EMP Protection

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  #1  
Old 10-08-11, 12:12 PM
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EMP Protection

You do realize that your setup will need to be stored in a shielded environment to protect it from an EMP, right? Plus equipment that has electronics that you intend to use after this EMP. Should have such a storage facility, you could just store your generator in there and not have a hokey setup.

I believe that if you just replaced all your solid state chips with vacuum tubes, you wouldn't have to worry about it.
 
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  #2  
Old 10-08-11, 01:26 PM
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Yes. ALL my stuff will be in a nested Faraday cage: short wave radio, batteries, walkie talkies, the small DC generator, etc. Thanks very much for bringing it up just in case.

I'm foregoing the AC generator. I feel that an AC generator would not only attract attention to my home and make it a target, but there will be no way of pumping gasoline out of the storage tanks once the grid has been destroyed. I think all I'll need electric for is to hear on short wave what happened and if supplies are coming to the USA, or to communicate with my wife if we make a trip somewhere (walkie talkies). So the DC generator or alternator will be enough to charge the batteries for those.
 
  #3  
Old 10-08-11, 01:46 PM
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There are plenty of hand operated pumps out there that would work. You could also use the gas powered generator to power a pump to get the gas out. I would assume you have a gas can with some gas at your home to power the lawn mower and such.
 
  #4  
Old 10-08-11, 02:43 PM
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Yes I do, but when we lost electric for a week, my four 5-gallon gas tanks lasted about 6 days. I could stretch it out if I used it for radio and communications only. BUT if all vehicles and electricity are lost due to an EMP, there's be no way to replenish the fuel tanks at the gas stations. So, you're right, if I protected the AC generator, I'd have AC electric ...but I say only for a short amount of time. I have read that it would take an estimated 3 years to get the grid back working in the USA if the whole country is hit.

I'll probably do what you are suggesting (protect the generator) AND have the hokey bike pedaling DC generator as a backup.

But as I said, if people are starving to death with no means to produce new food, the generator might bring attention to the house and attract desperate people who may be willing to kill (and certainly steal) to survive another day.

What do you think?
 
  #5  
Old 10-08-11, 03:04 PM
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What's an EMP?
If you have a flat roof you can put the genny up there and keep yur ladder tied up by ropes.
 
  #6  
Old 10-08-11, 03:55 PM
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Justin, an EMP is and an electromagnetic pulse such as created if you screw up building an atomic bomb in your garage and detonate the bomb with all three fissionable sections in place.
 
  #7  
Old 10-08-11, 05:21 PM
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Justin, An EMP is a weapon that destroys everything electronic. Only ONE EMP over Kansas can destroy the entire USA. All electricity would be out until repaired (about 3 years maybe) and everything electronic would be destroyed, such as radios, TV's, TV stations, and all cars.

Think of a world where there's no electricity, no running cars and nothing electronic working. How would you eat food for more than 5-10 days? There's no way to even TRAVEL to get food, save a bike. Massive starvation would set in and it's likely, in my opinion, there'd be killings to get whatever food is left.

My wife had been reading about it and I started to think of how things would work if everything electric went dead. Then about a week and a half ago I found that congress was presented with a full report on the real possibility of being struck by one (possibly by Iran) and that the USA is considered a "soft target" for an EMP. 2/3rds of the USA population would likely starve.

Have a nice day! :-)
 
  #8  
Old 10-08-11, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by tony17112acst View Post
Justin, An EMP is a weapon that destroys everything electronic. Only ONE EMP over Kansas can destroy the entire USA. All electricity would be out until repaired (about 3 years maybe) and everything electronic would be destroyed, such as radios, TV's, TV stations, and all cars.

Think of a world where there's no electricity, no running cars and nothing electronic working. How would you eat food for more than 5-10 days? There's no way to even TRAVEL to get food, save a bike. Massive starvation would set in and it's likely, in my opinion, there'd be killings to get whatever food is left.

My wife had been reading about it and I started to think of how things would work if everything electric went dead. Then about a week and a half ago I found that congress was presented with a full report on the real possibility of being struck by one (possibly by Iran) and that the USA is considered a "soft target" for an EMP. 2/3rds of the USA population would likely starve.

Have a nice day! :-)
Ohh. That's not good. I guess we better start being more cautious to prevent one.
Just curious, how would one of them affect food growth? Irrigation pumps maybe?
 
  #9  
Old 10-08-11, 06:12 PM
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The only thing that would create an EMP large enough and strong enough to take out a large geographic area as you suggest would be a nuclear bomb detonated at high altitude. There are very few countries that have both nuclear capabilities and space capabilities needed to carry this out. EMP has been a concern of the US government since the cold war began. After the Soviet Union collapsed they kind of forgot about it. It wasn't until a few years ago they decided to be concerned about it again. Truthfully, I think should this scenario actually play out, the last thing you need to be concerned about it electricity and whether or not your neighbors know you have it. If roving mobs are out to kill you for food, it won't matter.
 
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Old 10-08-11, 06:39 PM
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I'm going to take deep breaths...go in and finish dinner...and maybe tomorrow I'll respond.
 
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Old 10-08-11, 06:55 PM
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This is funny!

You know that with pedal power, to recharge a battery connected to a 1000 watt inverter you would have to pedal your contraption 24/7 and would likely not be able to replace all the power you use.
 
  #12  
Old 10-08-11, 07:18 PM
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Ya know. I was just thinking that if all you want to do is recharge small batteries you should just buy a solar panel.
 
  #13  
Old 10-08-11, 08:00 PM
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Greg: Well, If I want to recharge AA/AAA batteries, I wouldn't really use the inverter. I'd just go from the DC generator straight to a 12V DC battery charger (with the car adapter). The Inverter is really for anything else that's AC that I didn't plan for.

I have checked into solar panels to charge batteries, but I'd have to figure out if the panels can be successfully protected from an EMP; I'm guessing they can.

Droop: Yes, my wife and I go round and round about it. I suggest that just the like wild west, people pretty much behaved even without electricity. But they DID have a food delivery system. We would have none, but I think we'd get aid from other countries too.

I'm really not too worried about an EMP except that it's sooo easy to prepare for one. I'm basically doing everything in two weekends. I also have had personal interests my whole life generating some electricity for fun and now I have an excuse to nail all of it down. This weekend, I bought a $49 pitcher pump to pump water out of our well in the back year in case we lose electricity for a long time, and BAM ...it works! (with 20 feet of PVC pipe - $10)

If this stuff wasn't so easy, I wouldn't really be doing it, but it truly is. I'm simply going to get a 12 Volt DC motor or and alternator and put it in a faraday cage, store it in the attic and if one day an EMP hits, I'll hook up my hokey setup.

Justin, it would affect food growth because there's no electricity after an EMP. Tractors wouldn't work after the EMP to harvest food. All trucks (and cars) wouldn't work to deliver the food to your town. Trucks couldn't even get to the ports to pickup oil from foreign countries. Just imagine how food gets from the fields and livestock to your town. None of the process would be working after an EMP.
 
  #14  
Old 10-09-11, 04:50 AM
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EMP Protection

Is a faraday cage adequate enough to protect from an EMP? Don't you need to block gamma rays? I think you would need a lead lined room for protection.
 
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Old 10-09-11, 06:14 AM
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Justin, it would affect food growth because there's no electricity after an EMP. Tractors wouldn't work after the EMP to harvest food. All trucks (and cars) wouldn't work to deliver the food to your town. Trucks couldn't even get to the ports to pickup oil from foreign countries. Just imagine how food gets from the fields and livestock to your town. None of the process would be working after an EMP.
Wouldn't the veichle's steel chasis and hood act as a faraday cage?

I also thouht diesel engines didn't need electricity to operate.
 
  #16  
Old 10-09-11, 07:06 AM
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It's the electronics that get fried. The chassis would need to be grounded. Being attached to the negative terminal on the battery isn't enough.
 
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Old 10-09-11, 08:19 AM
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But vehicles and tractors built before 1970 would probably be unaffected. A basic PTO generator might need to be flashed but easy to do so again the older ones would be fine. Refrigerators from the 50's or earlier contain only basic electromechanical circuits and would probably survive. Crops were grown and farms worked long before modern conveniences and could be again. If there was a major war which involved EMPs it is likely there would be a drastic population reduction so older farming methods should be adequate.
 
  #18  
Old 10-09-11, 01:44 PM
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would wrapping stuff in chicken wire protect it?
 
  #19  
Old 10-09-11, 02:11 PM
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Yes, but if all we had were pre-1970 vehicles on the road, I don't think that's enough to truck food to all communities ...let alone harvesting the food. So again, massive starvation.

I have been researching the topic profusely in the last two weeks and there is much debate whether the chassis and skin of a car would make a Faraday cage. I see more believing that it would not work. I also do not want to count on it. If it works, OK, but I don't want to bank on it. Also, chicken wire may not work; you'll have to do a lot of research to figure that one out. I think the best Faraday cage for the do-it-yourselfer is using basic aluminum screening (for a screen door) and make sure anything in it cannot be touching it by putting it in plastic or an insulator.

Also, in 1962, the Soviet Union did a small EMP test and found that generators not thought to be in range, didn't work. And that was in the 1960s.

I agree that old farming methods would be necessary for many, many years, unfortunately until then, 1/2 to 2/3rds of the population couldn't feed themselves.

I think the USA's intelligence will be adequate enough to keep an EMP from occurring for a long time unless we get unlucky. But a certain type of super solar storm will do the same thing as an EMP. One actually happened in 1859 which created all kinds of problems despite the electric age being in its infancy. Today, I've been finding that we'd have the same results as an EMP.

Again, it's not something to be fearful of, BUT it's so easy to take a few weekends to prepare. Store a little food, get a short wave radio and put it (and batteries) in a Faraday cage, and know how to defend yourself.
 
  #20  
Old 10-09-11, 03:00 PM
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Considering a strong CB amplifier can fry the electronics in the car next to you on the road, I doubt the car chassis has any protective value against an EMP. It has no connection to earth. If you run studded tires on your car, you need a grounding strap that rides on the pavement so you don"t build up a static charge in the vehicle.

A coronal mass ejection is not going to cause the same amount of damage that a well detonated nuclear device can.
 
  #21  
Old 10-10-11, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Justin Smith View Post
would wrapping stuff in chicken wire protect it?
Look up Faraday Cage, my young friend. Chicken wire will protect it if the mesh (grid size) can take the RF frequencies of interest to ground. The wavelength of the frequencies dictates the size of the mesh. There is no mesh spacing that will handle all frequencies of interest. It is much better, in theory, to simply line all of the walls, ceiling, and floor with heavy lead foil -- and ground it with several 8-foot ground rods. A Farady cage is a valid RF choke, and it is used in many applications to block one set of RF signals from interfering with another. But the thought of chicken wire, window screen, or other commonly available wire mesh as protection against a wide-band EMP pulse is laughable.

Apologies to tony17112acst, but your paranoia is absurd. (Although fun to discuss!) In order to knock out all electrical devices in the USA, an EMP pulse over Kansas would have to be more powerful than anything mankind has created to date. I'm talking cumulative -- every shred of electric current that has ever been generated by coal, hydro, nuclear, or other combined would not pack enough punch to knock out every electrical device. Look up the Inverse Square Law. By the time the pulse traveled from KC to either coast it would hardly be measurable.

In between, many digital devices would be laid to waste. (God forbid we can't use the smart phones to post on Facebook!!!) But almost all vehicles outside of a few miles of Ground Zero would continue to operate. Portable gas generators or even inverters and batteries near GZ could be used to power the gas pumps. (A lead acid battery that isn't connected to anything cannot be affected by an EM pulse.)
 
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Old 10-10-11, 03:45 PM
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I forced myself not to respond to this thread - it's really hard.
 
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Old 10-10-11, 04:18 PM
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Vic, methinks the troops are nipping the no-doz and drinking the Air Wick. I'm with you. I'll be back tomorrow......I hope.

Added: Many won't remember Dave Gardner, from whom I stole that line.
 
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Old 10-10-11, 05:59 PM
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In between, many digital devices would be laid to waste. (God forbid we can't use the smart phones to post on Facebook!!!) But almost all vehicles outside of a few miles of Ground Zero would continue to operate. Portable gas generators or even inverters and batteries near GZ could be used to power the gas pumps. (A lead acid battery that isn't connected to anything cannot be affected by an EM pulse.)
So my inverter , battery, and PV cells won't be affected from the EMP?

How about the gennie with electric start and electronic governor?
 
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Old 10-10-11, 07:15 PM
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Thank God I just bought a new roll of Reynolds Wrap so I have something to cover my head.
 
  #26  
Old 10-10-11, 07:57 PM
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I agree with Rick Johnston, worrying about an EMP is ridiculous. I'm not going to lose one minute of sleep over the miniscule possibility and I live within spitting distance of several possible military targets.
 
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Old 10-10-11, 08:19 PM
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Baldwin, is this what you had in mind?

 
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Old 10-10-11, 08:27 PM
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Hahaha....no, I like the shiny stuff.
 
  #29  
Old 10-10-11, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Justin Smith View Post
Wouldn't the veichle's steel chasis and hood act as a faraday cage?

I also thouht diesel engines didn't need electricity to operate.
The older diesel engine didn't need electricity to operate. I had a 79 with a air starter, and manual fuel pump, no electric. If you didn't have enough air to turn it over, you put in a starter cartridge, it looked like a big shotgun shell, to start it.
 
  #30  
Old 10-11-11, 05:04 AM
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Our society has become so dependent on electronics that we are screwed on so many levels if there ever is a true EMP attack. Short term is easy but with a major breakdown in every system of society (power, all communications, production of food & products, transportation). Yes, you may know how to hunt but with the US population over 300 million how long do you think surviving off the land will last. Do you think people in the cities will stay in the cities when the food runs out? I hope you are also adding a supercharger and side pipes to a 1973 GT Ford Falcon Coupe (Mad Max)

That's why I've buried a school bus in the back yard and filled it with canned peaches.
 
  #31  
Old 10-11-11, 07:04 AM
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Ooooooooh K.

Apparently this thread has turned into a free-for-all to mock others.

Now, I know it's cool to make fun of others who have less knowledge than you. It feels good; it REALLY does. But maybe giving a reason for your position would help! Facts, reasoning, or probability would be much better than just saying " ...your paranoia is absurd." And Baldwin, I see a Reynold's Wrap on the head comment excusable from you since you're in Northern MN; life can't be too interesting up there. You've GOT to make up your OWN entertainment ...I know, I lived up there too.

I am new to the idea of an EMP, so I am searching for good information. I have read info from electrical engineers that contradict info some of you have left here in the thread. So who am I to believe? I don't know. I have credible info from this website: Electromagnetic Pulse Protection - EMP - Futurescience.com which is by an electrical engineer and quite comprehensive. Does anyone want to review its credibility for the benefit of many?

But the most convincing information I have is the United States EMP Commission report: http://www.empcommission.org/docs/A2...ission-7MB.pdf. Just reading the Preface is enough to warrant concern.

Now, how do I reconcile the USA's EMP Commission's official report to congress from 2008 with some of the comments here? What am I missing?

*****My Main Question******
Could those of you who believe this whole EMP thing is a laughable point to me a link or something that supports your views? Because if it is truly a waste of time, I'd want to know for sure. Again, I am ignorant of the real info and I need info from both sides of the argument.
************************

Again, if you read my comments, I believe an EMP in our lifetime is unlikely, but if it takes only two weekends to prepare for it, it's worth it. That is not paranoia. Paranoia requires unreasonableness or irrationality. The armed forces have prepared to some degree for an EMP, are they paranoid? The US EMP Commission warns that this can really happen; do the multiple doctorates on that commission all suffer from this paranoia? From where I'm sitting now (with my limited info), I'd say that it's very unlikely that they suffer from paranoia. If Japanese citizens prepared for an earthquake, tsunami, a nuclear disaster, and a hurricane on the same day, would that be paranoia, and laughable? I was tempted to leave out this paragraph, because it will distract many of you from my main point of this posting: Do you have some info/links to point me to that can help me understand why an EMP is extraordinarily unlikely? If it is (which seems to be the prevailing judgment on this forum), I definitely would like to know.

Thank you.
 
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Old 10-11-11, 07:52 AM
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Tony17112acst yes, we have been somewhat rude but it is the nature of some topics. You could get much the same reaction with global warming. When you raise certain issues you just need to prepare for a bumpy ride. One reason some elements of this thread have been moved to chat was some answers were out of line for the main forum. If you want I can ask that the thread here be removed.
 
  #33  
Old 10-11-11, 09:40 AM
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Awww ...don't worry about it. I am happy to leave everything here. I am perfectly happy getting barbed or jabbed if I deserve it. I even don't mind being made fun of IF there's info to support it. It's hard to form a good opinion on this matter when there's a joke, but no info to support it. I am as thick skinned as anyone I know, so I'm OK with the jokes and such. I probably do the same thing. As someone who majored in mathematics and did my graduate work in philosophy, I can get impatient too with certain people with certain mindsets. I just feel left out as to why simple preparation for an EMP is a joke ...and I just want to know how everyone decided this. I am willing to accept it, but I can only accept it if it's explained to my satisfaction.

I WANT to be knowledgeable about the topic, but so far there's no info to support ...I'd love to read all I can about it. ***Could you guys that think preparing for an EMP isn't worth the effort please either give some reasons I can look into?*** There's just info on the internet that it's going to happen; there really isn't any on why it's far-fetched.

P.S. I didn't know we were in chat; I have just been refreshing my screen since my original posting in the AC/DC forum. Will this be archived in the future, or will it be erased after a while?
 
  #34  
Old 10-11-11, 09:58 AM
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Everything is still active for years unless a glitch deletes it or the whole thread is deleted by a Mod or Admin.

I won't really comment on the exact topic...but here's my take.

If you live near or in a Metro area..give it up and live your life. If the proposed scenario were to occur, you better be living off the grid in an isolated area or a small town with lots of farms, otherwise it will be "Zombie Time". An EMP is caused by a very sophisticated device. Not something that your typical terror group can do. Anything launched by an ICBM would be from a major power and thats very unlikely to happen. It is much easier to just use a dirty bomb which would not have the same nationwide effect.

Unless you are out there in the hinterlands with 2 yrs or more of non-perishable food and a clean local water supply, any major disruption of society as described, will be the biggest catastrophe you've ever experienced. Living in NO during Katrina would seem like a fly speck in comparison.
 
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Old 10-11-11, 10:27 AM
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I grew up in a time when the experts said a new ice age was coming and we were going to all freeze in the dark because we were running out of fuel. I grew up in a time when school children were taught to huddle under their desks to save them from the A bombs sent by the evil Ruskies. Never really fully believed the first and didn't believe the Ruskie part at all. The American mindset and love of guns would make it suicide for any attempts of occupation by outside forces. I never considered the Soviets so stupid they hadn't realized it would be like cornering a sleuth of angry bears in the back of a cave.

My point being the older you get, the more horror scenarios you see fade into the past and the more skeptical you become

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4s0nzsU1Wg&feature=youtu.be
 
  #36  
Old 10-11-11, 11:10 AM
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Tony - I think what prompted some of the "tin hat" responses is the fact that with all the things in the world that deserve concern EMP protection is so far down on people's worry list that most folks here are incredulous that anyone would be sweating it. I rank it right around worrying about alien invaders or getting eaten by a crocodile.
Or wearing a tin foil hat so that the government can't control your mind.

When I was in the military 40 years ago EMP protection was a concern. At the time a nuclear confrontation was a hell of a lot more likely than it is now. As other's have posted there aren't a whole lot of folks around with the technology or the delivery capability. Those that have the ability to build and detonate a large EMP producing device are certainly aware of the consequences.

My advice - find a different problem to sweat. Asteroid impact or maybe hairy assed ants.
 
  #37  
Old 10-11-11, 12:05 PM
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I'm with the rest of these guys, I didn't mean to mock anyone. EMP is real, there is no doubt about that BUT the doubt is whether or not it is a likely scenario to cover a major portion of the country and I (along with many others) do not believe that to be true.

Most of us are in our sixties and like Ray stated, we grew up with all kinds of scares drummed into our heads, scares that so far have not happened except perhaps the overpopulation issue. Yes, we SHOULD prepare for things that are likely to happen but the truth is that a country-wide EMP strike is very UN-likely. That isn't to say it can't happen but natural disasters such as fires, floods, earthquakes and the like are far more likely than any EMP event, large or small.

As I wrote previously, I live in an urban area in close proximity to several military installations and also civilian manufacturing facilities that would be likely targets of any act of war or widespread terrorism, whether they be with conventional arms, nuclear or EMP. If such happened I'd be screwed, blued and tattooed, no question about it. My comfort is that so would the other roughly two million people in my area. Neither I nor most of the two million people have either the land or the wherewithal to prepare for such an unlikely event as an EMP strike.

Now in regard to the government publications of possible scenarios from an EMP strike you must remember that the government always looks at the worst possible results of any disaster-type situation and writes their reports in this vein. Quite honestly, there are thousands of such reports on almost anything imaginable and very few incidents, if any, have come close to the total projected damages (or outcome) of the written report.

The bottom line for me is that there are some things I can prepare for and others that I cannot. I have a generator in case the power goes out, I have non-perishable food stockpiled so I can go a couple of weeks without going to the grocery store if need be. I usually have at least a two-week supply of all my meds on hand. I'm not so good at keeping the gas tank on my car more than half-full but I never claimed to be perfect. I think it is far more likely that the hill my house is built upon will someday slip and my house will end up fifty feet lower than it is now than I/we will experience an EMP event. I really can't do anything about the hill but move, and I have no plans to move before I die. I feel the same about an EMP event.
 
  #38  
Old 10-11-11, 04:00 PM
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Tony, as the others have said, we barb each other all the time on this part of the forum. Bottom line on EMP.....What are you going to do about it??? Really do about it? If you survive, what will you have? It is on my concern list right along with whale poop....at the bottom of the ocean. There are more concerning matters that I CAN do something about and choose to. But I acknowledge your concern and it seems you have been doing some digging.
 
  #39  
Old 10-11-11, 06:09 PM
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Thanks everyone for more explanations.

I think everything boils down to how hard is it to prepare measured against the probability of the event.

For me, it looks easy. I live in the country with limitless fresh drinking water on my property (and not needing electric to get to it), I already have about 6 months of 30-year food stored for my wife and I (just like some of you do), and we have plenty of home defense weapons with nothing but farms around. So the only thing that I'd really need to do to prepare is this electric stuff. Consider this: you all feel that EMP preparation isn't worth the effort/cost. What if all you had to do is pay $150 to someone and you'd be protected from an EMP for life, including food. Would you do it?

Yes, it's unlikely that an EMP takes out the country, but if you'd be protected by this unlikely event, would you take that very small step to protect against it? I think a lot of you would ...ONLY because it was almost effortless. Well, that's the position I'm in. I'm 45 and became financially independent at 33, so I'm almost always looking for something to do too.

Anywho,
It sounds like most here are in agreement that the reason an EMP falls low on the priority list is because it's unlikely. Now, how do I research that? I don't know.
 
  #40  
Old 10-12-11, 05:27 AM
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Tony - Just a guess but I think you are probably the only person in this forum that has a 6 month supply of 30 year food put aside.

The point is that most people plan for things that may happen (flood, fire, hurricanes etc.) and there is enough of that. Spending time and money on the highly improbable just seems like a waste.
 
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