city. One huge nuclear bomb set off 300 miles above the center of the United States could effectively shut down every electrical item in the whole country. Major solar flares come about every 11 years; the next cycle is due to hit next year (2013). Muslim terrorists have already vowed to either get us with a big e-bomb, or several well-placed smaller ones. Did you need something else to worry about?

Older tube-style electronics seemed more resistant to damage from EMP’s. If you have any that work, hang onto them. Older ignition systems in vehicles and machinery are also more resistant to EMP damage, as are diesel engines. I first became aware of EMP’s and diesel engine’s slight resistance to damage when I did some tractor trading last year and discovered that A-rabs were buying up all the older diesel tractors that they could get their hands on and shipping them to the Middle East. You have to wonder why! (Or DO you?)

Disconnecting the battery makes engines safer from EMP’s. Storing them in all-metal buildings, complete with metal floors keeps them far safer (think Faraday cage). Small items like walkie-talkies, phones and radios can have the batteries removed and be wrapped in aluminum foil. I’m thinking that electric power tools, chainsaws and so on might be safely stored in steel tool cabinets. The guru told me that such things need grounded, I believe. This is something we all should start thinking about. We may not be able to protect everything, but we might want to try protecting critical items. Remember though, there may be no working phone lines, radio stations, fuel or replacement batteries. That may affect what you stock up on and what you choose to protect. Do your homework.

Just remember, God is still in control, but preparedness isn’t immoral as long as it doesn’t become your new religion. © 2012

P.S. I suggest that readers check out the comments on this (and all) posts.


Sixbears said...

Don't forget to have plenty of hand powered tools -axes, saws, shovels, pumps -because the higher the technology, the more likely an EMP failure.

JaneofVirginia said...

The last line says it all, Gorges. I think to a few people, survivalism HAS become their religion.

Bobby said...

Worked some, in this area in the service. Building comm. units that were EMP proof. Near as I could figure out, Grounded steel inclosures should offer some protection. To be fully covered, you would have to seal up the building completely. If you can listen to a radio inside, it is not sealed. To be on the safe side, don't rely on anything with a transistor or chip. If you have points in your car it should be fine. Don't know if unhooking the battery will do anything, except keeping it from running down.
Thanks for sharing.

Gorges Smythe said...

Good point, Sixbears. I have them, but many people may not.

I think you're right, Jane. Anything to avoid the REAL issue.

I'm just starting to consider these things myself, Bobby. Thanks for your input.

HermitJim said...

I think the main thing here is to always try and consider things in a worse case scenario, and prepare accordingly!

In the end, it's just like you said...God is in charge and has the final word!

The Griper said...

NBC is way ahead of us folks. they have a new series out this year using this as the basis of the drama. below is a link to watch the first episode. i think you'll enjoy it.

Gorges Smythe said...

Good advice, Jim.

I think I saw an ad for that when I walked through the TV room the other day, Griper. Of course the main thing that caught MY eye was a funky crossbow!