Tag Archives: EMP

Senior citizen survival techniques

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Senior citizen survival techniques)

A.  Survival of the Elderly and Disabled
19 Dec 2013, AmericanPreppersNetwork.com, by James C. Jones, EMT/CHCM
Pasted from: http://americanpreppersnetwork.com/2013/12/survival-elderly-disabled.html

seniors in the day

The challenges of surviving a sustained catastrophic event for the elderly and the disabled are almost totally ignored by the “prepper” community.  Survival recommendations and training are almost always directed at healthy, younger people who are at their maximum strength and health.  Most preppers have or will have elderly parents or relations that may suffer from arthritis, heat disuse, COPD, and dementia at some point. My wife and I both lived in the inner city with disabled parents for decades.  For us, evacuation was just out of the question.  We were not going to abandon our responsibilities regardless of risk.  A few years ago I participated in a FEMA sponsored workshop on community preparedness.  We knew that there are people who need oxygen, chemotherapy, medications, dialysis and other treatments to survive more than a week or two.  Even more are aged or crippled with MS and other diseases that prohibit them from accessing food and critical needs without aid.  What we learned at that event was that there was little the emergency services could do for these folks under major disaster situations.  It is estimated that the majority of those over 70 years of age and those who are functionally disabled or medically dependent will die within the first thirty-days of a full –scale national disaster. [This should be a fair warning and wake up call for us seniors…take steps to beat those odds and to help prepare your junior family members for what might come as a surprise event for them. Mr. Larry]

If you are among the elderly or disabled or anyone important to you is, you need to adjust your plans accordingly.  If you have disabled parents, your whole survival plans are going to be limited and modified.  Evacuation may be impossible.  Rescue and defense may be the only option.  Disabilities (yours or other) and handicaps will reduce your chances, but it does not mean that you are doomed.  Realistic preparedness can provide a real chance for your survival regardless of conditions.

As we grow older (we all will) our capacity to carry loads for long distances is going to diminish.  In addition to muscle loss we are more prone to illness and sensitive to temperature extremes.  Heat diseases, COPD and arthritis may make any kind of “hiking” out of the question.  If you are living alone or with an aged partner you have two options:

1)  If you can move to a safer location away from the city and high populations do so.
2)  have a plan to drive or be driven to a safer area well before situations get critical.

If these are not an option or unlikely, plan to shelter in place as best you can. That means having water, food, warmth, medications and self-protection that works for you in your conditions.
Fire is your biggest threat to in place survival. Can you use a fire extinguisher?  You must have ways to escape a fire that works for you.
In the gravest extreme you still need to have some kind of evacuation pack.  Even if you can only carry or drag 5 to 10 pounds it’s far better than nothing.  A quart of water, medications, snacks, a flashlight a Space Blanket and a weapon will give you a big advantage.
If you can get a few hundred yards to some other shelter you have a chance.   Some perfectly healthy people will die from unpreparedness and giving up.  Some prepared and determined disabled folks will get through with a little luck and determination.

There are two classes of disability related to emergency situations.  We have the cooperative, but disabled who will aid in their own care to whatever extent they can and the uncooperative who may have dementia, or are just in violent denial.

This last category is very difficult to help. They may fight your efforts and even sabotage your plans and equipment.  Getting them to a care facility in advance is your best option, but keep in mind that many of these facilities were abandoned during hurricane Katrina and would be again.  They have good plans for limited time and area disasters, but not for massive collapse events.
Otherwise, you are going to have to care for them as best you can while dealing with survival and defense priorities.  The cooperative disabled may be able to aide significantly in their own preparations and survival actions depending on the extent of their problems.  You must discuss these issues with them now.
Build up supplies of everything they need (as above) at their location and show them what to do.  Give special attention to oxygen and critical medications they need. Have a plan to take them to safety or to your safe location ahead of an event.  If possible make arrangements with neighbors for their care until you can get to them.

seniors collage

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B.  Prepping For Seniors
SurvivalBlog.com, by Retired Rev.
Pasted from: http://www.survivalblog.com/2013/06/prepping-for-seniors-by-retired-rev.html

I became aware of the need for prepping too late to have the advantages associated with youth.  Seniors are already dealing with issues of declining physical prowess, declining health and a growing sense of mortality.  To add prepping to the list of concerns seemed more than a bit overwhelming, but given the realities of our day, prepping slowly became an unavoidable necessity as I began to understand that the economic path on which our nation is traveling is clearly becoming unsustainable and is getting worse, not better.

There was also the additional concern – shared by preppers of any age – of convincing my dear wife that my fears were well-founded and that prepping was seriously necessary if we were to have a chance to survive TEOTWAWKI.  So the first challenge to overcome when contemplating prepping as a senior is the same challenge as for younger preppers:  Becoming convinced that there is serious trouble ahead that will likely destroy the support systems on which we have all become far too dependent.

For me, that reality began to come home to me as I watched the unfolding of the current administration’s agenda to abandon private enterprise as an economic model and move toward a more socialistic, European model.  It still puzzles me that we can easily observe the disintegration of the economic well-being of European nations on our evening news broadcasts, and then decide to emulate them ourselves.  Human nature is a strange thing!  Regardless of the reasons, it became clear to me that there is no will to rectify the situation in Washington and that we are rushing pell-mell toward some sort of inevitable financial Armageddon.  Therefore, the only reasonable path for me was to begin prepping in earnest despite my age of 66 years.

At first my wife was not open to the idea of prepping at all.  Women don’t like their “nesting” instincts messed with and to assert that all that we have come to depend on (Social Security, pensions, health care systems, investments, and the like), might well come to an end in the reasonably near future, was and is very difficult for her to deal with.  It was understandable.  So, my initial efforts at raising her awareness consisted of providing a running commentary on the evening news.  As things in Europe began to deteriorate into economic chaos, I would just point out that if we think that we are immune to such things here, we’d better think again!  Then, when President Obama was re-elected for his second term, I turned to my wife and said, “Honey, I’m sorry if this makes you uncomfortable, but now we really do need to get serious about our prepping.”  The economic mess that has been created was not going to be addressed by the Obama administration.

Reading was essential to my preparation for prepping.  The first book that influenced me was 77 Days in September , by Ray Gorham.  This was a tale of a man on a business trip to Houston whose plane crashed on take off due to an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on the United States.  It chronicled his trip walking home to northwest Montana, and was a primer to cultural breakdown.  Additionally, I read James Wesley Rawles, Patriots, which served as a wealth of resources for prepping and was a whopping good story.  I couldn’t get my wife to read either one because they were both just too scary, but they helped me get prepping into focus for my family and I.

Another influence in raising my awareness was information from a friend of mine who subscribes to Richard Maybury’s Early Warning Report (http://www.richardmaybury.com/).  Mr. Maybury is a combination historian and economist whose writings are both eloquent and pointed respecting how history intersects with economics and whose writings were often the stuff of Ron Paul campaign speeches on the topics.  The subscription to Maybury’s publication is a bit pricey, but worth the investment.

My wife was still not really on board (the contemplation of economic chaos was just too unpleasant to deal with for her), so I determined that I would begin prepping on my own simply because it is my responsibility to provide for my wife, (our daughter is grown and gone), whether or not she approved of my efforts and would willingly suffer whatever consequences may come from that.

As retired senior citizens, there are things to be considered in prepping that younger people don’t need to consider to the same degree.  Living in the wilderness at a remote retreat simply isn’t as realistic an option for seniors no matter how tempting that choice may be.  Health care needs especially come into play and the effort it takes for relocation to such locales is almost beyond our emotional and physical abilities.  This was particularly complicated for us because after 40 years of married life, we had finally retired and moved to our retirement home in northern Colorado, near Fort Collins.  We had often joked that the next box out of our house had better have one of us in it!  So for us (and I believe for most senior citizens), prepping is a “bug in” proposition.

We have some things going for us in our location.  We live in a small town of about 3,000 people.  It is mostly a bedroom community for Fort Collins, Loveland, and Greeley, Colorado.  Additionally, we are not next to I-25 but about several miles east of that major thoroughfare.  We are about an hour north of Denver which is a cause for some concern, but are hopeful that most desperate refugees would turn west from I-25 toward Fort Collins rather than east toward the open prairies.  Our community is likely small enough to get organized, but I don’t see that happening until the proverbial stuff hits the fan and they are forced to do so.

The problem with a bedroom community is that it doesn’t really see itself as a community to any great degree so it will be necessary to try to identify some like-minded folks prior to the collapse to form a cadre of leadership with which to offer our community some guidance whenever things “go south”.  It will be a difficult place to defend as we sit out on the prairie with the usual mile section grids that come with that.  Additionally, while some natural water sources are present, most are connected to irrigation canals, reservoirs, and the like, while the municipal water supply is connected to a water tower which requires electricity to pump water into it.  Water is always a big issue when you live in the rain shadow of the Rockies.  Therefore, I have begun to store water in larger quantities in house and garage.

With respect to food preparation, I have convinced my wife that having a year’s supply of food is just a practical thing to do if there is any chance that things could get rough – the Social Security and pension checks could stop coming, and the panic following an economic collapse might quickly empty the grocery store shelves.  So I opted for a two-pronged approach.

1) First, there was the purchase of some long-term foods that stored essentially longer than I am likely to stay alive.  Here I examined the “Mormon Four”:  wheat, honey/sugar, dry milk, and salt.  These were basic staples that may not be all that tasty, would keep us alive and I wouldn’t need to worry about expiration dates except for the dry milk.  There are some local grain elevators near us who sell wheat in bulk, but the grain has not been thoroughly cleaned and my wife wasn’t very excited about that.  So the best source I could find for nice, clean wheat for the price was at http://www.store.lds.org.  I am not a Mormon, but I do recognize that these folks likely know more about food storage than just about anyone out there.  So 600 lbs. of wheat was ordered (hard red, and hard white) and stored away for safekeeping.  Likewise, a hand grain mill was ordered.  It will give you a workout, but it nicely converts wheat to useable flour.  I purchased a Wonder Mill Jr., grain mill from http://www.onlygrainmills.com, and it works just fine.  Additionally, quantities of salt, sugar/honey, and dry milk were purchased and stored in the usual white buckets, but since my wife can’t open the usual plastic lids on the buckets, I opted for splurging on some gamma lids that seal nicely, but unscrew for easy access.  Arthritis takes it’s toll!

2) The second prong of my food preps involved the purchasing of food items from Sam’s Club, and the local grocery stores with emphasis being given to acquiring a year’s supply of such goods and using them on a first purchased, first eaten rotational basis.  We built some storage closets in our basement, installed shelving, and stocked them full of goods paying attention, whenever possible, to finding items with extended expiration dates.

We have also planted three raised gardens in our back yard to produce as much produce on our own as we can and have purchased long-term, heritage seeds to keep for the future.

The next real life senior concern to be addressed was prescription drugs.  Both my wife and I are on cholesterol statin drugs, and blood pressure medication as are nearly every elderly couple I know.  What to do about that?  Here I want to carefully evaluate how seriously we need these medications and seek to acquire a surplus of them.  If possible I hope to convince my doctor to prescribe a year’s supply of these medications.  If he refuses, then it is my plan to see how much of the medications I can take and still not see a significant jump in either my cholesterol “score” or my blood pressure.  Perhaps I can take the meds every other day or every third day instead of daily and save the rest.  Failing to succeed in those efforts means that when things get serious and no further prescriptions can be obtained, then I will take whatever prescription medications I have and cut them in half.  Then I will take half of those cut in half, and cut them in half again.  The object is to wean myself off of them gradually rather than take them as prescribed and then stop cold turkey.  Blood pressure medications and cholesterol drugs are preventative meds, thus, it simply may become necessary to let things play out as they will if they become unavailable.

In addition to medications, the elderly need to consider establishing a circle of friends and/or family who live in close proximity.  Eventually, us old folks get so old that we just can’t get things done on our own.  I’ve walked through these things with my own parents so I know what I am speaking about first hand.  Aging is simply one of the most challenging aspects of life and there is no such thing as the “Golden Years”.  Death does not scare me nor does it frighten my wife.  We are Christian people (I am a retired Lutheran pastor), and we know exactly where we are headed when we die and frankly can’t wait to make the trip!  What doesn’t excite us is the process of dying.  If we end up in a situation in which the usual artificial supports (medications, hospitals, doctors, and such) are not available, we know that we will die sooner rather than later.  If that is the case, then so be it!  The cadre of family and/or friends nearby is simply what people have always done in the past to care for those who can’t care for themselves until they go home to be with the Lord.

Older people are not just a drag on others, however.  We have an array of skills, knowledge, and understanding of an age when electronics didn’t even exist, when we burned our own trash in the back yard, and by and large took care of ourselves and others without the government having much to say about it.  Those are precisely the skills that communities that are cooperating in surviving need to know.  Additionally, there is a difference between being older and being decrepit.  I am old, not decrepit.  I can work a full day, shoot straight, and think clearly.  Until the day comes when such things are no longer possible for me, then I can be a productive member of any survival community.

With preppers of every age, however, I hope and pray daily that all of this preparation isn’t needed.  However, I will continue to be ready just in case it is.

 

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Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

Nuclear EMP (electromagnetic pulse)

(Survival Manual/1. Disaster/Nuclear EMP)

What would happen after a Nuclear EMP attack?
The scenario begins with a nuclear explosion in low earth orbit, at the distance of the International Space Station, above middle America.
A nuclear blast about 200 miles above the mid-U.S. could wipe out every electric grid in the country-plunging our nation into darkness. It would literally send our nation back to the 18th century. (A very powerful X-class solar flare could have the same impact.) An EMP blast from a nuclear bomb would shut down devices or vehicles using microchips. Planes would stop flying; banks and hospitals would cease operation; trains would stop running; tractors, trucks and cars would cease working. Elevators would malfunction; subways would stop. All commerce would cease. A blast like this could not only wipe out the electric grid in the U.S. but in Canada and Mexico. The more technologically advanced a nation is, the more vulnerable it is to an EMP attack.

From the book, One Second After,  by William R. Forstchen, a plausible social-economic scenario following an EMP attack on the USA is as follows:
<http://draginol.joeuser.com/article/357651/What_would_happen_after_an_EMP_attack>

Day 1: July Year 201x
Five container ships in the gulf of Mexico fire medium range SCUD missiles high into the atmosphere until they reach far above Kansas and other states.  On board are 45KT nuclear warhead.  It explodes creating EMP that takes out all of the integrated circuits in the United States.
That means anything electronic that hasn’t been hardened is going to be ruined.  That means your computers, TVs, cars, home electronics, breaker box, phones, radios, cell phones. It also means the power companies, their generators, the backup generators at hospitals, nursing homes, etc.
All of the farms and their harvesting equipment is dead. The trucks that move food to the cities are ruined. The trains that move freight around the country are inoperable.
Every airplane flying crashes. All planes on the down are ruined.
The only thing working are US conventional forces that happened to be hardened against EMP (which means quite a few of them).  Some cars stored in underground parking garages would probably work depending on the proximity.
There’s no fall out. Nobody dies from the attack directly.

Day 2:
With power out people’s fridges are DOA.  With no working cars, people don’t go to work. In the country and in the suburbs, people take the food out of their refrigerators and freezers before it “goes bad” and have BBQs. It’s a fun time.
People who were driving somewhere are mostly able to make it to town. A few people die of heat stroke on their journeys. In the deep south, particularly Florida, there are a number of deaths due to the heat since air conditioning is out.
In the cities, looting begins quite quickly. The police can’t do much since they’re on foot or on horse.
We know this sort of thing because we have seen what happens during extended power outages. Of course, in those cases cars, cell phones, and other crucial devices still worked but there was still massive looting in the large cities.

Day 3:
Local agencies really don’t know what’s going on since there is no communication. No cell phones. No radio. No land lines. The grid is gone.  There are spare parts but nowhere near enough to fix it all and because of the nature of the electrical grid, all the holes have to be plugged for the juice to flow again.  And even if they had enough parts, how do they transport them? No trucks. No cars.
International relief from Japan, China, Canada (though most of Canada is taken out too), Mexico, Europe begins but it’ll be slow going. Food shipments can reach the coast in a couple of days but getting it inland will be a major problem as the vehicles will have to be transported in along with parts to try to get the railroads working again (along with teams to get dead trains off the rails).
In the subs, the party is over. It ain’t funny now.  People are finishing off what was in their refrigerator. Most people still have some food in the cupboard.
Stores start rationing their supplies. People are still using money (at least, those who keep cash). A bottle of water is $20.  How much cash do you keep in your house?
In the cities, riots have broken out with widespread destruction. Being July, it’s hot and dry. Fires from the riots start to spread.

End of Week 1:
By now, most people in the subs have run out of food they would normally remotely consider eating. Looting at the local Wal-Mart and grocery stores begins as people simply take what they need.
Remember, people aren’t hearing anything from the authorities. There are no working TVs. No working radios. The handful of police are walking in the subs.
If you live in the suburbs, take a close look around. How would the police reasonably patrol your city without cars? Meanwhile, people in nursing homes have started dying en-masse.
Without refrigeration drugs quickly go bad. Anyone requiring help breathing or anything else has already died.
People with type 1 diabetes are starting to see the writing on the wall.
Meanwhile, the first container ships of relief have reached San Francisco, Seattle, LA, San Diego, Houston, Miami, Boston, NY, Washington, Raleigh. Lots of food, medicine, some parts, lots of vehicles.
Unfortunately most of those cities are in utter pandemonium. In the south, tens of thousands have already died from heat.  In 2003, when there was a heat wave in France, 14800 people died. They didn’t lose power, they just didn’t have air conditioning.  In Florida, the death toll is skyrocketing quickly. Same in most of the other southern states.

End of Week 2:
People are starting to die of dysentery from eating bad food, drinking bad water. Many have left the suburbs to head to rural areas where they think there is food (they’re wrong, harvest won’t happen for months, industrialized food processing involves a lot of transportation between the farms and the slaughter houses).
The typical American family, now out of food and with no access to clean water is starting to get pretty desperate.
What? Only 2 weeks? How much food do you have in your house right now? Go check. I’ll wait….
Okay back? So how much is in your pantry? How long would it last you? If you knew at the start, you might have rationed it better. But you didn’t.
Millions of Americans are wishing they had put those steaks and hamburgers and hotdogs in their basements in the cooler temperatures. Others are wishing they had salted them heavily and cooked them well done to store for the long haul.
In the cities on the coast, power is restored via backup generators relatively close to shore. However, within 10 miles from the harbor, death is everywhere.  Don’t agree?
Ever been to San Francisco? LA? New York City? 14 days have passed. Where would you have gone? The smart ones, who are able to, would have found their way to the harbors and waited for air lifts of food and such. But most would probably not think about that.
Meanwhile, armed thugs are starting to systematically go through every building and house looking and taking what they need.

End of Week 3
Starvation is starting to become a real problem. If your local law enforcement had a clue, they had already gotten themselves and helpful citizens around to the stores to gather up supplies to start rationing it.
At this point, martial law has been declared by any competent city government.  Some cities decide that, for the public good of course, that all community food will be collected and distributed equally to everyone. In other places, large armed mobs are violently taking what is needed to survive.
Are you a survivalist? Got all your supplies right? Got MREs in the basement. You have an AK47 that you managed to get quietly at a gun show. Your kids know how to use the two shot guns. You’ve been prepared for this day right?  Great. You’re about to die.
You see, you might be able to keep a few people away. But word got around that you have supplies because you’re that guy who everyone knew was expecting to “bug out” one day when the government and black helicopters came.  You might be able to take out a few people but 200+ Nope. You’re going to take a lot of them out but they’re going to come in, kill you, your family, and your supplies.
What? Don’t agree? People won’t do that? Again: Other than on the coast (in some major cities near harbors anyway) you’ve heard and seen nothing from the government other than the occasional Black Hawk flying around. No TV. No phones. No radios.
A few people have managed to dig up old HAM radios and they are getting distant broadcasts of reassurance but it’s clear that nothing’s coming any time soon if you live significantly inland, especially if you don’t live in a densely populated area.
It’s triage at this point and the rural and suburbs areas are simply too spread out. Unfortunately, in the cities, fires have consumed much of them. Anyone strong enough to get out of there has which further distributes the population.
A few older cars start showing up again on the roads as collectables and just old junkers are fixed up and are able to drive because they didn’t have electronics in them.

End of the first month:
A network of outposts are re-established in most large and medium sized cities. Medium sized cities are faring a bit better. Kalamazoo Michigan, Santa Cruz California, and other cities of this kind are doing okay now as convoys are starting to show up.
Really large cities away from the coast are dead at this point.  Sorry Omaha, there’s nobody home anymore.

The Second Month:
Now is when the death toll really starts to go up.  First, you have about 5% of the population that was on medication to control their mental states. This is now gone.  They will mostly die off this month or take out a few others in the process.
Nearly everyone with Type 1 diabetes has died.
Virtually who requires assisted care at this point has died.
Millions of children under 2 have died. Why? Do you have any children? If you’re not nursing them, how are you feeding them at this point?
There are not many domesticated dogs left that haven’t been freed by owners.
The number of deer left that are near people has diminished to the point of being difficult to find. Same with geese, ground hogs, rabbits, etc.
Most cities of any decent size now have an outpost re-established with convoys of food now arriving. However, it’s starting to become a real problem because, well it turns out that the US and Canada supply a significant chunk of the world’s food. 47% of the world’s Soy beans are produced in the United States. 86% of the world’s corn. The bulk of the world’s wheat.
It’s during this second month that the food shipments to the United States are going to start to dry up as hunger starts to become a significant problem in China, Japan, and other countries that have to import food. The US and Canada make up 20% of the world’s food exports and if you count only basic foods the percentage nearly doubles.
The world has its first universal consensus: Oh shit.
It’s at about this time that those who were celebrating in the streets about the downfall of the great Satan are starting to get the first thought that yes, they’re going to die too. North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Pakistan, and many other countries are about to see starvation on a level that has never been seen before.
By contrast, Europe is doing okay. Not great. But okay. Their economies are in ruins but they’re not going to die en-masse.
In Japan, where starvation is a serious concern, they and Korea have enough money to pay top dollar for the dwindling import food supply. Russia, unfortunately, is about to have a very rough year.
Needless to say, the food aid shipments to the United States are starting to dwindle. Western Europe, particularly Great Britain, Spain, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Netherlands are still sending food shipments.
If you’re on the East coast in a secure area, you’re in good shape.  If you’re on the west coast, most of you are going to die.

Third Month:
The population of the United States is starting to take on the same appearance it did in 1909.
Here is what it looked like in the year 2000.
8% of the population was over 70.  Nearly all of them have died.
3% of the population is under 4.  Nearly all of them have died.
Urban populations of the United States have had staggering death tolls, particularly those not near the coasts.
Anyone requiring medication that needed to be refrigerated in order to live (anti-rejection drugs, insulin, various heart medications, for instance) has died. Easily 10% of the population on top of the above.
Around 20% of the population has starved.
Another 10% in the south who are living in places that were uninhabitable without modern technology have died.  Think LA is nice? Imagine it without water.  Any water.
In fact, if you live in California, take a look around. Where does your water come from?  Most of the population of Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and parts of Utah have died.
Power is starting to get restored due to generators and the government now had a decent supply of cars. Fixing the grid has become a priority.
While heat has killed millions in the south, we’re now getting near November. It’s starting to get cold.

The fourth month
I tell people who come and interview that Michigan’s southern part is about the same latitude as Northern California.  Winters in the upper part of the United States and lower Canada aren’t that bad – if you have heat.
But we don’t have heat.  Natural gas has to be pumped and pumped through a huge network across the country.  When power goes out, even for a few days, a lot of infrastructure falls apart.  New York’s subways, for example are gone.  Much of Chicago has flooded too.  Those who have enough propane will be okay, for awhile (at least until armed thugs come and take it).
By this point, restoring natural gas is not going to be a simple matter of restoring power.  Ever wondered how natural gas gets to your house?  It’s all repairable but it will take time and unfortunately, a lot of that expertise in people has died or is otherwise unavailable. That means bringing people in which will take more time.
If you live in northern states at this point, and you haven’t starved to death, you’re probably going to start dying of exposure.
But that’s a gift compared to what people still struggling to make it in warmer areas as we get reintroduced to cholera, TB, and diarrhea become major problems.
In fact, in 1900 the #1 cause of death in the United States was pneumonia. The #3 was diarrhea. That’s right. The runs killed more Americans than Heart disease, cancer, strokes, etc.  And this November, it returns from retirement as people, without proper sanitation, start to die off from all kinds of things that were previously unheard of.
In fact, as November closes, the United States has reverted to a third world country. No, that’s not fair. Third world countries usually have electricity and their inhabitants usually know how to start a fire.  Do you know how to start a fire without matches and such? Remember watching Survivor and laughing at them? They were in pretty good conditions to get a fire going.  You, by contrast, are wet, cold, weakened, and not sure if it’s even a good idea to start a fire because, well, what are you going to do with it? There’s little food.
On the west coast, food shipments have dropped to a trickle.  LA, Seattle, San Fran, it’s not a fun time there now.

One Year later
The grid is re-established in the mid-west, the east coast, and much of the south.  It’s partially re-established on the west coast thanks to help from South Korea, China, and Japan. Thanks guys. We appreciate it even if most of us are dead.
So what’s the death toll?  Conservatively, you’re looking at 40% of the population of the US and Canada has died. That’s probably a best case scenario if food and equipment shipments from the rest of the world come in quickly.
A smart (well not really smart because the states that sponsor terrorists have died off due to the unintended consequences) terrorist would have also zinged Japan, South Korea, the Chinese east coast, and western Europe. If that happened, you would be looking far higher deaths everywhere as there would be no relief coming in.
The population of the United States today is over 300 million people.  In 1900 it was 76 million. The biggest reason for the increase isn’t due to birth rate but rather the massive decline of the death rate.  And remember, they had infrastructure back in 1900.  We’d be worse off than they were because they knew how to live back then.
How many people know how to can food? How many modern Americans know how much wood to cut to burn? How many Americans live in places where they need an elevator, as a practical matter, to get to where they live?
Heck, how many Americans are simply living today because they have access to all kinds of medical technology?  How many Americans are living in places that can only be inhabited thanks to modern technology? Most of the south west was a barren desert until electrical pumps became possible. Much of the south wasn’t, as a practical matter, livable until air condition.
Also, consider our immune systems of today versus what it was 100 years ago. Our sterilized world has made us very vulnerable to the bacteria and viruses that lurk just outside our electrified civilization. And they would be back to visit within weeks.

Conclusions
Is what I describe realistic? Nobody really knows. There are studies out there.  The book, One Second After is a bit more dire than I think it would be.  And it may turn out that our infrastructure is tougher than it seems or that the types of nuclear warheads that an Iran or North Korea could produce aren’t powerful enough to cause the necessary EMP.
But what is so frightening is how vulnerable we are.  It wouldn’t take much of a shove to bring down the electrical grid.  You could still end up with a situation where 10% of the American population (30 million) die simply by screwing up the electrical grid for a couple months.
Do I think this will happen? Probably not. I have a lot of faith in humanity.  But when one considers the things that we worry about – global warming comes to mind, it amazes me how unconcerned people are at how easily disrupted our modern lives could be given how dependent we are on our technology today.

Emergency Services and Preparations
A few days after an EMP attack, a lot of people will become really terrified as their food and water supplies run out, and they discover that there is no way to obtain fresh supplies.  Within two or three weeks, the military services will likely come to the rescue for many people.  If the size of the attack has been very large, though, that period of relief will probably not last very long.  An even larger problem for food distribution is that any kind of centrally-directed distribution, no matter how well-intentioned, is highly inefficient.  If you drive into any very large city with enough food for everyone, no centralized organization has ever figured out how to devise a mechanism that is anything close to being as efficient as the marketplace to get the food to everyone.  In any case, most people will soon simply begin to starve to death.
For many people, their first concern regarding an EMP attack or a solar super storm is the protection of their personal electronics, or even their automobiles.  For nearly everyone, though, the first real problem they will face will come from the loss of power to the pumps that supply their water and with the computers that maintain the only local food supplies.  Although most individuals cannot do anything to protect critical computers or to protect the power to critical water pumps, some advanced planning can increase the chances that you will have an adequate supply of food and water.

For any emergency food supplies that you do get, it is important to get food that you personally like and are actually likely to use, even if a personal emergency never happens.  Then, if an emergency does happen, it will be you, not distant relief workers, who will determine what the content of your food supply is.  Some people keep only grains as an emergency food supply.  Although some raw grains have a very long shelf life and a high calorie density, they do not have an adequate spectrum of nutrients for long-term use.  In any emergency situation where scarcity of food is a long-term problem, we are likely to see the return of long-forgotten nutritional diseases such as scurvy and various kinds of other vitamin deficiencies, especially of the B vitamins and vitamin D.

Don’t forget about water.   Few people keep an emergency supply of water, in spite of the fact that it is inexpensive and easy to do.  Almost every country of the world has a period of days every year where many people in some large area are without drinkable water.  In most countries, much of the water is pumped by electric motors.  After a major EMP attack or a solar superstorm, electricity for most of those pumps is going to be unavailable for a very long period of time.  It would be easy for most cities to have a protected emergency electrical supply in place for critical pumps; but, like most EMP protection activity, although it is easy and could possibly save millions of lives, it is not being done.

It is also a good idea to have plenty of fire extinguishers.  The immediate aftermath of either a nuclear EMP attack or a large solar superstorm is likely result in a number of fires, along with the elimination of the water necessary to extinguish the fires.  Both the E3 component of a nuclear electromagnetic pulse, as well as the DC-like currents induced by a large solar superstorm, are likely to overheat thousands of transformers that are connected to long wires.  Although it is the destruction of the very large transformers in the power grid that could keep the power grid from being restored for many years, many smaller transformers, such as those on utility poles, and spread throughout suburban neighborhoods, are at risk of overheating to the point that they cause fires.

If you plan to use solar cells or battery power, you will probably want to keep a small inverter under shielding.  Inverters that can step up ordinary 12 volt DC power to a few hundred watts of household AC are not terribly expensive.  For people who own protected photovoltaic solar cells, a number of DC-powered appliances have recently become available.

If you do have access to post-EMP electricity sufficient to run a microwave oven occasionally, that can be a very efficient way of cooking food in many situations.  The problem is that most microwave ovens couldn’t be turned on after an EMP event due to the sensitivity of the solid-state control circuitry.  The magnetron that generates the heat in a microwave oven would probably survive an EMP just fine.  Microwave ovens are heavily shielded, but the sensitive control circuits are outside of the shielding.  A few microwave ovens are controlled by a mechanical timer, and these would probably be fully functional after an EMP (assuming that you can occasionally get enough electricity to operate them).  You can still find mechanical-timer-controlled microwave ovens occasionally, although they are getting harder to find every year.  I bought one about three years ago at K-Mart for $40 for post-EMP use.  I have recently seen small microwave ovens with electro-mechanical controls come back onto the market.

If you want to store larger items in a faraday cage, you can use copper screen or aluminum screen.  Most commercial faraday cages use copper screen, but copper screen is expensive and is difficult for most individuals to obtain.  Bright aluminum screen works almost as well, and aluminum screen can be obtained in rolls at many building supply stores such as Home Depot.  Don’t worry about the fact that this screen is not a solid material.  The size of the tiny ventilation holes in the mesh of ordinary window screen is irrelevant to EMP protection.  Aluminum screen can make a very effective electromagnetic shield.  Ordinary ferrous (iron-containing) window screen is not a good material for a faraday cage because it is a poor electrical conductor.

It is important to have all of the computer data that is important to you backed up onto optical media, like CD or DVD.  Paper printouts are fine, but after an EMP attack, most of the data on paper printouts will simply never get typed back into computers, so those paper printouts will just become your personal mementos.
CD and DVD data (in other words, optical media) is not affected by EMP.  Even if your computers are destroyed, if the country’s economy can get re-built after an EMP attack, then new computers can be purchased from other continents.  If all the computer data is gone, then recovery is going to be many years later than it would be if the data could just be reloaded from optical media.  Computer data runs our modern world.  It is a major part of the invisible magic that I mentioned at the top of this page.  If you own a small business, that computer data can be especially important.  (It is probably not a good idea to use double-sided DVDs, though, since there is the possibility of arcing between layers during electronic attacks.  It is best to just use single-sided single-layer media.)  For long-term storage of data, archival grade CD-R and DVD-R media are available at a reasonable price from manufacturers such as Verbatim and Memorex.  The archival grade media are much more likely to last for many years or decades, and they don’t cost that much more than standard media.  Most stores don’t carry archival grade media, but they aren’t that difficult to find.
Protecting most of the electronic appliances in your house against EMP, if they are plugged in and in use, is probably hopeless.  There is always the possibility, though, that you will be near the edge of an area that is affected by an EMP attack.  For this possibility, the combination of ordinary surge suppressors and ferrite suppression cores could be very valuable.  There is at least one company that makes surge suppressors that look much like ordinary retail store surge suppressors, that are designed to be fast enough for nuclear EMP.

The most difficult part of operating a car after an EMP event (or even a solar superstorm) is likely to be obtaining gasoline.  It is very foolish to ever let the level of gasoline in your tank get below half full.  In a wide range of emergencies, one of the most valuable things to have is a full tank of gasoline.  A solar superstorm will not damage your automobile, but by knocking out the power grid, it can make fuel almost impossible to find.
It is important to remember that the last time an automobile was actually tested against nuclear EMP was in 1962.  Everything since then has been in simulators that we hope are close to the real thing.
One common question people ask is about grounding the frames of cars.  If you have a car parked in a location where there is a very short and direct connection straight down into a high-quality ground, then grounding the frame of a car might help.  In most situations, though, attempts to ground the frame of a car are more likely to just make matters worse by providing an accidental antenna for EMP.  The safest way to provide a modest amount of EMP protection for a car is to keep it parked inside a metal shed.

James Rawles on ‘Grid Down’ Scenarios
Author of How to Survive the End of the World As We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times

Grid Scenarios:
We’re looking at two different situations. In one situation where the power grid stays up, you might do well in a city of five or ten thousand people.
If the power grid goes down, I would not recommend being in a town of more than 500 population. Once you get past about 500 people, the group becomes unmanageable, especially with no radio communications and no phones to think that you can pull together as a community. Once you lose that sense of community, it’s basically every man for himself. I think people will go kind of Mad Max in an absolute worst case with the power grid down.
There’s definitely going to be a public health crisis at the very least, if not a situation where the cities become absolutely unlivable very quickly – I’m talking within two weeks.
Mr. Rawles points out the potential for “every man for himself” Mad Max scenarios as being likely outcomes in the event of a down grid. Whether you’re in the city or in rural parts of America you will either be the one looking for food and resources because you didn’t prepare, or you will be the one defending against Mad Max with a full belly and a self defense strategy.

Winter vs. Summer:
If we were to have the onset of a collapse in summertime we’d see a public health crisis very quickly. If it were to happen mid-winter we’d actually see more people dying of exposure, dying of the cold, than we would of dying of disease, especially in the Eastern United States and the North East.
It doesn’t take too long a period before blankets are insufficient – people don’t have any alternate source of heat they’ll be freezing to death in large numbers.
Then what happens in the next spring when everything thaws out? Then you have a really big public health crisis because not only are you worried about human waste – you’re also worried about thousands upon thousands of unburied bodies.
We could be in a situation where we literally could see a 90% die-off in the major metropolitan regions. Ninety percent population loss and that’s just based on loss of the power grid alone, not counting the violence of people as food supplies dwindle, going from house to house taking what little is left – fighting over the scraps in effect.
A recent report from the Center for Security Policy suggests that Mr. Rawles’ estimation of a 90% die-off is right on target, as previously discussed in, Within One Year 9 Out of 10 Americans Would Be Dead.

What to do:
I  highly recommend that if any of your listeners have the opportunity, if they’re self employed or if they can find employment, or if they’re retired, that they move to a lightly populated rural region that’s in a food producing area. In the event of a true worst-case scenario, I refer to it as When the Schumer Hits the Fan, that’s going to be your safest place to be. There, the population loss will be minimal.
But otherwise, in a grid down collapse that goes on for more than a year, we literally could see a 90% population loss in the big cities, and a 50% population loss in the suburbs and as much as a 40% loss in non-viable rural areas – I’m talking desert regions or other areas where there’s not a lot of agriculture that goes on.

Protecting Yourself from EMP
Tactically, a space-based nuclear attack has a lot going for it; the magnetic field of the earth tends to spread out EMP so much that just one 20-MT bomb exploded at an altitude of 200 miles could–in theory–blanket the continental US with the effects of EMP. It’s believed that the electrical surge of the EMP from such an explosion would be strong enough to knock out much of the civilian electrical equipment over the whole country. Certainly this is a lot of “bang for the buck” and it would be foolish to think that a nuclear attack would be launched without taking advantage of the confusion a high-altitude explosion could create. Ditto with its use by terrorists should the technology to get such payloads into space become readily available to smaller countries and groups.
But there’s no need for you to go back to the stone age if a nuclear war occurs. It is possible to avoid much of the EMP damage that could be done to electrical equipment–including the computer that brought this article to you–with just a few simple precautions.
First of all, it’s necessary to get rid of a few erroneous facts, however.
1.  One mistaken idea is that EMP is like a powerful bolt of lightning. While the two are alike in their end results–burning out electrical equipment with intense electronic surges–EMP is actually more akin to a super-powerful radio wave. Thus, strategies based on using lightning arrestors or lightning-rod grounding techniques are destined to failure in protecting equipment from EMP.
2.  Another false concept is that EMP “out of the blue” will fry your brain and/or body the way lightning strikes do. In the levels created by a nuclear weapon, it would not pose a health hazard to plants, animals, or man PROVIDED it isn’t concentrated.
EMP can be concentrated.  That could happen if it were “pulled in” by a stretch of metal. If this
happened, EMP would be dangerous to living things. It could become concentrated by metal girders, large stretches of wiring (including telephone lines), long antennas, or similar set ups. So–if a nuclear war were in the offing–you’d do well to avoid being very close to such concentrations. (A safe distance for nuclear-generated EMP would be at least 8 feet from such stretches of metal.)
3.  Another “myth” that seems to have grown up with information on EMP is that nearly all cars and trucks would be “knocked out” by EMP. This seems logical, but is one of those cases where “real world” experiments contradict theoretical answers and I’m afraid this is the case with cars and EMP. According to sources working at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, cars have proven to be resistant to EMP in actual tests using nuclear weapons as well as during more recent tests (with newer cars) with the US Military’s EMP simulators.
One reason for the ability of a car to resist EMP lies in the fact that its metal body is “insulated” by its rubber tires from the ground. This creates a Faraday cage of sorts. (Drawing on the analogy of EMP being similar to lightning, it is interesting to note that cases of lightning striking and damaging cars is almost non-existent; this apparently carries over to EMP effects on vehicles as well.)

Some electrical equipment is innately EMP-resistant. This includes large electric motors, vacuum tube equipment, electrical generators, transformers, relays, and the like. These might even survive a massive surge of EMP and would likely to survive if a few of the above precautions were taking in their design and deployment.
At the other end of the scale of EMP resistance are some really sensitive electrical parts. These include IC circuits, microwave transistors, and Field Effect Transistors (FET’s). If you have electrical equipment with such components, it must be very well protected if it is to survive EMP.

Faraday box
One “survival system” for such sensitive equipment is the Faraday box.
A Faraday box is simply a metal box designed to divert and soak up the EMP. If the object placed in the box is insulated from the inside surface of the box, it will not be effected by the EMP travelling around the outside metal surface of the box. The Faraday box simple and cheap and often provides more protection to electrical components than “hardening” through circuit designs  which can’t be (or haven’t been) adequately tested.
Many containers are suitable for make-shift Faraday boxes: cake boxes, ammunition containers, metal filing cabinets, etc., etc., can all be used.  Despite what you may have read or heard, these boxes do NOT have to be airtight due to the long wave length of EMP; boxes can be made of wire screen or other porous metal.

[Image left: metal trash can Faraday cage. Lined with cardboard liner-sides top and bottom.]

The only two requirements for protection with a Faraday box are: (1) the equipment inside the box does NOT touch the metal container (plastic, wadded paper, or cardboard can all be used to insulate it from the metal) and (2) the metal shield is continuous without any gaps between pieces or extra-large holes in it.
Grounding a Faraday box is NOT necessary and in some cases actually may be less than ideal. While EMP and lightning aren’t the “same animal”, a good example of how lack of grounding is a plus can be seen with some types of lightning strikes. Take, for example, a lightning strike on a flying airplane. The strike doesn’t fry the plane’s occupants because the metal shell of the plane is a Faraday box of sorts. Even though the plane, high over the earth, isn’t grounded it will sustain little damage.

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Filed under __1. Disaster

Long term power outage

(Survival Manual/1. Disaster/Long term power outage)

(The power’s out! At minimum, the regional grid is down.
Now what? What chain of events could happen?

 Engineers used to talk about guarding against the “single point of failure” when designing critical systems like aircraft control systems or nuclear power plants. But rarely does a single mistake or event result in a catastrophe. As we’ve seen from the March 2011 Japanese earthquake-tsunami-nuclear power plant events, disaster is usually a function of multiple mistakes and a string of bad luck, often called an ‘event cascade [1]’.
Many of the scenarios discussed in the DISASTER section of Survival Manual could result in a power outage of indeterminate length. In a disaster situation, watch for an event cascade to rapidly envelope regions–the effects would be initially seen in food and/or water shortages, there will be broad public
fear, regions of inhospitable climatic exposure, hardship and disease might follow in the mid-term.

The following paragraphs describe the impact of a major long-term electrical power outage:

A.  Main Street Infrastructure
1.  Homes
_
Water: Individuals can only survive for three or four days without access to clean drinking water.

  • Without electricity to power the city water pumps and water purification plants, many individuals may lose access to clean drinking water. Lack of clean drinking water may become a critical issue during an  extended power blackout lasting weeks and months.
  • Some large cities use lakes and reservoirs to hold drinking water supplies at elevated heights.  These systems will be fairly resistant to extended power outages. (In New York City, approximately 95% of the total water supply is delivered to the consumer by gravity. Only about  5% of the water is regularly pumped to maintain the desired pressure.)
  • Cities that use large water pumps, water treatment plants, elevated water tanks or reservoirs located below the city’s elevation may be vulnerable to extended power outages. During an electrical blackout, the pump stations that pull, move and elevate water and the water treatment plants that filter and purify the water may become inoperative due to loss of electricity. But some water plants have standby engine-generators installed to provide emergency power.
  • Many rural homes use well water or spring water. They may be severely affected unless they have portable electrical generators to power their well pumps.
  • The Northeast Blackout of 14 August 2003 (not triggered by a solar storm) affected 50 million people in Northeastern and Midwestern United States and Ontario, Canada. Many areas lost water pressure causing potential contamination of city water supplies. Cleveland, Ohio and Detroit, Michigan issued boil water orders affecting approximately 8 million people during this crisis.

_ Sewage: City waste treatment facilities depend upon electricity for operations.

  • If waste treatment facilities become inoperative due to a loss of electricity, then the untreated waste stream can either flow into rivers, streams or lakes or back up into homes and businesses. If raw sewage is allowed to overflow, it can contaminate important potential drinking water supplies.
  • Newer communities have mandated installation of check valves in sewer lines to prevent sewage from backing up into homes. But in older communities before these standards were adopted, the waste can back up into homes turning basements into cesspool.
  • Some waste treatment plants may overcome the loss of electricity and stay in operation during an extended power outage. For example, the waste treatment plant serving Akron, Ohio in the 1960’s was designed to capture and store the methane released as a byproduct of the treatment process. This methane was then used to fuel electrical power generators that powered the treatment plant and large furnaces that were used to burn the solid waste during the final phase of waste processing.
    The methane capture process provided approximately 60% of the plants fuel needs. These systems are more robust and may provide continuous operations during this type of crisis. Other waste treatment plants may have standby engine-generators installed to provide emergency power.
  • Without water, human waste cannot be flushed down the toilet. The stench from unflushed toilets may become overpowering and force people from their homes.
  • In rural communities, many individuals have septic tank systems. These are natural self-contained waste treatment systems that require no electricity for operation. These units should operate normally during a power blackout provided individuals haul water and manually flush toilets using buckets of water.
  • During the Northeast Blackout of 14 August 2003, Cleveland, Ohio; Kingston, Ontario and New York experienced major sewage spills into waterways.

_ Refrigeration: Without electricity most freezers and refrigerators will no longer operate. Food in freezers will begin to thaw out after a day or two and this food will quickly spoil. For an average family, this can be a fairly significant monetary loss.

_ Lighting: Rooms without natural lighting (windows and skylights) will be dark during the day. At night the entire house will be as dark as a cave. This will limit functionality of several rooms within the home.

_ Heating: Most furnaces (electric, gas and fuel oil) will be inoperative during an electrical power outage. Gas and fuel oil furnaces will not work because electronic ignition systems, thermostats and blower motors all require electricity for operations. In the winter, the lack of heat can make it difficult to stay warm and to keep sufficient heat within the house to prevent water pipes from freezing.

_ Cooling: Most air conditioners require electrical power to operate. In the hot humid summer, the lack of air conditioning and fans can make it difficult to stay cool and to exhaust the humidity from the house.

_ Cooking: Most ranges and ovens will be inoperative during an electrical power outage. This includes many gas ranges. Most new gas ranges currently available employ one of 3 basic gas ignition systems; pilot ignition, hot surface ignition system, or a spark ignition system. All three systems require electricity for operations. Without ranges and ovens, cooking meals and boiling water due to boil water orders and advisories will be difficult.

2.  Transportation

  • Automobiles, buses and trucking will be significantly affected by an extended electrical power outage. Stop lights will stop functioning. At major intersections the loss of stop lights will lead to major gridlock. Lack of street lights will produce darkened roadways and intersections.
    Gasoline pumps in service stations are driven by electricity.
  • Without electrical power, gasoline and diesel fuel will not be available to motorist and truckers. Generally the majority of service stations do not have emergency generators.
  • Airlines can be significantly affected by an extended major electrical power outage compounded by other solar storm effects. Without their navigational radars, no flights could land or takeoff until electrical power is restored. A blackout will disrupt the airline ticketing system. It can
    affect crash alarm/sirens and rescue and firefighting emergency response. Lack of electrical power can also affect Navaid, visual aids, runway lighting, ARFF station door operation, TSA screening equipment, lighting, baggage loading, loading bridge operation, airport air-conditioning, and refueling operations. A powerful solar storm can also jam air control radio frequencies between the aircraft and ground control. Most airports are equipped with large emergency generator systems that can provide functionality to some of their most critical systems.
  • Railway train and subway systems can be affected by inducted current from the solar storm. The tracks are long metal conductors that can pick up large inducted currents. The inducted currents can bleed over into control systems and signaling systems damaging equipment. In the past, induced currents were sufficient to turn the railroad signals red and to ignite fires in railroad control stations. Metro and subway systems are driven directly from electrical power. They will become inoperative during an electrical blackout stranding passengers.
  • Traffic signals and public transit are only part of the transportation facilities that depend on electricity. Other systems include tunnel lights and ventilation; intelligent transportation systems (ITS) equipment such as cameras, loop detectors, variable message signs, and electronic toll collection equipment; and pumps to control flooding in depressed roadways.

3.  Banking
A major electrical blackout will produce a loss of access to funds. Credit card processing, bank transactions, ATM withdrawals, check validation, payroll disbursement and even cash registers are dependent on the availability of electrical power. This problem can be compounded by the loss of key
satellites that form part of the conduit for transmitting financial data.

4.  Commerce and Industry
Commerce and industry will be plagued by the same problems impacting homes during a major electrical power blackout including potential interruption of water, sewage, lighting, heating and air conditioning. Add to this list other problems associated with electrical outages such as banking, computers and networks, transportation, shipping and receiving, payroll, and employee absenteeism.

  • I (article author) experienced the great San Fernando Valley earthquake of 9 February 1971 first hand. The earthquake knocked out power in several areas. At one major intersection, it took over an hour to travel through it because the stoplight was dead. At the time, thousand of stop lights were dead and the police were spread very thin. The only way the logjam was cleared from that intersection was when private individuals went out into the street and began directing traffic. Many emergency vehicles were tied up in these traffic jams unable to respond to true emergencies.
  • Beginning in the 1960s, engineers and architects began sealing off building from the outdoors, constructing mechanical environments solely controlled by electric power. An electrical blackout will affect many modern buildings due to poor natural ventilation and lighting. Our commerce today is also very reliance on computers and telecommunications. Loss of this infrastructure will take a heavy toll.

5. Other Impacts

  • At the onset of an electrical blackout, people will be trapped in elevators, in underground mines, on roller coasters (some dangling  from rides in midair), and inside commuter trains. (Some of these commuters  will need to be evacuated from trains stopped in tunnels and between stations.
    It can take more than 2 hours for transit workers and emergency personnel to
    reach some of these trains. Those stranded in tunnels may be in pitch blackness
    and very frightened.)
  • At the onset of an electrical blackout, most individuals  will want to return home before nightfall. In general, commuter trains and subways will be down. Automobile traffic in cities will be gridlocked due to inoperative traffic lights. Ferries, buses and taxis will continue to run but expect erratic service, very long lines, crowds and chaos. In large cities, many commuters will simply walk home with some traveling over 160 city blocks.
  • In some large cities at the onset of the blackout, tunnel managers will make several key  decisions. One decision is to close down some traffic lanes within tunnels. Generally, facilities’ ventilation systems require an excessive amount of electrical power and as a result many are not
    connected to electrical backup system. Therefore, tunnel operators will have to reduce the number of cars allowed through at any given time in order to minimize the carbon monoxide threat. Some bridge and tunnel operators will reverse one lane of traffic. This will create three lanes for traffic leaving the downtown area and one lane for vehicles returning downtown.
  • Most individuals will be keenly interested in the extent of the outage, the cause of the outage (natural or terrorist) and a prognosis of when power will be restored. At the onset of the blackout, almost all of the FM radio stations will be initially knocked off the air. Many of these stations will return over the next hour as emergency backup generators kick in. Portable radios and car radios are key in communicating an early assessment of the blackout.
  • Laptop computers with dial-up connections will generally continue to operate in an electrical blackout at least until their computer batteries drain down. Amateur radio will play a critical role in transmitting emergency communications.
  • At the onset of the blackout, many home improvement stores (e.g. Home-Depot and Lowe’s) will continue to remain open because they have some flexibility in powering limited store operations using portable emergency generators. These stores can provide much-needed supplies such as flashlights, batteries, portable power generators, etc. Some restaurants will
    remain open because gas-powered brick ovens, gas ranges and fryers will not be affected by the outage.
  • At clogged intersections, private individuals will step forward and direct traffic in order to relieve traffic congestion. In some cases, passing police officers will distribute fluorescent jackets to these noble individuals. Drivers and pedestrians will generally follow the instructions from them even though they are not traffic police officers.
  • Even if cell phone service is not physically disrupted, the heavy increase in traffic can quickly overload circuits. Text messaging appears to continue to work on overloaded cell phone networks during the onset of a power outage. In many cases, mobile cell phone towers only have emergency backup power for a few hours. Cell phones will also die as their batteries
    drain down.
  • Landline telephones run off of the small DC current that the phone company sends through the lines. But modern phones have so many gadgets that most need a separate AC adapter to run them. Unfortunately many modern phones are so poorly designed that they cannot operate at all when there is no AC current. For example, most household portable phones are useless without power to their base set.
  • Tall buildings will be particularly vulnerable to the effects of an electrical blackout. Elevators will not work. The lack of natural lighting in hallways and stairwells will make them pitch black. Even stairwells equipped with emergency lighting will go dark after about an hour as the batteries drain down. Climbing stairs in the dark can be very risky and dangerous. The water tank on the roof will quickly empty and not be refilled because the buildings water pumps will shut down. As a result, individuals will be unable to flush toilets. The air conditioner will be inoperative. Climbing long flights of stairs will be strenuous and hauling supplies of food and water back to rooms or apartments will be hard work. The buildings will be more susceptible to fire hazards because automatic fire suppression sprinklers will no longer have available water.
  • An electrical blackout will produce many displaced individuals. Individuals will be stranded in airports, train and subway systems (relatives may drive into clogged cities in an attempt to pick up their loved ones). Many stranded travelers will be forced to sleep in hotel lobbies, airport terminals or out in the streets in parks or at the steps of public buildings turning them into bivouac areas.
  • Elderly community members and those requiring electrical medical equipment (life support systems) are more severely impacted by a power blackout than the younger population. Hospitals will have limited emergency power, often not providing air conditioning.
  • Electronic security may lock up due to loss of electricity. This can affect electronic gates in parking garages, card keyed doors, turnpike and toll bridge gates and for most individuals their garage door openers. These devices will need to be manually operated.
  • As the days pass, many workers will find it difficult to go to work because power will be out in their homes, gasoline stations will be closed, and schools and child care centers will be shut.

B. Oil and Gas Pipelines
Geomagnetic induced currents affect oil and gas pipelines. In pipelines, GIC and the associated pipe-to-soil voltages can increase the rate of corrosion in pipelines especially in high latitude regions. Damage resulting from corrosion is cumulative in nature and can eventually lead to pipeline integrity failures and major fuel leaks. As an example, GICs reaching 57 amps were measured in a Finnish natural gas pipeline in November 1998. Solar storms may have had a hand in the gas pipeline rupture and explosion on 4 June 1989 that demolished part of the Trans-Siberian Railway, engulfing two passenger trains in flames and killing 500 people, many of these were school children heading off on a vacation in the Urals.
The induce currents can also affect the flowmeters that transmit the flow rate of oil/gas in the pipeline producing false readings.
Pipelines that incorporate insulating flanges can be more vulnerable to damaging GIC currents. The flanges are meant to interrupt current flow; however, it was discovered that the flanges create an additional site where the electric potential can build up and force the current flow to ground. As a result these flanges lead to increased risk for corrosion. The length of the pipeline also adds to its vulnerability due to the increased potential for corrosion.

C. Long Distant Communication Line
Geomagnetic storms can induce current on long conductive wires used as communication cables. These cables include telegraph lines, telephone land lines and undersea cables. The induced current can damage transmission lines and produce large electrical arcs and thermal heating in equipment tied to those lines. In the past, this induced current has resulted in damaged equipment, equipment fires and individuals receiving severe electrical shock.
In the geomagnetic storm of March 25, 1940, telephone landlines designed for 48 volts were subjected to 600 volt surges and many transmission lines were destroyed. The undersea Atlantic cable between Newfoundland and Scotland saw voltages up to 2,600 volts.[The New York Times & The Washington Post]
New forms of cables (e.g. coaxial cables, fiber optic cables) have replaced many earlier forms of communication cables. This has allowed the bandwidth of communication systems to increase but many long cables now require repeater  amplifiers along their length. These amplifiers compensate for the loss of signal strength over distance and are connected in series with the center conductor of the cable. Amplifiers are powered by a direct current supplied from terminal stations at either ends of the cable. The varying magnetic field that occurs during a geomagnetic storm induces a voltage into the center of the coaxial cable increasing or decreasing the voltage coming from the cable power supply. The induced voltage experienced during a geomagnetic storm can produce an overload of electricity on the cable system, and in turn, cause power supply failure knocking the repeaters off-line. For example, the solar storm that occurred on 2 August 1972 produced a voltage surge of 60 volts on AT&T’s coaxial telephone cables between Chicago and Nebraska.
Submarine cables now use fiber optic cables to carry communication signals; however, there is still a long metallic conductor along the length of the cable that carries power to the repeaters and as a result is susceptible to induced currents.
Geomagnetic storm induced electrical currents in long wires have caused damage to transmission lines, caused electrical arcing on telegraph equipment, caused thermal heating that resulted in electrical equipment fires, caused several  telegraph operators to receive a very severe electrical shock, caused
switchboards in telegraph offices to be set on fire and sending keys to melt, caused telegraph bells to automatically go off, caused very strange sounds on telephones like several sirens slowly increasing in pitch until it produced a loud  screech, and caused incandescent resistance lamps” in telegraph circuits to light.

See also the 4dtraveler posts:
Survival manual/1. Disasters/War, EMP
Survival manual/1. Disasters/EMP–Solar Flare
Survival manual/3. Food and Water/Develop A Survival Food List
Mr. Larry


[1]  Beginning on 11 March 2011 with a massive 9.0 earthquake as the triggering event and spreading outward in the weeks that followed: There occurred the strongest earthquake NE Japan experienced in 1200 years, followed by a massive tsunami that washed  inland along the coast destroying cities and completely washing away villages; a nuclear power plant was knocked off line and partially destroyed, cutting electric power to the region; radioactive outgassing forced evacuation; many thousands of dead corpses were intermingled amongst the tsunami debris piles; survivors in northern parts of island cleaned out supermarket shelves, while road damage limited shelf restocking; water service for many areas was damaged by the earthquake while the widespread power outages cut service to others; rolling ‘brown outs’ spread across the nation as power companies tried to ration electric use; multiple international corporations in the affected region closed for weeks threatening future supply bottlenecks; many thousands of foreign workers and students returned to their countries; snow fell on the region- while a million people were without electric power; a volcano in the southern part of the country became active; Japanese investors began selling equities, bonds and other investments in order to raise cash, thus depressing prices and reducing demand; the Japanese reduced purchases of US Treasury bonds, causing US treasury to incestuously sell more bonds to our own Federal Reserve.

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EMP Part 2 of 2: What to store in your Faraday cage

(Survival Manual/ Prepper Articles/ EMP part 2 of 2: What to store in your Faraday cage)

Faraday cage 1

Faraday cage 2[Photos above from Mr. Larry’s personal research and experimentation. Note: The latest thinking is that the Faraday cage does not need to be grounded, there fore the red grounding wire seen in the top left photograph can be eliminated.]

A.  What’s in YOUR Faraday Cage? A Common Sense Guide to Preparing for an EMP
28 Jul 2012,SHTFplan.com, by Lisa Bedford (The Survival Mom)
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/whats-in-your-faraday-cage-a-common-sense-guide-to-preparing-for-an-emp_07282012

An EMP can be caused by the detonation of a large bomb, nuclear or otherwise, in the atmosphere, miles above land. [Actually, an area the size of the US could be crippled by a small nuclear device detonated at the edge of space over the target region. Mr. Larry] Its pulse wave can easily cover a continent and destroy electronic components in computers, engines, power plants, and solar panels alike. An event like this has never happened on a large scale, and there are differing opinions as to the exact consequences, but one thing is certain: In a matter of moments, life as we know it would be gone forever. Our closest star, the sun, could also do extensive damage in the form of a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). The results would be similar.

Excerpted from: Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst-Case Scenarios
emp solar flare

Massive solar flares have been in the news recently, along with vague warnings of how a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) might affect us here on earth. The dangers of a man-made Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) was outlined in excruciating detail in One Second After by William Forstchen.

We rely on electronics way too much to ignore the potential of these events, and although even the experts aren’t always in agreement where details are concerned, it makes sense to have a plan to protect important electronics in either event.What experts do agree on is that many items with any type of electronic component may become inoperable by either a CME or EMP.

From Survival Mom: “How to prepare your family for everyday disasters and worst-case scenarios”: I don’t have a plan to turn my garage into a giant Faraday cage in hopes that our vehicles would be spared, but I have made plans to protect other, smaller items that would make a huge difference in our survival following a CME or EMP. Here is a list of some of those items.

  1. Mp3 players filled with music.  Also, every spare set of earphones I can scrape up around here.
  2. An old laptop computer with downloads of eBooks and stored personal information
  3. One or more digital cameras.
  4. A set of walkie-talkies that run on rechargeable batteries
  5. Solar battery chargers
  6. A Kindle containing more than 150 books, many of them reference and survival books but also dozens of classics and a couple version of the Bible
  7. One  or more digital watches and clocks
  8. Small DVD player (a backup player would be good also)
  9. Any and all digital photos stored on a DVD and/or a thumb drive
  10. Scanned documents stored on a DVD and/or thumb drive (See Grab-n-Go Binder.)
  11. Computer hard drives
  12. Ham radio equipment
  13. A small generator
  14. LED flashlights
  15. Shortwave radio
  16. Inverters
  17. Electronic medical equipment

And what should these be stored in? Well, again, most every expert has differing opinions. We have a few Tech Protect Bags and a metal trash can. Here are some other options:

  1. Tech Protect Bags – The owners of this company recommend nesting Faraday containers.
  2. A metal garbage can
  3. Ammo cans
  4. An old microwave (mixed reviews on this one)
  5. Heavy duty aluminum foil wrapped around individual items, wrapped in plastic, and then again with aluminum foil.
  6. A  tool box
  7. Gun safe
  8. A cardboard box or other container that has been “Faraday-ized”
  9. Holiday popcorn tins

If/when an EMP or CME occurs, there is no going back for a “re-do”. Whatever works, works. Whatever doesn’t, doesn’t, and there will likely be no way to make repairs. Because of that, I highly recommend taking these precautions.

First, if you have more than one of an item, 2 digital cameras, for example, don’t store them together in the same container. If the metal trash can proves to be effective but the microwave doesn’t (and you will only know following the EMP/CME), at least you’ll have one item that operates.

Next, pack small Faraday containers into larger Faraday containers. If you are using a Tech Protect Bag, store it inside a larger Tech Protect Bag, an ammo can, or another (hopefully) EMP-safe container. This layering could include a clothes dry, metal filing cabinet, or metal drum.

If you have emergency kits that contain electronic items, package them in an EMP-proof box or bag, so you’ll have your most important survival items protected when you may need them most.

True, we could survive just fine without music, photos, probably most documents that are important today but may not be, “one second after,” but since the exact results of a CME/EMP are so unknown, I would rather protect even just a few of these items than face a future without anything at all containing an electronic component.

One final thought. No one knows if or when either a CME or EMP will happen, and if it does, what the intensity will be. Whatever you pack in a Faraday container will be safest if it remains there. For example, don’t pack your laptop if you use it several times a week. Instead, pick up an older laptop on Craigslist, store your information, and then pack it away.
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B.  What To Store In Your Faraday cages? 
30 August 2012, ThePreparednessPodcast.com, by Rob Hanus
Pasted from: http://www.thepreparednesspodcast.com/what-to-store-in-your-faraday-cages/

Here is a list of suggested items that you may want to consider placing into a Faraday cage or Faraday Protection Unit (FPU) to protect them from the destructive effects of EMP.

Note: There is a two-part podcast series that explains all of this in great detail. Be sure to listen to it by starting with the first part of EMP and EMP Protection.

podcast-iconBe sure to check out the videos I did that demonstrates shielding against a 50,000 watt AM signal, and the Surviving EMP Mini-Guide:

The Preparedness Podcast Mini-Guide: Surviving EMP [Kindle Edition] E-book is for sale and download from Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Preparedness-Podcast-Mini-Guide-ebook/dp/B009XG64LG
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First, the items I list below might not be affected by an EMP if unprotected, but why take the chance? If there’s an electronic item that you deem important for your survival, then you should have it protected.

Second, you need to get your head wrapped around what life will be like without power and concentrate on storing those things that will give you a tactical and strategic advantage.

  • Things like radios, for both personal communications and gathering information.
    • For example, CB, FRS, GMRS, Ham and short-wave radios. The gear to do digital communications, like Digital HF, would be good, too.
    • A short-wave radio is important to hear broadcasts from other countries that weren’t affected by the EMP, as it may be a long time before there are any local news sources broadcasting.
  • Flashlights – What? you didn’t know that modern flashlights have electronics in them? If you have an LED flashlight, chances are that is has circuitry in it.
    • Not to mention, the LEDs themselves are very sensitive to EMP.
    • The old type of flashlights which are basically a battery-switch-incandescent bulb aren’t at risk.
  • Power generation equipment: generator parts, inverters, charge controllers, battery chargers, etc. It’s currently thought that solar panels would survive an EMP because there isn’t micro-circuitry in them.
    • However, if they are small, wrap them in foil and nest them inside a steel garbage can.
      .
  • UPDATE September 1, 2012: I may have muddled this and want to clarify: we do not know for certain whether solar panels will survive an EMP, thus you should protect them like any other electronic device if your post-EMP plan relies on them.
  • Repair parts for cars, trucks, tractors, ATVs, etc.
  • Night vision and other electronic optics.
  • Perimeter monitoring gear.
  • Computers (preferably laptops and tablets), PDAs, smartphones, ebook readers (Kindles, Nooks, etc.). If you have old stuff laying around, might as well as try to protect it. Don’t underestimate the force multiplier of having these things. Most of the tablet stuff (smart phones, iPads, Kindles and other ebook readers) are pretty rugged and will most likely last a long time. Imagine having the power of massive amounts of stored information at your fingertips.
    • Don’t forget to load these up with your survival info, documents and PDFs! In addition to reference material, you should also put a lot of novels on these. Without TV or radio, reading will be a huge pastime.
    • Use USB thumb drives to store backups of your reference materials, books and photos. These are very rugged and are very easy to wrap in foil to protect.
    • Make sure that the small devices you have can be updated from the computers you have. This is important in case they lose their info or you want to change the info.
    • On a similar note, WiFi components like wireless routers allow people to stay connected with these devices. This wouldn’t be at the top of my list of things to store, but if I had extra stuff laying around, why not protect it? It only costs a little foil and some space.
    • Ink-jet printer. Hey, why not. Printing information could be very important when the lights go out forever. Choose a printer that uses very common ink cartridges. Though you can store some of these cartridges, you should be able to find these readily, as no one is going to be needing them.
    • Many of these devices have internal batteries that need to be recharged fairly often. You’ll need to account for that and set up a schedule that allows for you to pull these out and recharge them on a regular basis.
    • One simple solution would be to export all of your preparedness and survival information as PDFs and store them on several USB flash drives. An old, used PC laptop should be able to read these just fine.
  • Solar battery chargers – these are those complete kits with the charger and solar panel integrated.
  • Medical devices – if you have any electronic medical equipment, either for rendering aid or because you need it to live (blood testers, O2 machines, etc.), make sure to have spares.
  • Cordless tools – drills, saws, Dremel tools.
  • Calculators – solar calculators would be best, as they don’t need batteries.
  • Batteries – Although small batteries weren’t affected in the 1962 tests and car batteries seem to survive EMP testing, why take the chance? Put some in your FPU.
    • Energizer makes lithium batteries that have a long storage life.
    • Energizer Advanced Lithium will store 10 years, and Energizer Ultimate Lithium will store 15 years.
    • Even regular Alkaline batteries should have a shelf life of 5 – 7 years.
    • You can even store rechargeable batteries, though you should probably run them through a charge-discharge-charge cycle at least once per year.
  • SPEAKING OF BATTERIES – Make sure to remove the batteries from all gear before storage. There would be few feelings worse than opening your cache of EMP-proofed gear, only to find that the batteries that you forgot to take out had leaked and destroyed the equipment.
  • CFL or Compact Fluorescent Lights – If your home or retreat has its own power source and you plan on using CFL lights because of their efficiency, know that they have electronics in them to control the voltage to the tube. When not connected to a light socket, they’re probably not susceptible to EMP, but if your power plan requires these, then stick a bunch in a steel garbage can to be sure.
  • A Throw-Away set of equipment. Open this first to check on radio signals. Include some ear buds and batteries. Keep this in a separate Faraday protection unit, away from your main stuff. Of course, this is also good for other things that need power, too.
  • Have analogue backups for everything. GPS units are nice, but even if they worked after an EMP attack, the satellites will rapidly drift off course without constant correction from ground control.
    • Maps; compass; manual can opener; writing stuff like paper, pens, pencils; whistles instead of radios; candles and kerosene lanterns instead of battery operated and LED ones.
  • Not In Podcast– Some things that I’ve thought of after the podcast:
    • Multimeters, circuit testers, repair equipment.
    • Audio or music players, like MP3 players or iPods/iPhones, including any active speakers (speakers that have their own amplifiers).
    • Radiation meters – actually, these should be EMP proof already, but again, why take the chance? At the very least, wrap them up in foil while they’re in storage.
    • Welders
    • Digital camera. Not really a high-priority, but could come in handy if you had a computer and were doing some recon.
    • Clocks – if you have old digital watches and clocks, why not put them in your Faraday cage? It would be better if you had a set of mechanical, wind up clocks and watches, but if you have the room, include the digital ones.
    • DVD players. If you have a lot of movies on DVD, might as well have a way to play them. But, you’ll also need something to play them on, like a small monitor, so you’ll need to store this, too.

This list is not prioritized, but you should prioritize your list before you start, as not everything on this list is necessary for survival. Those critical items, like medical devices needed to sustain life, power generation, flashlights, batteries and communication gear, would have the highest priority and should be protected first. Anything else that would give you an edge, like computers, night vision, powered scopes, perimeter monitoring, and items that make it possible to repair other items, should be the next highest on the list to protect.

Other things like DVD players, cameras, and handheld games should be the lowest priority. They’re nice to have, but not critical to your survival. That isn’t to say that you can’t have them, just concentrate on the needed items first. Just in case you run out of foil.

One note about storing electronics for use after an HEMP or CME event.

Keep in mind that without the infrastructure to make replacement parts and devices, what you have may be all you have. Ever. All the digital information that you have is to help you start a new life and give you an edge on learning all the new skills you’re going to need, now that there is no more electrical grid. Don’t plan on being able to access the information in digital format forever, or even for very long. If you don’t have paper backups of everything in your computers (and you should), then your post-HEMP/CME plan needs to include a way to start printing out all that info. Paper might be archaic in this digital age, but you can still read it after the power goes out.

Some Other Things To Consider About Post-EMP Conditions
Once people realize that the power is going to be off for a long time, possibly forever, things will probably get ugly and fairly soon. Be prepared to defend yourself and make sure you have all the needed items that go along with that (like magazines, slings, cleaning kits and plenty of ammo). Hopefully, at this point in the podcast, you’ve realized that as soon as we’re hit with an EMP, there won’t be anything made anymore. [In the area affected, elsewise, it will take time to ship replacements and you, like everyone else in the area will be near destitute by the time supplies arrive. Mr. Larry]

If you are not living on your retreat property when it happens, you should have a plan that calls for you to bug out to it immediately. It will probably take 1, 2 maybe 3 days for people to realize how bad it’s going to be – use this time to get to the location that you plan on staying in. Since we don’t know what vehicles will survive an EMP, you’ll need a plan for acquiring one that still runs, but you can store the fuel you’ll need to get there now.

And, just to be clear, you need to have stocked up on everything. Because not only won’t there be anything made for long time, but once people realize how bad it is, it will likely become a dog eat dog world. To me, one of the best ways to get ready for this is to become part of a community, preferably one that can grow food and has access to clean water and natural resources, like trees.

It’s been said that an EMP attack would be like time-traveling the entire country back to the mid-1800s. But it will be worse than that. In the mid-1800s, we had people that knew how to grow food and make things by hand. We will have to re-learn those skills.

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EMP Part 1 of 2: How it works

(News and Editorial/ EMP Part 1 of 2: How it works)
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YouTubeFor a brief discussion of Electro Magnetic Pulse effects and preparedness, click the following link:

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Surviving the Aftermath of an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack
March 23, 2012, Prepping To Survive, originally posted by Luke Lichterman
Pasted from: http://preppingtosurvive.com/2012/03/23/surviving-the-aftermath-of-an-electro-magnetic-pulse-emp-attack/

emp1 sun

Sunspots are Electro-Magnetic Pulse events
The earth has always been subject to electro-magnetic events called “sunspots,” which are created by storms in the sun’s atmosphere and result in pulses of electro- magnetic energy being ejected into space.

Recently, NASA probes have made sunspots observable while forming, and predictable in their magnitude and estimated day of arrival on earth. When news media outlets learn of an impending sunspot arrival they sensationalize the event and breathlessly report that a major disaster and possibly the end of the world is about to happen. A recent sunspot event was hyped in this manner and passed with only minor disruptions and inconveniences because the earth is protected from sunspot damage by the depth, density and reflectivity of its atmosphere.
What the media never talks about is the debilitating wide spread damage which would be caused by an EMP (1) weapon detonated at high altitude within the earth’s atmosphere.

Starfish Prime
It has been known since the earliest tests of nuclear weapons that the high levels of Gamma radiation generated by nuclear explosions ionize air molecules producing electro-magnetic pulses of positive ions. (2) Theory held that while a 1 megaton-range surface weapon would produce severe damage within the radius of the burst, the same megaton-range weapon, when deployed at very high altitude would inflict damage to electronic devices over a wide area.

On July 9, 1962 a 1.4-megaton bomb, (codename: Starfish Prime (3) was detonated 250 miles above the mid-Pacific Johnson Island. The effects of this test were felt 898 miles to the East, in Hawaii, where telephone switchboards were disabled, civilian traffic control signal systems went dark and power system fuses and circuit breakers failed, causing blackouts in some areas.

On July 16, 1997 the U. S. House of Representatives Committee on National Security held hearings on the, “THREAT POSED BY ELECTRO-MAGNETIC PULSE (EMP) TO U.S. MILITARY SYSTEMS AND CIVIL INFRASTRUCTURE.” (4) In summary, testimony was given that, …Based upon the unintended and unexpected consequences of Starfish Prime; a similar 1.4-megaton bomb detonated 250 miles above Kansas would destroy most unprotected microprocessors on the entire continent.

Nuclear Warfare Doctrine (5)
The image most people have of nuclear war is of hundreds of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) deploying thousands of Multiple Independent Reentry Vehicle (MIRV) warheads, raining down death and destruction; leaving behind uninhabitable radioactive wastelands. Indeed, during the “Cold War” years, stalemate and “peace” were maintained between East and West by the doctrine of “Mutually Assured Destruction” (M.A.D.).

This old doctrine held that; to defeat an enemy, his economy, infrastructure and population must be completely destroyed. Modern nuclear warfare doctrine acknowledges almost total dependence upon microprocessors and their vulnerability to EMP destruction. It is no longer necessary to build and maintain huge arsenals of weapons, since even one high-altitude EMP burst could effectively paralyze an enemy’s ability to function. [Read that again. Mr. Larry]

This explains why major nuclear nations have reduced their nuclear arsenals. It is not because they have become “anti-nuke”, but because they have shifted strategic focus from Mass-Destruction to Mass-Incapacitation. An EMP attack by any nuclear-armed nation upon another, would involve only a handful of high yield weapons deployed strategically, at high altitude over enemy territory, to ensure complete electronic incapacitation. Among the major powers, M.A.D. continues to be applicable.

Rogue regimes like North Korea (6) and Iran however, could simultaneously each launch a single medium range ICBM, (North Korea has announced plans to launch a long-range rocket mounted with a satellite.), from a ship 50 miles off shore of the East and West coasts. These missiles could easily reach 250 miles altitude and get close enough to Kansas to destroy a large portion of our military and civil infrastructures. Missiles of this type, launched so close to our shores, would be impossible to intercept because recent political decisions have prevented development of missile defense systems for the Continental USA. [Please understand the implications of this last sentence…its not how big an Army or how powerful your navy…1 just one rather small nuclear missile over the continental USA, in particular, a supposedly “harmless  communications satellite” carrying a suitcase sized nuclear device. Mr. Larry]

Hundreds of Millions (of Microprocessors) Die Within a Second (7)
How many microprocessors do you own? How many do you interact with directly? How many indirectly? Is that airplane overhead kept aloft by dozens of them? Do you have one on your wrist, in your pocket, on the desk in front of you, under the hood of your car, your television, radio, cell phone or anything emp1 keyboardelse around you? Most of them would die within a second of a rogue-nation EMP attack.

The refrigerator in your kitchen has a microprocessor and is energized by electricity, generated in a facility full of them, and routed to your home by the National Electric Power Grid, which would shutdown within that same second. Most vehicles of any description produced after 1980; cars, trucks, busses, motorcycles, police cruisers, fire engines, ambulances, locomotives and almost everything else would either stop in place within that second, or never again move from where they sat.

Airplanes would fall out of the sky, vehicles traveling at 70 MPH would lose control, implanted pacemakers would no longer regulate heart function and every manner, type and description of high tech medical equipment would fail.

Those microprocessors that were not destroyed immediately would be rendered useless because their companions were destroyed. Vehicles not disabled immediately might continue to operate, if they could escape dead-vehicle gridlock, but would soon need and be unable to be refueled because the power grid no longer energizes pumps. Freezers and refrigerators in supermarkets and food processing plants would no longer function, and store shelves would be stripped bare within hours.

Hundreds of Millions (of People) Die within a Year
Even though an EMP is not radioactive, it is estimated that 5 to 10% of the entire population would become casualties within 24 hours, due to vehicular crashes, medical support failures, industrial malfunctions, other loss of power and control incidents and panic. It is further estimated that up to 90% of the entire population would perish within the first year as a result of crime, rioting, starvation/dehydration and of course disease, injury, untreated major medical emergencies and suicide.

Those who survive the initial 24 hours stand a fair chance of surviving the first year, if they had been smart enough to make survival preparations, were lucky enough to be able to get to their hardened position and supplies; and are able and willing to defend their supplies and the remnants of their families without hesitation and with whatever level of force is necessary.

The first year will be a time of savagery, darkness and desperation unprecedented in human history. Within a few days after water has stopped flowing and the last scraps of food have been consumed, the cities will have largely become ghost towns. Entire populations will have fled to the countryside in search of food, water and comfort. Millions upon millions of desperate, starving people will become like swarms of 17-year locusts, but with intelligence, cunning and malice. All pretense of civility will have been discarded and three-week survivors will appear and act very much like “zombies” depicted in recent “B” grade movies.

It will be ugly beyond imagination and challenging almost beyond endurance. The only people who will survive until some kind of order is restored, some level of commerce resumes and whatever “normal” becomes, will be those who were prepared, and hard-headedly willing, to survive.

Survival Preparedness for an EMP Attack
There is no preparing to survive the aftermath of an EMP attack, as a specific type of preparedness. Survival preparedness is the same for whatever disaster aftermath you are preparing to survive; it is nothing more than providing that which you know your family needs, in sufficient quantities to support survival for up to a year after the event.

Your Family will need:
•  To be water self sufficient, because nothing will come out of your faucet or what does come out will be unsafe to drink.
•  Long Term Bulk Food Storage, because the food supply chain will have ceased to function and there will be no deliveries to stores.
•  A survival stove and lights, because the National Electric Power Grid will no longer brighten the darkness, cook your food nor keep you warm.
•  First Aid Kits, because there will be minor injuries which must be prevented from becoming major problems.
•  Survival Garden Seeds and hunting weapons, because there’s a limit to how much food you are able to buy and store.
Your family will need more, much, much more; including guns of substantial caliber and firepower to defend against the attacks which are guaranteed to be launched against you. As important as having guns is training every member of your family how, when, (and to be willing), to use them.

Being prepared to survive the aftermath of any disaster, but especially an EMP attack, does not guarantee that you will survive. What is guaranteed is that if you are not prepared, you will not survive. No one will prepare you to survive! You must do it yourself and you must start now. If not you, who? If not now, when?

Footnotes:
(1)  
www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/cst/bugs_ch12.pdf
(2)  http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/rp/factsheets/factsheets-htm/fs41elecpuls.htm
(3)  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_pulse + www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/cst/bugs_ch12.pdf
(4) http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CC4QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fcommdocs.house.gov%2Fcommittees%2Fsecurity%2Fhas197010.000%2Fhas197010_1.htm&ei=8f9lT6H8D4musgLqjNy2Dw&usg=AFQjCNHAXLLMaVK40RH_3nlz3_bmLrEOnA&sig2=tHv4OVxZ3b923lpUgZYATA
(5)  http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2005_09/Kristensen
(6)  http://www.newsmax.com/KenTimmerman/super-emp-emp-northkorea-nuke/2011/06/16/id/400260 + http://abcnews.go.com/International/electronic-warfare-north-korea-nears-completion-electromagnetic-pulse/story?id=13081667#.T2YEAY5qNdg + http://www.news.com.au/technology/emp-bomb-ready-for-war-says-south-korea/story-e6frfro0-1226018432287
(7)  http://www.williamson-labs.com/480_emp.htm

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Is an EMP – nuclear attack on the USA imminent?

(News & Editorial/ Is an EMP – nuclear attack on the USA  imminent?)

A.  Report: “Intelligence Says There Will Be An Attack on American Soil”
8 April 2013, SHTFpnan.com, by Mac Slavo
Pasted from: http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/report-intelligence-says-there-will-be-an-attack-on-american-soil_04082013

Carrington power linesTensions on the Korean Peninsula are heating up, with rhetoric from the North Koreans suggesting that an attack of some kind is being planned. This isn’t the first time the North Koreans have made threats against western powers and their southern neighbor, but the level of American response is unprecedented. The United States and our allies have re-positioned Naval battle groups, deployed Aegis missile defense systems, and a host of other technology to counter-act any potential threat.

Military analysts have already warned about the possibility of North Korea exploding a high altitude nuclear device high above the continental United States using a “Super EMP” weapon capable of disabling the power grid in the lower 48 states. The North Korean space launch vehicle, a ‘weather’ satellite put into space in December of 2012 and carrying an unknown payload, will be passing over the geographic heart of the United States on April 10th. Curiously, the 10th is the same day that North Korean officials warned they would no longer be able to provide protection for foreign embassy officials in Pyongyang.

Moreover, the North Koreans are said to have mobilized some of their long-range missiles, and communications intercepted by Western intelligence agencies reportedly indicate that a planned launch of their KN-08 intercontinental ballistic missile is imminent.

The situation has become so serious that the Japanese military was given the order to shoot down any missile launched from the North, no matter if it is a test.

Reports that China has mobilized tens of thousands of troops on their border with North Korea and has put their military on its highest alert level also don’t bode well for peaceful resolution. The Chinese seem to be positioning their military to either counter North Korea’s military, turn back refugees who  may attempt to escape to China should war break out, or, as has been suggested by some analysts, to aid the North Koreans should Allied ground forces invade.

Mainstream news coverage indicates that something is about to go down.

And, slowly but surely, reports from military personnel and contractors on military bases are starting to leak, and some of them indicate that the United States is preparing for serious confrontation.

They are gearing up for something big via Steve Quayle:
I just spoke with a close associate who has been working for the last three years at Barksdale Air Force Base, on various construction projects… This man is just a guy…a construction worker…been there all his life…salt of the earth kind of guy. In his words…”I am just a working man…doing the best I can do.”

Tonight, he called to let me know that the security and activity at Barksdale has been stepped up in his words, “by 300%”.

I asked as many questions as I felt that I could and took notes so that I could simply use his quotes to accurately report what he has stated.

“We were working on a scheduled job in the munitions dump area…building new blast walls, when AF personnel came in and told us we had to leave right now. We asked if were being given a “work stoppage order.” They replied “Get out now.” and escorted us out. “More like they rushed us out.”

On April 1, AF Chief of Staff and a bunch of other DoD dignitaries flew in to Barksdale. Those coming on the base usually have a sidearm and maybe a rifle, but since the 1st, “dignitaries are also wearing flak jackets.”

“They are gearing up for something big.”

“They are bringing in serious junk.”

“Moving in warheads…I was working in an area where cruise missiles are brought in, put together, armed, and shipped out.”

His exact words were, “They are shipping some serious s*** over there.”

(Here I tried to ascertain whether these were going on ships or planes.)

He replied that “they are going everywhere.”

He also stated that “they dropped a bunch dummy bombs on some islands off the coast of North Korea”..(I just read a confirmation of that from an intelligence newsletter, and confirmed by WND an hour ago.)

I asked him if Chinese officers were still on base. He replied that he had not been working in the area in which he first saw them, for the last three weeks, but he did say this…

“The Chinese and the Russians are here…let me put it this way…everybody in the UN plus a few more are in here. (U.S.)”

He heard and directly quoted one officer referring to the testing of anti-ballistic missile defense system, “We are going to see a real test, now.” He then said that he heard “Intelligence says there will be an attack on American soil.”

He then stated that these defense missile systems were ” being shipped to several bases.
(Full article located at:   http://www.stevequayle.com/index.php?s=33&d=339

Our sources report that military personnel at the largest Army base in the country have been instructed by military leaders to have their bags packed in the event that the situation goes hot. Troops have reportedly been told to have their financial affairs and family matters in order. Likewise, in the United Kingdom, some personnel have been asked to be prepared to deploy, as well as several who were deployed (location unknown) without warning over the course of the last week.

All signs point to a military confrontation.

Whether North Korea will start this, or whether Western allies are finally going to preemptively initiate regime change in the North is anyone’s guess.

There is also the possibility of a ‘false-flag’ event designed to completely upend the global economic and political paradigms, a scenario recently suggested by Kurt Nimmo of Infowars.com:
“The Federal Reserve plan to crash the economy and make room for world government and an authoritarian globalist economic and accompanying police state control system will necessitate a sufficient prerequisite – and that prerequisite may very well be a new war on the Korean peninsula.

Economic depressions are highly scripted affairs and the banksters use them to initiate big wars – not only because wars are remarkably profitable for the military-industrial complex, but because they serve as an ideal tool for wealth consolidation and fire sales held in their aftermath. Big wars are also exploited to enforce rigid discipline on the masses. It gives the plebs an excuse to accept grinding poverty and servitude.”

To even consider the possibility of global war, or a large-scale attack on the continental United States, is a difficult notion for many to stomach.

However, members of elite banking conglomerates, the military industrial complex, and political power structures stand to benefit greatly should a war break out.

There are Trillions of dollars at play.

“War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.”
……….Smedley D. Butler, United States Marine Corps Major General, Two Time Medal of Honor Recipient

Though we hope that this is nothing more than posturing by North Korea and/or the United States, crazy things have happened throughout history, with some of history’s most horrific events stemming from seemingly unimportant or impossible-to-occur scenarios.

This is an alert and a recap for those concerned with the possibility that things could take a turn for the worse overnight.

Be vigilant. Be prepared.

B.  Suspect Super-EMP Orbit Over United States
April 8, 2013, ModernSurvivalBlog.com, by Ken Jorgustin
Pasted from: http://modernsurvivalblog.com/emp-electro-magnetic-pulse/suspect-super-emp-orbit-over-united-states/#more-26858

emp sattelite track

Given the recent nuclear threats from North Korea directed at the United States, the satellite orbital map shown above indicates the track of the KMS 3-2 “satellite” this week from Apr 8 – Apr 16, which coincidentally just so happens to orbit along the eastern half of the U.S.

Some believe or suspect that this “satellite” may actually be a Super-EMP nuclear device

No one knows for sure of course, but people like Dr. Peter Vincent Pry with credentials from the USAF Weapons Laboratory believes that North Korea indeed may have the capability or may even posses Super-EMP nuclear weapons. See article at: http://modernsurvivalblog.com/emp-electro-magnetic-pulse/north-korea-super-emp-weapon/

On December 12, 2012, the Kwangmyongsong 3-2 (KMS 3-2) was launched into space on a polar orbit, and is said to be an “Earth observation satellite”. The satellite was not placed perfectly and is evidently tumbling every 17 seconds while it orbits the earth. From an EMP nuclear weapon perspective, the tumbling is apparently irrelevant.

The altitude of orbit is approximately 500 km, or about 300 miles, the perfect altitude for EMP detonation for maximum range and damage. Coincidence?

If U.S. ‘officials’ knew or suspected this, do you think they would tell us? I think not.

It is pure speculation regarding the North Korean satellite being a Super-EMP weapon, and some may believe it to be conspiracy to even mention the possibility… but it is incumbent upon us to be aware of the possibilities and to assess (and to prepare according to corresponding risk assessment) instead of being completely ignorant or in denial.

I have captured the orbital elements and base map of this week’s position of KMS 3-2 from the real-time satellite tracking website, n2yo.com, and added the dates and visualization of detonation. Coincidentally, as most of the U.S. population is east of the Mississippi River, optimal damage (from an EMP on this orbit) would theoretically occur anywhere from mid to late week or into next week.

Again, this is hypothetical, but if you are concerned at all, read the Super-EMP article regarding North Korea which may shed some light on the possibilities. Article available at: http://modernsurvivalblog.com/emp-electro-magnetic-pulse/north-korea-super-emp-weapon/

…thought you might be interested to be aware of this.

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Filed under News & Editorial

About famine

(News & Editorial: About famine)

A.  Famine an often unnatural disaster

__1.  ‘Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine, 1958-1962,’
 by Yang Jisheng
7 Dec 2012, New York Times Sunday Book Review, news article by JONATHAN MIRSKY
Pasted from: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/09/books/review/tombstone-the-great-chinese-famine-1958-1962-by-yang-jisheng.html?pagewanted=2&_r=0

famine chinaA rice field in what is now Guangdong Province, 1958.

In the summer of 1962, China’s president, Liu Shaoqi, warned Mao Zedong that “history will record the role you and I played in the starvation of so many people, and the cannibalism will also be memorialized!” Liu had visited Hunan, his home province as well as Mao’s, where almost a million people died of hunger. Some of the survivors had eaten dead bodies or had killed and eaten their comrades. In “Tombstone,” an eye-­opening study of the worst famine in history, Yang Jisheng concludes that 36 million Chinese starved to death in the years between 1958 and 1962, while 40 million others failed to be born, which means that “China’s total population loss during the Great Famine then comes to 76 million.”


__2.  Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine, 1958-1962
By Yang Jisheng,  Translated by Stacy Mosher and Guo Jian,  629 pp. Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
There are good earlier studies of the famine and one excellent recent one, “Mao’s Great Famine” by Frank Dikötter, but Yang’s is significant because he lives in China and is boldly unsparing. Mao’s rule, he writes, “became a secular theocracy. . . . Divergence from Mao’s views was heresy. . . . Dread and falsehood were thus both the result and the lifeblood of totalitarianism.” This political system, he argues, “caused the degeneration of the national character of the Chinese people.”

Yang, who was born in 1940, is a well-known veteran journalist and a Communist Party member. Before I quote the following sentence, remember that a huge portrait of Chairman Mao still hangs over the main gate into Beijing’s Forbidden City and can be seen from every corner of Tiananmen Square, where his embalmed body lies in an elaborate mausoleum. Despite this continued public veneration, Yang looks squarely at the real chairman: “In power, Mao became immersed in China’s traditional monarchal culture and Lenin and Stalin’s ‘dictatorship of the proletariat.’ . . . When Mao was provided with a list of slogans for his approval, he personally added one: ‘Long Live Chairman Mao.’ ” Two years ago, in an interview with the journalist Ian Johnson, Yang remarked that he views the famine “as part of the totalitarian system that China had at the time. The chief culprit was Mao.”

From the early 1990s, Yang writes, he began combing normally closed official archives containing confidential reports of the ravages of the famine, and reading accounts of the official killing of protesters. He found references to cannibalism and interviewed men and women who survived by eating human flesh.

Chinese statistics are always overwhelming, so Yang helps us to conceptualize what 36 million deaths actually means. It is, he writes, “450 times the number of people killed by the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki” and “greater than the number of people killed in World War I.” It also, he insists, “outstripped the ravages of World War II.” While 40 to 50 million died in that war, it stretched over seven or eight years, while most deaths in the great Chinese famine, he notes, were “concentrated in a six-month period.” The famine occurred neither during a war nor in a period of natural calamity. When mentioned in China, which is rarely, bad weather or Russian treachery are usually blamed for this disaster, and both are knowledgeably dismissed by Yang.

The most staggering and detailed chapter in Yang’s narrative relates what happened in Xinyang Prefecture, in Henan Province. A lush region, it was “the economic engine of the province,” with a population in 1958 of 8.5 million. Mao’s policies had driven the peasants from their individual small holdings; working communally, they were now forced to yield almost everything to the state, either to feed the cities or — crazily — to increase exports. The peasants were allotted enough grain for just a few months. In Xinyang alone, Yang calculates, over a million people died.

Mao had pronounced that the family, in the new order of collective farming and eating, was no longer necessary. Liu Shaoqi, reliably sycophantic, agreed: “The family is a historically produced phenomenon and will be eliminated.” Grain production plummeted, the communal kitchens collapsed. As yields dived, Zhou Enlai and other leaders, “the falcons and hounds of evil,” as Yang describes them, assured Mao that agricultural production had in fact soared. Mao himself proclaimed that under the new dispensation yields could be exponentially higher. “Tell the peasants to resume eating chaff and herbs for half the year,” he said, “and after some hardship for one or two or three years things will turn around.”


__3.   Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine, 1958-1962
By Yang Jisheng, Translated by Stacy Mosher and Guo Jian, 629 pp. Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

A journalist reporting on Xinyang at the time saw the desperation of ordinary people. Years later, he told Yang that he had witnessed a Party secretary — during the famine, cadres were well fed — treating his guests to a local delicacy. But he knew what happened to people who recorded the truth, so he said nothing: “How could I dare to write an internal reference report?” Indeed. Liu Shaoqi confronted Mao, who remembered all slights, and during the Cultural Revolution he was accused of being a traitor and an enemy agent. Expelled from the Party, he died alone, uncared for, anonymous.

Of course, “Tombstone” has been banned in China, but in 2008 it was published in Hong Kong in two mighty volumes. Pirated texts and Internet summaries soon slipped over the border. This English version, although substantial, is roughly half the size of the original. Its eloquent translators, Stacy Mosher and Guo Jian, say their aim, like the author’s, is to “present the tragedy in all its horror” and to render Yang’s searching analysis in a manner that is both accessible to general readers and informative for specialists. There is much in this readable “Tombstone” I needed to know.

Yang writes that one reason for the book’s title is to establish a memorial for the uncle who raised him like a son and starved to death in 1959. At the time a devout believer in the Party and ignorant of the extent of what was going on in the country at large, Yang felt that everything, no matter how difficult, was part of China’s battle for a new socialist order. Discovering official secrets during his work as a young journalist, he began to lose his faith. His real “awakening,” however, came after the 1989 Tiananmen massacre: “The blood of those young students cleansed my brain of all the lies I had accepted over the previous decades.” This is brave talk. Words and phrases associated with “Tiananmen” remain blocked on China’s Internet.

Nowadays, Yang asserts, “rulers and ordinary citizens alike know in their hearts that the totalitarian system has reached its end.” He hopes “Tombstone” will help banish the “historical amnesia imposed by those in power” and spur his countrymen to “renounce man-made calamity, darkness and evil.” While guardedly hopeful about the rise of democracy, Yang is ultimately a realist. Despite China’s economic and social transformation, this courageous man concludes, “the political system remains unchanged.” “Tombstone” doesn’t directly challenge China’s current regime, nor is its author part of an organized movement. And so, unlike the Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo, Yang Jisheng is not serving a long prison sentence. But he has driven a stake through the hearts of Mao Zedong and the party he helped found.

.

B.  Hunger and Famine
2011, Illinois State University, by Robert Dirks
Pasted from: http://www.academia.edu/484324/Hunger_and_Famine

Introduction
Hunger takes many forms:
1) It smolders as chronic under nutrition.
2) It can flare up intermittently, sometimes annually, because food stores are never quite sufficient to last until next harvest.
3) Occasionally, hunger erupts in famine, an episode of want so acute as to precipitate the breakdown of societies’ most fundamental institutions.
Whatever the form, the costs are immense. Eighteen million people die every year from hunger-related causes.The biggest known loss of life from a single famine occurred between 1959 and 1961 when at least 15 million people died.

What causes hunger and leads to such tragic consequences? Certainly it is not always shortcomings in food production. Pockets of hunger exist within some of the most agriculturally productive countries in the world, including the United States. Great regions of persistent famine exist on a planet producing more than enough food for everyone. Currently, parts of Africa suffer the most from famine. Formerly, it was areas of Asia and before that Europe.

Were famine fire, the historical pattern would suggest arson or some other human agency. In fact, careful studies never fail to disclose human causes. I discuss some of these in the first part of this essay. I turn my attention to effects in the second part.

Causes of Famine
Conditions and events of many sorts can contribute to the development of famine. These include natural disasters (e.g., flood, plant disease) and technological failures (e.g., unreliable storage, destructive farming practices) as well as various social, economic, and political factors (e.g., class inequities, market collapse, war). Rarely, if ever, can we attribute a particular famine to any single cause. Take, for example, the most recent famines that have plagued portions of Africa’s Sahel, an arid to semi-arid belt just south of the Sahara Desert.  

As some popular accounts would have it, these were natural disasters caused by drought, one beginning in 1968, another in 1984. Yet, the pastoralists of the region, the chief victims, have coped with periods of unusually scant rainfall for centuries. Key to their survival was their nomadic lifestyle and the movement of livestock over great distances when necessary. No less important was their practice of maintaining larger than needed herds during normal times as insurance against catastrophic loss during exceptionally dry years. While this double-edged strategy was never entirely fail-safe, it did for the most part prevent major catastrophes.

So what happened? For one thing, overgrazing and the reduction of grass cover; desertification was prevented so long as the pastoral tribes moved their herds throughout the year. But, the construction of boreholes by development agencies (to provide water) eliminated the incentive to move. Political concerns also conspired against migration; the enforcement of  international political boundaries became stricter. Later on, crop production began to press into the southern reaches of the region decreasing the availability of pasture. To make matters worse, farmers began turning to cotton and other cash crops, reducing the opportunity to graze animals on grain stubble. The commercialization of the region’s economy created yet another hazard finally realized when drought set in. No longer able to rely on traditional reciprocities with farmers (who now wanted money for their grain) but more dependent than ever on grain because of the poor condition of their herds, the pastoralists brought increasing numbers of animals to market. This upsurge in supply sent cattle prices plunging. Grossly disadvantaged in the marketplace and unable to meet their Caloric requirements, the pastoralists starved, their physical condition deteriorating more than any other Sahelian people. There were 100,000 starvation-related deaths in the region in 1973. Yet, throughout the crisis years, only one Sahelian country, Mauritania (where much of the economy depends on mining), fell short of producing enough food to feed its total population. In addition to illustrating causal complexity, what happened in the Sahelal so demonstrates that disastrous situations do not develop overnight. The stage for famine is often set decades or more prior to the death of the first victim. More or less remote occurrences, such as those that upset traditional Sahelian grazing patterns, are sometimes referred to as “underlying causes.” More immediate events like drought are usually “the last straw.”   That straw can break the camel’s back but only if there are underlying weaknesses or pre-existing burdens, and these are usually traceable to cultural developments.

Foraging, Food production, and Famine
One such development is agriculture, the very foundation of civilization and all modern food systems. Jared Diamond calls it “the worst mistake in the history of the human race.”

Diamond’s label represents a drastic revision of prehistory. Not long ago nobody doubted that the transition from foraging (hunting and gathering) to cultivation brought with it more bountiful and reliable food supplies and that nutritional well-being increased as a result. Studies showing that modern foragers are generally well nourished first led scholars to question this received wisdom. Later, paleo pathological data gleaned from examinations of prehistoric skeletal materials provided more direct evidence that agriculture was not the great blessing once imaged. Mark Cohen, comparing a variety of information collected from the bones of both foragers and early agriculturalists came to the conclusion that at best farming did nothing to improve nutritional conditions.

Signs of nutritional stress enscribed in tooth enamel indicate worse, that people who gave up foraging inadvertently traded in relatively mild bouts with starvation in exchange for episodes of stark famine. My research using famine records from the Standard Cross-Cultural Sample (SCCS) support this view, particularly when the experience of foragers in especially difficult environments is discounted. Cohen reminds us that before their displacement by agriculturalists, foragers did not live in the harshest habitats earth has to offer.

Following up on this point and removing foragers occupying especially difficult habitats (arctic, sub-arctic, and desert regions) from consideration, I found a significantly greater occurrence of famine among farmers and herders than among foragers.

If agriculture developed as a solution to increasing population and hunger, as Cohen believes, then it would appear that the solution did no more than exacerbate the problem.

Population and Famine
Population growth beyond society’s means of subsistence is widely regarded as an underlying cause of hunger and famine. The problem, as Thomas Malthus pointed out near two centuries ago, is that populations unchecked grow exponentially.

The ability to provide food increases linearly. Consequently, unless society institutes preventive checks on growth– say, for instance, by tolerating abortions – starvation and violent efforts to avoid it are inevitable. The temptation to neglect preventive checks is probably the greatest in agricultural societies in which children can perform simple but economically important tasks.

This presents no problem so long as extra hands increase food supply beyond the additional cost of feeding them. Overpopulation begins once this is no longer the case. For the shifting cultivator, it becomes a matter of too many people attempting to wrest a living from an area to allow soils adequate recovery time between crops. Thus, among shifting cultivators, susceptibility to famine increases with population density.

This is not so among intensive agriculturalists, farmers who have eliminated long fallows by applying manures and irrigation silts to their fields. These ecological imports liberate populations from the natural constraints of soil restoration cycles. This encourages growth and provides an opening for abroad range of technological and organization variables to affect how many people a particular agricultural region can safely support. Once human ecologies become open systems and their productivity depends heavily on non-local resources it becomes impossible to speak of any necessary connection between population growth and the likelihood of famine. An expanding population may go further and further afield in its quest for food. Population pressure has spurred the discovery of new food resources. In some cases, it has pushed standards of living upward by driving trade and industrial development. Nevertheless, the earth’s resources are infinite. For a particular locality, the consequences of unabashedly pro-natal attitudes (favoring reproduction) are not entirely as Malthus predicted; but for the world as a whole, they are almost certainly inescapable.

World Economic System and Famine
Studies of hunger and famine in the Third World frequently point to foreign economic intrusions and changes initiated in the name of “development” as important causes. Various schemes promoting international agribusiness have come under especially severe criticism in recent years. Critics argue that the business of agribusiness, contrary to public claims, is not to feed the world, but to turn a profit. This causes food to flow from where it is needed most to where it can fetch the highest price.

Third World governments, eager for export income, participate in this process by encouraging farmers to raise commodities for the world market at the expense of growing traditional food crops. The upshot in the case of Africa has been a steady decline in per capita food production concurrent with a dramatic increase in the production of such crops as coffee and tea.

Historically, the displacement of traditional systems devoted to locally important subsistence foods was well underway by the early seventeenth century. famine BosniaPlanters, then, no less than modern apologists for international agribusiness, saw their enterprises as progressive and indigenous regimes as backward. It counted for naught that they were the products of hundreds of years of biological and cultural evolution. But, from the standpoint of local food supply, it may be that backwardness has its advantages. Anthropologists often marvel at the ingenuity of traditional food economies and how generations of trial and error have paid off in practices closely attuned to local conditions. Elaborate backup systems, including complex institutions for food redistribution and knowledge of so-called “famine foods,” are seen as part of this accumulated wisdom. While no one contends that lessons from the past can lead to an absolutely fail-safe food system, it has been argued that relatively long-standing ones may be inherently less prone to disastrous breakdowns than newer orders introduced in the name of progress. [ie., “Just in time” grocery shelf  restocking? Mr. Larry]

While recent cross-cultural research does not support this sweeping contention, it does suggest that certain specific economic changes introduced from abroad have repeatedly contributed to the development of food emergencies.

The introduction of foreign trade is one such change. In the past, societies new to trade have been far more susceptible to famine than those having long histories of commerce with other nations. Another change significantly associated with the occurrence of famine worldwide is increased land use. Often this has been at the expense of foragers, pastoralists, or shifting agriculturalists. The practice of the French in colonial Vietnam was to drive peasants from villages in sparsely populated areas and declare the land “unused.” Between 1860 and 1931, large areas formerly devoted to subsistence production were seized by this and various others means and converted to export agriculture. The Vietnamese diet went into steady decline. The final blow came during World War II when under Japanese occupation the entire food system collapsed and more than two million Vietnamese starved to death.

The historical relationship between increased land use and famine susceptibility ought to be especially worrisome at present given the expansion of intensive farming and ranching in tropical forest regions.

Class Inequity, Poverty, and Famine
W.R. Aykroyd, an international authority on nutrition, asserts that all famine may be called “class famines” since it is always the poor who die.

While this may be true, it is not the case that societies with formal class systems have had a monopoly on famine. They appear in fact to be no more prone to famine than their more egalitarian counterparts.

Yet when famine does strike the class-structure society it tends to be especially severe, particularly if the class (or caste) system is relatively complex.

I suspect the reason is because complex systems restrict individuals’ income opportunities to relatively narrow occupational spheres. The makes it possible for economic disturbances to have unequal effects. When the brunt of deprivation falls on a limited segment of society its effects are amplified. This follows from the simple rule that the weight of a burden placed on the shoulders of a few is always more difficult to be than when it is carried equally by many.

Food Entitlements and Famine
Amartya Sen believes that the occurrence of famine is culturally conditioned through society’s rules of ownership and exchange.

These define legal abilities to command resources, including food. Famine in Sen’s view arises when many people simultaneously find themselves unable to survive on the commodities to which they are legally entitled. Sen thinks it is a mistake to think most famines arise from declines in overall food availability. Even granting unusual scarcity, whether starvation actually occurs is almost always a matter of who is entitled legally to whatever food is available. Consider farmers who suffer crop failure. They experience both a reduction in food supply and a loss of direct entitlement to food (i.e., what they own as the fruits of their rightful land and labor). Yet when they and their families starve, it is usually not because there is absolutely no food to be had anywhere. Rather, it is because the food they own or can acquire through trade is inadequate. This distinction, the difference between the general availability of food and the food an individual is entitled to by the rules of ownership and exchange, is of utmost importance. It helps explain why so often it is only some members of society that go hungry. It helps explain, for instance, why Sahelians starved in the early 1970s and their countrymen to the south did not. The influence of legal entitlements on the prospects for famine is seen in comparing societies having some kind of collective ownership with those in which individual ownership is the rule. My research shows that famine occurs less often in non-industrial societies where land and other properties are held collectively.

With collective ownership, one person’s failure to obtain food can only be part of a general shortage. In contrast, individualized property rights allow the effects of untoward events to fall disproportionately on some people. Thus, the potential for famine increases because the immediate event that causes some members of society to starve does not have to be as great as one that reduces food availability for everyone. The influence of entitlements on the prospects for famine can also be seen in comparing societies subscribing to different rules of exchange. On the one hand, there are societies in which members are entitled to food as a status right. Social relationships, such as kinship, encumber individual ownership and compel sharing. On the other hand, there are societies in which members must trade for food. Trade allows the legal right to deny food to others. To put it bluntly, people can be allowed to starve without violating their rights in the slightest. I have found that famine tends to be relatively more severe where trade rather than social status is the cornerstone of exchange.

I believe this is because emergencies are prone to become more serious if people who have food are under no strong obligation to feed the starving. In light of the apparent dangers associated with private ownership and trade, what accounts for the relatively famine-free histories of many modern capitalist economies? It is certainly not because they are immune to disasters nor because they have eradicated poverty. What stands between disaster and poverty on the one hand and starvation on the other are political entitlements, government programs that range from price supports through unemployment benefits and child welfare.

One suspects that by building similar fail-safe programs – at the very least programs that prevent chronic under nutrition (a powerful predictor of famine) – we actually would be doing more to foster the nutritional security of famine-prone nations than we are now doing through efforts to boost food production.

Effects of Famine
Famine has both immediate and long-term effects. Its immediate biological effects include epidemics of disease and sharp increases in mortality. Behaviorally, many conventions of ordinary life disappear. Social contacts, for example, are avoided rather than sought out. Hunger’s long-term effects include physical and psychological scars (e.g., developmental abnormalities and mental illness). In addition, hunger and famine often condition profound transformations in culture (e.g., changes in food habits, forms of government, and magical and religious practices).

Biological Effects
Starvation, meaning a condition in which the body draws on its own reserves for energy, becomes a disease once it begins to damage active tissue. This condition is referred to as “general starvation.” In children, kwashiorkor and marasmus (protein-calorie malnutritional diseases) show up early.
• Before gross weight loss is seen in older victims, there is loss of endurance.
• As general starvation becomes more advanced, victims become apathetic and a series of physical symptoms unfolds, including
 • rapid weight loss,
 • edema
(abnormal accumulations of fluids in parts of the body)
• and diarrhea.

General starvation increases susceptibility to many contagious diseases.
• Individual resistance is undermined at every line of defense.
• As protein is lost, protective surface such as skin and mucous membranes lose their integrity and fail as barriers against the invasion of pathogens.
• Infectious agents once inside the body encounter an impaired immune system.
• Population dislocations and the overcrowding of public facilities favor the spread of infections at the community level.
• Energy-sparing behavioral economies cause inattention to personal hygiene and public sanitation.
• The infections facilitated by famine accelerate the course of general starvation by increasing the body’s nutritional demands. During famines more people die of contagious diseases that of starvation itself.
• Famine’s survivors come away with both physical and mental scars. On the physical side, starvation can result in the curtailment of growth and permanent stunting.
• Work capacity and productivity suffer.

Careful investigation of the long-term consequences of the Dutch Hunger Winter(1944-1945) disclosed lasting damage among those who lived through it while still in their mothers’ wombs. Problems included central nervous system abnormalities detected in military inductees nineteen years later.

Among the Kaiadilt, a group of Australian Aborigines, psychiatric problems arising from famine, including chronic depression, were still evident some twenty years after rescue.

famine group

Social and Cultural Effects
Behavior amidst famine shows certain regularities.
1) The first response, particularly when food emergencies are unfamiliar or of unprecedented proportions, is alarm. This often means panic in the marketplace, mass emigration, and increased (and sometimes violent) political protest and anti-government activity. However, in face-to-face communities the situation is liable to be quite different. Here neighborhoods and other localities often experience a “disaster utopia,” the development of a social environment of intense mutual care and assistance. This environment disappears once starvation begins to exact its physical toll and individuals become weaker and more easily fatigued.

2) The question of available energy becomes paramount at this point. People resort to unusual foods. To conserve energy, expenditures other than those immediately related to obtaining food are pared to a minimum.

3) Social atomization results. Essentially, households close themselves off, and any signs of concern or generosity beyond the bounds of family and household disappear. Supplies are hidden. Food preparation and eating takes place in secret.

4) Lawlessness, including physical aggression, continues to increase but tends to be less concerted and sustained.

5) As victims approach exhaustion, the mayhem ceases. Indeed, activity of any sort practically disappears.

6) Eventually comes the disintegration of the household.  Its collapse is foreshadowed as food sharing within becomes increasingly  discriminatory. There is a tendency to see the elderly as a drain on provisions. Tolerance toward younger dependent erodes less quickly, but there comes a point when children too are receiving disproportionately small amounts of available food. The appearance of neglected wandering children is a certain sign that pockets of exhaustion exist within a famine region. The abandonment or sale of children might be attributed to parents’ concern for their own survival or to their hope that some other person or agency will save their off springs’ lives. In either case, an underlying cause is almost certainly the mental fatigue and exasperation that arises from hearing the children’s incessant cries for food.

Famine can leave cultural legacies that persist for many generations. It is not unusual to find customs that appear to reflect food-related anxieties. Eating patterns, for example, sometimes appear anticipatory, almost as if people were anxiously preparing themselves or “practicing” for another bout with starvation. That Cagaba of Northern Columbia, who have been trouble repeatedly by food crises, glorify fasting.

Goodenough Islanders, likewise no strangers to starvation, use magic to depress their appetites.

Anxiety manifested as a mistrust of others is especially rampant in societies familiar with famines. Famine and mistrust are strong predictors of societies’ readiness to engage in war.

Prolonged or repeated famine has the effect of allowing emergency behavior, patterns essential to survival in the midst of a crisis, to become normalized. This apparently occurs because younger members of society grow up knowing no alternatives. Colin Turnbull felt he witnessed a pivotal moment among the Ik of Uganda when memories of food sharing died with the last members of the society who could recall what life was like in the absence of famine.

For those still living, sharing food with anyone beyond the age of three had become unthinkable, even when food was now and again plentiful. William Shack’s work among the Gurage of Ethiopia provides some indication of the depth to which famine-inspired traits can become embedded in a culture. Shack found the Gurage to be astonishingly light eaters, which he interpreted as the product of “rational fears about physical survival.”

At the time of his fieldwork, however, he found nutrition ample. The Gurage nevertheless behaved as though food were scarce. Meals taken during the day amounted to no more than slight handfuls. Eating more was considered vulgar. It was a different story in private. At night in the dim light of their fireplaces, family members showed none of the restraint they displayed during the day. Shack saw this two-faced attitude as fundamentally selfish. One shared food only when observed eating. The key to minimize sharing was to minimize eating in public.
Shack explains this historically. Four centuries of pillage at the hands of various enemies ended in 1889, but by then the Gurage had learned the consequences of indulging one’s appetite in public and appearing conspicuously plump. To reduce the risk of attack and subsequent starvation, the Gurage developed the habit of never eating more than a handful in public and cultivating an emaciated appearance. These practices set the course of cultural development; what at one time was adaptive became no more than arbitrary virtue. Will this fossilized sense of virtue serve the Gurage well should hunger become a problem again in the future?

The Study of Hunger and Famine
It has been argued that famine is avoidable if government has incentive to act in time. Recent history would suggest that political democracy and a free press create the strongest incentive. According to Sen, no democratic country with a free press has ever suffered famine. If office holders must seek reelection and the media are free to report hunger and criticize policies, then leaders must take pre-emptive steps or risk losing office.

While this may be true, it ought not to be imagined that democratic institutions are the answer. Economic programs that all alleviate immediate concerns of an electorate at the expense of long-term prospects for food security may do more harm than good. Granting the desirability of institutions that foster responsive government, there remains the need for arming the public with knowledge that renders politically unacceptable any response that wins a reprieve from hunger by placing others, including future generations, at greater risk. The realization that nutritional impoverishment is largely a cultural problem places anthropology, the science of culture, under an obligation to respond to this need. To date it has lived up to that obligation. Its holistic, historically informed, and comparative outlooks have contributed substantially to broader, more sophisticated understandings of hunger and famine. The challenge for the future is not to develop some ultimate model for prevention. There are no lasting solutions. Rather, hope resides in relentlessly engaging hunger and famine as topics of investigation and, through research, continuously constructing the knowledge people will need to identify and avert threats to food security in the future.

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Surviving with the electric grid down

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Surviving with the electric grid down)

home battery bank everything on table

[Deep cycle battery powering household personal electronics, low wattage lamps and charging batteries. See Steve Harris videos for “How to”: http://battery1234.com/]

How do you live without electricity
January/February, 2002, Backwoods Home magazine, Issue 373, by Anita Evangelista 
Pasted from: http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/evangelista73.html

It’s going to happen. Sooner or later, the power will go off, and you won’t know when (or if) it will come back on. This doesn’t have to be the work of evil-doers, either. It could be a sudden ice storm that brings down the power lines. It could result from other severe weather such as a tornado or hurricane, or from a disruption caused by faulty power company equipment, or even something as simple as a tree branch falling on your own personal segment of the grid. The effect is the same: everything electrical in your home stops working.

For most modern Americans, the loss of power means the complete loss of normalcy. Their lifestyle is so dependent upon the grid’s constancy that they do not know how to function without it. How do you cook a meal if your gas stove has an electric ignition? How do your children find their way to the bathroom at night if the light switches don’t work? How do you keep warm if your wood heat is moved through ducts by an electric fan? What do you do with a freezer full of expensive meat? How do you find out what is happening in your area with the TV and radio silent? What will you drink if your water comes from a system shtf schooldependent on electrical pumps?

These are questions that both the Red Cross and Federal Emergency Management Agency are asking people to seriously consider. Both of these agencies have suggested that preparations for three days without power are prudent commonsense actions that all Americans should now undertake.

We’ll look at these issues in the broad context of living without access to the grid, whether you’ve chosen to separate from it or whether the choice is made for you by outside forces. What you can do now to mitigate your difficulties if the power goes off in the future, and what you can do then to help keep your situation under control, will be the focus of this article.

Remember, too, that an important principle in all preparations is that you maintain as much “normalcy” in your lifestyle as possible. For example, if television is part of your relaxation and unwinding process, don’t assume you can easily do without it. The closer you can keep your daily routines to “the norm” for your family, the more easily you can deal with power outages.

There are five primary areas that are easily disrupted if the power goes off. Each of these is critical to daily survival, as well, so when making preparations for emergencies keep these in mind. In order of importance, they are: light, water, cooking, heating/cooling, and communication.

1. LightApollo2
While living on our Ozark farm without the grid, we spent some time rising with the sun and going to bed when the sun set. This would probably have been a pretty healthy way to live, if everyone else in the world did the same thing. Our children’s bathroom needs didn’t stop when the sun went down, our neighbors figured that nighttime visits weren’t out of the ordinary, and those midnight raids on the pantry for crackers and peanut butter turned into fumble-fests. Sometimes the barking of our livestock guardian dogs meant strange predators were too close for comfort, somewhere in the countryside darkness. Light is the most important item on our Big Five list because without light we are not able to efficiently carry on the other activities of daily living.

The most simple and familiar form of emergency lighting is a flashlight. Do you have one that you could find in the dark, right now? If so, congratulations. You are among a very small percentage of Americans. Better yet if you have one for each member of your family, with fresh batteries, plus three extra sets of batteries for each flashlight. That should be your minimum “safe” number. Store your flashlight where you can quickly reach it in the dark night—under the mattress of your bed, for example. Each child old enough to walk should also have his or her own flashlight, and be taught how to use it.

Flashlights range in price from the 79 cent cheapie to the fancy multi-function $80 special. Consider a small 2-AA battery flashlight with a halogen bulb. These cost about $4-5 each, give an excellent clear white light, and are easily portable in a pocket or purse. Additionally, when we discuss communications later in the article, the most common battery used in these devices is also the AA, so your life will be simplified if you stick primarily to one type of battery and don’t have to buy various odd sizes for different needs.

Batteries wear out rapidly if your flashlights are used continuously: figure two changes per week of regular use. Alkaline batteries last longer, give a more AC-12v DC battery chargerpowerful light, but cost more than regular batteries. Most rechargeable batteries are suitable for flashlights, but should be recharged when the light begins to dim a little. Don’t let them get completely drained. This means you would need several sets of rechargables for each flashlight (some would be recharging while you use the others).

a)  Recharging can be done by means of a charger plugged into your car’s cigarette lighter outlet. These DC-powered rechargers can be found at auto supply stores and at Radio Shack for about $30 or less. Solar rechargers work slower but produce the same results for about $30.

b) Candles are available, slightly used, at garage sales and thrift stores (5 cents to 10 cents each or less), and some outlet stores like Big Lots have new candles for 25 cents. We have a cardboard box weighing 35 pounds that is filled with various sizes and shapes of candles. This would be about a year’s supply for my family. We’ve acquired them gradually, every time we found them inexpensively. They never go bad! Candles are easy to use and familiar. Most of us can adjust to using candles easily. The light is soft and wavering. You’ll need at least three candles if you hope to read by the light. If you have small children or indoor pets, care must be taken where you place them. Metal candle holders that hang on walls are probably the safest. Remember to place a heat proof plate underneath the holder to catch drippings. Save your wax drippings, too, to no elect candle lanternmake more candles later.

c) Oil (kerosene) lamps produce a steadier light than candles. Department store oil lamps cost about $10 each and come in attractive styles. Lamp oil is about $3 per liter. A typical lamp will burn one to two cups of oil per night, so you would use about two liters each week per lamp. The light from these lamps is not quite adequate to read by unless it is placed very close, and the light does waver a little. A single lamp can provide enough light in a room so that you don’t bump into furniture, but two or three may be needed to provide good functional light. As with candles, if you have children, these lamps need to be placed securely and out of reach. The smell of burning oil (kerosene) can get heavy in a closed room so keep ventilation open. Keep an extra set of wicks ($2) and chimneys ($3) in case of breakage.

The Cadillac of oil lamps is the Aladdin Lamp. These run from $60 up to several hundred each. The light given off is as good as a 60-watt bulb, clear, and unwavering. You can read or do needlepoint by the light of one lamp. These burn the same oil or kerosene as typical lamps, but because they burn hotter, there is much less odor. Position these lamps so that they cannot accidentally be overturned, and so that the intense heat coming from the chimney won’t ignite something. Purchase an additional “mantle” (the light-giving portion of the lamp – $3), and chimney ($15), as backups.

Solar powered lamps ($80-$120) are typically small fluorescents, and can be run off of battery systems. It may take more than one day of bright sunlight to recharge these lamps, so you may need several—one to use, while others are recharging. The light is white and clear, good for area-lighting, and rather difficult to read by. Have extra fluorescent bulbs on hand, too.

Don’t forget to store matches!

2. Water
If you live in a town or city, the loss of power to homes and businesses probably will not immediately affect your water pressure, but it could affect the purification process or allow reverse seepage of contaminants into the lines. If, instead, your water comes from an electrically-powered home water pump, your water stops flowing the moment the power does. Either way, with the loss of power comes the loss of water (or, at least, clean water). Water that is free of bacteria and contaminants is so crucial to our survival that it should be a special concern in your preparations.royal berkey internet image

The easiest way to guarantee quality water is to store it right now. The important question is: how much? Both Red Cross and FEMA suggest a minimum of one gallon per day per person. This is an absolute minimum, and covers only your real drinking and cooking needs; bathing is out of the question.

The typical American currently uses around 70 gallons a day, taking a nice long hot shower, flushing the toilet several times, washing a load of laundry, letting the water run while brushing teeth, and for cooking and drinking. In a short-term emergency situation, only drinking and cooking water is crucial, but if that short-term incident drags out to weeks or months, daily consumption would rise to include bathing and clothes washing. And this presumes that the family has prepared a sanitary “outhouse,” so flushing isn’t needed. In that case, 5-10 gallons per day per person would be a more reasonable amount, with a weekly communal bath becoming the routine.

One to three-gallon jugs, direct from the supermarket, run about 60 cents to $2; these store easily under cabinets and counters. A few tucked into the freezer will help keep things cold if the power goes off. You can also store water inexpensively in large, covered plastic trash cans; they hold 36 to 55 gallons each. Refresh the water every two weeks, so it will be ready in case the power goes off. Kiddie swimming pools—a 12-foot wide, 36-inch deep pool holds 2500 gallons and costs about $250—also make excellent above-ground holding tanks. Buy a pool cover, as well, to keep bugs out.

Farm supply stores often sell “water tanks” made of heavy grade plastic. These can be partially buried underground to keep water cooler and less susceptible to mold and bacteria. These run about $1 per gallon of holding capacity, so a 350-gallon tank new will cost $350. Plan to filter and purify the water before use.

Collecting water can be done by hand with 5-gallon plastic buckets if you live near a river or stream (it must be filtered and purified before use). You can also divert rainwater off your roof, through the rain gutters and downspouts into plastic trashcans. If you live in the Midwest, Northwest, or East Coast, rainfall is adequate to make this your primary backup water source. West Coast, high desert, and mountain areas, though, won’t have sufficient rainfall to make this a reliable source.

A drilled well with an electric pump can be retrofitted with a plastic hand-pump for about $400 – $600. These systems sit side-by-side with your electric pump down the same well-shaft, and can be put to use any time the power is off. Typical delivery is about 2 gallons per minute, and pumping strength varies from 11 to 20 pounds—a good but not exhausting workout.

Water can be purified inexpensively. Fifteen drops of bleach (plain unscented) per gallon of water costs less than 1 penny, and ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide (3%) per gallon will also destroy bacteria. Twenty minutes of a hard, rolling boil will, too. Bleach is effective against both cholera and typhoid and has kept American water supplies safe for decades. The chlorine taste can be easily removed with a charcoal filter system (such as Brita Pitcher or Pur brands for home use, about $30).

British Berkefeld water filters, along with various other brands, are more expensive ($150-$250), but can filter and purify water indefinitely. Both eliminate bacteria, contaminants, and off-flavors. We’ve used a “Big Berkey” for four or five years, and it is a very reliable gravity-fed system. When shopping for filters, if they only offer “better taste” they won’t protect you from bacterial contaminants.

Noah Water System’s travel companion will work great in case of a power outage, or your water supply becomes undrinkable. The Trekker is a portable water purificationn unit. With the Trekker you can get water from any river, lake, or pond. It’s small enough to carry like a briefcase.

3. Cooking
A person can survive indefinitely opening cold cans of beans for meals, but it wouldn’t be a very satisfying existence. In times of crisis, a hot meal goes a long way toward soothing the day’s troubles. The simplest way to heat a meal is the Boy Scout method: a couple of bricks or rocks set around a small outdoor fire, with the bean can propped over the flames. It’s low cost, and it works. However, the cook doesn’t have much control over the outcome.

Outdoor cooking of all kinds, including grilling and barbecuing, all work during emergency situations, provided you have the charcoal or wood (and matches!) needed to get the heat going. These are familiar methods, too, so family members don’t have to make a huge leap to accept these foods. It’s difficult to cook much more than meats and a few firm vegetables over open heat like this, though. Also, never use these devices in a confined space, as they emit carbon monoxide.no elect dutch oven

a) “Campfire” cooking can lend itself to some baking, if you also have a cast iron Dutch Oven—a large, heavy, cast iron covered pot. Place a well-kneaded pound of bread dough into a heavily-greased or oiled Dutch Oven and put the cover in position. Make a hole or pot-sized well in the ash near the fire, and line this with glowing coals. Put about an inch of ash over the coals, and place the Dutch Oven into this. Now, pile about an inch of hot ash around the oven and cover with glowing coals, then another layer of ash to keep the heat in. Uncover and check your bread in about 35 minutes, it should be done.

b) Propane and butane camp stoves are so much like ordinary home stoves that there is no difference in the cooking results. Portable RV 2-burner propane stoves are often available used—mine cost $5 at a garage sale—and can even do pressure canning because the heat is consistent and reliable. A typical 18-gallon propane cylinder, the kind used for barbeques, costs around $30 new, and a propane fillup is about $7. This will last for nearly a month of daily use. You’ll also need a feeder hose and pressure regulator for the stove, which can be prepared by your propane dealer for $20 or so.

c) Butane stoves are also portable and run off of a cylinder of the same kind of butane that is used in cigarette lighters. These stoves are $80-90 new, and cylinders are $5 and last for 8 hours of cooking.no elect coleman stove

d) General camp stoves (around $65 at department stores) operate on “stove fuel” (basically, propane in a small 1-pound cylinder – $3). A cylinder lasts for around 8 hours of cooking. You can also find camp stoves that will cook off of unleaded gasoline, and there are some that are “multi-fuel,” using either kerosene or gasoline—handy in case of a shortage of one fuel or the other. Use outdoors or on a covered porch to prevent carbon monoxide buildup in your home.

Solar cooking is another option, if you have plenty of unobstructed sunlight and someone who is willing to adjust the cooker to face the sun every half hour or so. A solar oven need be no more fancy than a set of nested cardboard boxes painted flat black on the inside with tempura colors, a sheet of window glass, and some aluminum foil glued to cardboard panels. Total cost for this, if you can scrounge leftover glass and cardboard, is about $1.

Place your food in a covered lightweight pan inside the box, prop it so the entire interior is exposed to the sunlight (about a 45-degree angle), cover with the sheet of glass (and tape the glass so it won’t slide), then prop the aluminum foil panels so that they reflect more sunlight down into the box. Move the box every 30 minutes so it maintains an even temperature. It will get hot fast, easily up to 325 degrees, and hold the heat as long as it faces the sun. Remember to use potholders when removing your foods! Our first solar oven had a black plastic trash bag as a heat-absorbing inner surface; it worked superbly until the plastic actually melted.no elect Global Sun over

Keeping foods cool if the power goes out can be as simple as looking for shade, even under a tree. Some Ozarkers have partially buried old broken freezers in the shade of backyard trees, storing grains and winter vegetables inside. During the winter, your parked car will stay at the same temperature as the outside air—below freezing on those cold nights—so you can store frozen goods there safely. During the daylight hours, the car interior will heat up, though, if it’s in the sun. Park it in the shade of the house, or cover the windows and roof with a blanket to keep the interior cool.

e) Kerosene refrigerator/freezers are alternative appliances that will continue to function with the power off because they are “powered” by kerosene. Their cooling and freezing capacity is exactly the same as a regular refrigerator, and they come in the same colors. Typically, they are a little smaller than conventional ‘fridges and cost up to $1500, but they’ll last for decades with care.

Portable battery-powered refrigerators that keep your foods 40-degrees cooler than outside temperatures are available at most department store sporting-goods sections ($90). These run off of both DC and AC power, so they can be plugged into your car battery through the cigarette lighter outlet or into a solar power system.Wynter 12v refrig w solar panel

What about that freezer full of expensive meat if the power goes off? First step is to cover the freezer with blankets to help retain the cold. Then, find dry ice (if everyone else in your town hasn’t already bought out the supply). Blanket coverings will keep a full freezer frozen for two days, and the addition of dry ice will prolong that to three or four days.

If power stays off, it’s time to eat and time to can the meat remaining. Canning low-acid foods like meat calls for a pressure canner ($90), canning jars ($6 for 12), a source of consistent heat (like a propane RV stove), and some skill. In considering your time requirements, it took me two days of steady canning to put a 230-pound pig into jars. Each quart jar holds 3 pounds of meat.

4. Heating and cooling
It’s a funny thing that even though we know winter is coming, we put off cutting our wood until after the first really cold night has chilled the house below comfort levels. But with the instability in the world today, it is sensible, and reasonable, to prepare well in advance of season changes. Putting in supplies a year ahead of time is a traditional farm practice, and it gives a cushion of safety against uncertain conditions.

a) Woodstove heating is more common, and comfortable to use, than it was two decades ago. New wood heaters run from $100 to several thousands, depending on materials, craftsmanship, and beauty. Better stoves hold heat longer and may have interior baffles that let you use less wood to produce more heat. Even so, the most basic metal-drum-turned-stove also works to heat a room or a house.no elect cylindar stove w h20 heater

Heating a 3-bedroom home that is moderately insulated will use about 8-12 cords of wood throughout the winter. The size of a cord (sometimes called a “rick” or a “rank”) is not standardized from region to region, but typically will be about 8′ x 8′ x 2′, roughly a pickup truck bed loaded even with the top of the sides. Prices will vary between $65 per cord to $150, depending on the region and type of wood. Hardwoods, such as oak and walnut, and fruitwoods like apple and pear, burn better and longer than softwoods like poplar. Don’t use resinous woods, such as the pines, cedars, and spruces for the main heating—only as firestarters—because they burn too hot and fast and generate creosote. Better home insulation and better quality hardwoods will decrease the amount of wood you need to use.

If you plan to secure and cut your own firewood, be willing to acquire a good-quality chainsaw—any that cost below $200 will only give you grief. Keep an extra chain on hand. Use safety precautions, too: wear ear and eye protectors, heavy gloves, and don’t chainsaw alone. Cutting your own wood will decrease your heating costs significantly, but increase your labor. It typically takes us a full week of constant work to put up a winter’s worth of wood.

b) Woodstoves require heat-proof surfaces surrounding them, an insulated chimney pipe (about $90 per 3-foot section), and some building skills in order to install. Installation costs can equal or surpass the cost of the stove itself. Chimneys need to be thoroughly cleaned of the black crusty buildup, creosote, at least twice each year (and more often if you use the stove continuously).

c) Propane heaters that don’t need venting to outdoors are a relatively new product. A plain one ($200) can be mounted on the wall in the home’s main no elect buddyroom, or more fancy models that look like built-in fireplaces complete with fake logs ($450) are available. You will need a propane tank, regulator, and appropriate copper lines, but these will all be installed by your propane company for a small charge. Propane has varied widely in cost from year to year, but typically runs around $0.95 to $1.30 per gallon.

d) Kerosene heaters ($120) are freestanding units that burn kerosene in a way that is something like a lamp—it uses a wick system and flames to provide heat. These are best used in areas that can be easily ventilated, because of the potential for buildup of carbon monoxide. Kerosene has a strong odor, as well. Kerosene costs about $1 per gallon or less (in quantity).

e) Solar heat can be “grabbed” anytime the light from the sun hits your house. Even in the dead of winter, the south-facing walls will feel noticeably warmer than the shaded north-facing ones. You can “store” the sun’s heat in any surface. Ceramic floor tiles, for instance, are excellent at retaining heat. So will a flat-black painted covered plastic trash can filled with water. If these surfaces are exposed to sunlight, say, indoors next to a south-facing window, they will absorb heat during the day. At night, with the window curtains closed, the surface will release heat slowly and steadily into the house.

One of the most efficient ways to heat is something else we have forgotten in the past 50 years—close off rooms that are not being used. If doors aren’t available, you can hang curtains in doorways (or even tack up a blanket, in a pinch), and keep your heat restricted to the room you are actually in. In an emergency situation, you can curtain up a room and set up a tent-like “den” for the family to snuggle in under blankets. Body heat alone will keep the den’s interior comfortable.

Cooling a residence during a hot summer requires just as much thought and advance planning as winter heating does. Battery and solar-powered fans help keep air moving, windows can be shaded by fast-growing vines and pole beans, and—planning way ahead—fast-growing trees like poplars can be planted on the house’s south side to shade the yard.

In areas where wind blows routinely in the summer, you can soak a sheet, ring it out, and hang it in front of a breezy window. The air passing through the window is cooled as it moves against the wet sheet, and helps to cool the house. Remember that heat rises, so make it easy for too-hot air to escape from the attic and upper floors by opening windows and vents.

5. Communications
In a time of distress, keeping in contact with family and knowing about local and national situations is important to maintaining both continuity and confidence. In general, telephone systems are on a different system than the electrical power grid, but they can be disrupted if there are earth movements or as the result of terrorist activities.

During the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, we kept informed about the damages by watching a 4-inch black and white TV set (bought used for $25) that was plugged into our car battery through the cigarette lighter. At night, we heard reports from the BBC via a 4-AA battery powered shortwave radio ($70 from Radio Shack). I consider these two devices—shortwave and TV—the required minimum communication/ information devices during a crisis, especially if the phone system is down.

Satellite internet hookups, using a battery-powered laptop, could be an excellent communication tool, both for accessing news and for staying in touch with friends and colleagues by email.

Citizens Band (CB) radios are excellent tools, as well. These portable devices can be carried with you into the field and used to stay in contact with neighbors and family when you are away from the house. Basic models run $60—you’ll need at least two—and ones with greater ranges and features are more costly. They’ll run on 6 to 8 (or more) AA batteries.

“Family Radios” are FM-band devices that have a short range, about ¼ mile ($60 for a pair). These are handy for keeping family in contact during outings, when traveling in a caravan, or when one member needs to go out to the barn during a storm. They run on 2 AA batteries.

6. Keeping things normal
Even though circumstances may change in the world, we can choose how we wish to react. We can live in a state of helpless anxiety—or control what we can. We can control our responses, in part, by maintaining as much normalcy in our lives as possible.tv_on_cobra_400_watt_inverter_on_marine_battery[1]

If your family relaxes in the evenings with a video, plan to continue doing that. Acquire a battery-powered TV/VCR combination, and make sure you have enough power sources to keep that going for at least two weeks. (If things get dicey, you can wean off the system in two weeks.) A cassette player or CD player with external speakers can provide relaxation and entertainment, and they run off of AA batteries as well.

Children have difficulty adjusting to sudden changes in their environment, so if you expect them to play board games if the power goes out, they should be comfortable with board games now. Keep routines consistent, arising at the usual time in the morning and going to bed as you have in the past. Prepare familiar meals with foods everyone enjoys. Have “fun foods” and goodies on hand. Remember to reach out to your neighbors and older folks who live nearby, and provide extras to help them, as well.

Use the knowledge you’ve gained, and your experience with non-electric living, to make your neighborhood a more secure and adaptable place.

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An EMP attack, Pearl Harbor II?

EMP(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ An EMP attack, Pearl Harbor II?)

 A.  The Roosevelt Presidency: The War Years
E
xcerpt from: http://www.janrainwater.com/htdocs/FDR-WarYears.htm
“The American military had supposedly not expected Hawaii to be attacked. Yet a final exam question at the Japanese Naval Academy for the last ten years had been: “How would you carry out a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor?” Howe, Ashes, p. 161. Rear Admiral Richard Turner would later testify that the possibility of a Japanese attack from the North Pacific had been discussed for at least 25 years….”

History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.
……….Mark Twain

[The articles that follow present a case for the potential of an enemy nation or terrorist group EMP attack against the USA.  If we just shrug off, disregard and turn away from an attack scenario that is being studied, built and promoted by our enemies, then we are like those living before World War II who failed to recognize the signals that would lead to our defeat at Pearl Harbor.  With the passage of the centuries, the potential for  greater numbers of war casualties have greatly increased. If the a large region, or essentially the entire USA, was crippled by an EMP attack– dehydration, hunger, outdoor tempertures, disease and private weapons will reduce our population numbers  by percentages typically associated with air superiority and the horde of advancing armies. Below are the harbingers. Mr. Larry]    

EMP scenario multi [Short range missile launch platform for EMP devices. This is not hypothetical, these shipping container based launch systems are currently being constructed and sold on the world market. Mr. Larry]

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B.  Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) caused by a nuclear explosion high over the United States – Imminent danger to the U.S. # 1
2006, The Prophetic Years.com, By Don Koenig 2006
Pasted from: http://www.thepropheticyears.com/comments/Imminent%20danger%201%20-%20Electromagnetic%20Pulse%20explosion%20(EMP)%20over%20the%20United%20States.htm

Possible Causes – for an EMP. A direct attack from a nation and/or terrorist group using one or more nuclear weapons exploded at very high altitude over the United States – a blast from a meteor exploding at high altitude in the atmosphere – check out this report on the solar EMP possibility.

U.S. vulnerabilityThe U.S. is more vulnerable than any other nation on earth to an EMP because she has become totally dependent on electricity and electronics for just about everything used in everyday living. This vulnerability has come about in the last few decades. All of the major enemies of the U.S. are aware of this vulnerability and that this is the easiest way to cripple the United States. Russia has this capability and tested it during the cold war. Some officials from Russia suggested they could use this capability against the United States in 1999 during the Balkans conflict. China now has this capability, and U.S. intelligence sources say that North Korea and Iran are actively developing the technology and capability.

Terrorist groups could get the capability from any one of these countries or from a few other countries either directly or by theft. The weapon could be delivered by a Scud missile hidden under a tarp from a medium-sized ship in the shipping lanes off the coast of the United States. Scud missiles are available in the weapons market for about $100,000. If the United States were attacked with this weapon the country may find it very difficult if not impossible to retaliate. Finding out who was responsible might not be easy especially if it was done by state sponsored terrorists or if terrorists carried it out on their own. If the U.S. responded in kind over a country like North Korea, it would not significantly change their way of life and if the U.S. nuked their cities without serious proof I can foresee a collective world reaction against the United States that would only make substantial recovery in the U.S. more difficult if not impossible. Even conventional warfare may not be possible because our military would have to be recalled to the United States to restore domestic order.

EMP Effects – total blackout – Y2K + X to the nth power– A large EMP would actualize the perceived Y2K threat of the year 2000 except the effects of an EMP would be many magnitudes worse than anyone’s worst nightmare about Y2K. A large EMP would cause the immediate collapse of the North American power grid and the destruction of much unshielded electronic equipment in the area of the pulse. The extent of the pulse depends on many factors; it could hit the whole nation, a good part of the nation, or be more local. Those who would attempt such an attack would seek to maximize the extent of the damage so more than likely, the pulse would hit much if not most of the United States. The EMP pulse itself has three components with each subsequent component causing further damage. An EMP is generated when Gamma Rays from a high altitude nuclear explosion interact with the atmosphere to produce a radio frequency wave pulse that would hit everything in line of sight of the explosion. A small crude nuclear weapon exploded high above the United States could create a devastating pulse.

If an EMP hit a large part of the United States it would not cause just a temporary power outage. It could take months or even years to get power back to most of the United States. Electronic equipment and power generating equipment in power plants themselves would be damaged and there will be no way of easily replacing this equipment. Even if the equipment were not damaged the grid could not easily be brought back up. It takes a source of power to bring up modern power plants to put them back on line. Just bringing up the whole U.S. grid from scratch would take weeks or months. Even if the blackout were only for weeks, the disruption to the United States would be immense.

In a matter of hours there would be large-scale looting in the major cities and in days there would be riots in all large cities over food and water. Marshal Law would be declared and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would nationalize all police forces and take control over managing the people of the United States. All available military would be following the directives of DHS as well.

A major EMP over a large part of the United States would cause all major transportation systems to break down. Most means of communication would not be possible. There would be no TV, little radio, no useable cell phone systems, no Internet system and no food or water distribution other than through the direction of Homeland Security. All essentials would be rationed. Those carrying out the DHS directives would confiscate all known critical supplies.

The civil disorder and disruptions that have taken place in New Orleans and southern Mississippi in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina are a small example of what would take place nationwide after an EMP. In that case massive aid from the rest of the nation eased the crisis but after an EMP the whole nation will be coping with the crisis and little aid will be possible.

All able bodied manpower in the United States would have to report for assignments directed by Homeland Security. All financial assets would be frozen. There would be no access to any money, the stock market would be closed and the U.S dollar would become near worthless on the world market. For weeks, months, and perhaps years there could be little gross national product in the United States. The U.S is the largest debtor nation in the world so she would be forced to default on her debt bringing about a massive world depression.

Even after the power was brought back up, it would be likely that much of the electronically controlled infrastructure systems would have to be totally replaced. This could take many years. Meanwhile, financial assets in every category either would become worthless or lose tremendous value. All financial bubbles will burst.

Likelihood of this threat occurring before A.D 2025?
If significant military action is not taken against Iran and North Korea (if they do not immediately abandon their nuclear weapons program), it is almost certain that one or more EMP attacks will be attempted with the likelihood of success being high. The possibility of a successful EMP attack before 2025 AD would in my opinion be at least a 7 on a scale of 1-10.

If Iran and North Korea no longer have nuclear capabilities the likelihood of an attack is then much less at least for a number of years. Pakistan still will be a problem because she has nuclear weapons and a large segment of the population supports terrorism against the United States. It is unlikely that China would want an EMP to happen over the United States as long as she is getting rich exporting to the United States. (The China threat could be the reason the U.S. allows the seemingly insane trade imbalances.) If China no longer needs the U.S. because world demand for their products is more than they are capable of producing and/or if Taiwan becomes a flash point, the likelihood of an EMP attack is again extremely high unless by that time the U.S. has taken major steps to harden the infrastructure against such an attack. If a cold war reemerges with Russia, they also might see a world without the United States as being in their best interest and they also would pose a grave threat to the United States either directly or by supporting Islamic terrorists groups who would use this technology to bring the U.S. to destruction.

Non-state sponsored terrorism will continue to be a threat if they can get hold of a nuclear bomb. Some reports have indicated that nuclear bombs are available on the black market. I do not know if this is actually the case but experts who have access to intelligence say the possibility of terrorists obtaining a nuke in the next 10 years is better than 50-50.

What can be done to stop this threat?
In the near term, the U.S. can only try to stop terrorists and terrorist nations from launching such an attack. What the United States really should do in the near term is to buy some time and take out Iran and North Korea’s nuclear capabilities.

If the U.S. starts in earnest now in about five years she can have the critical infrastructures hardened enough and the procedures put in place to protect critical equipment from the second and third component of an EMP. After this, an attack would probably not reduce the United States to less than a superpower but it certainly would still cause enough damage to put the U.S. in turmoil and be a catalyst for a world depression. At this time the hardening of U.S. critical infrastructures is not taking place and I know of no plans to do so on a large scale. Another defensive tactic that the U.S. may be taking is trying to appease her enemies. This could be the secret reason for some of the foolish positions she takes in the Middle and Far East. Nevertheless, I believe appeasement is playing right into the hands of the enemies and I believe that this policy is doomed to failure.

If the United States people can get their politicians off of their duffs, she can have most of the critical infrastructures hardened against an EMP attack in about five years. This would not cost all that much to do, if all new critical electronics were manufactured to be shielded and hardened. The major problem is that most politicians have their head in the sand and they are ignoring this real threat even after this threat was verified to them by the highest Intelligence sources and by their very own congressional appointed commission of scientists.

Therefore, since the danger are real, All people in the United States should have on hand or have ready access to at least six months of food and water. The sure way of escaping such a judgment is for the people of the United States to voluntarily stop all their wickedness and seek God’s protection but I just do not see that happening.

Documentation that this EMP threat is very real
I am not pulling this imminent threat to the United States out of thin air. A commission of top experts was appointed by the U.S. congress right after the 9/11 attack. They were commissioned to report to them on this EMP threat. The report was given to the congress in 2004 AD. The report is below and it gives all the details you may never want to know. Other intelligence sources have also written about this grave threat to the United States.
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B.  THE REPORT OF THE COMMISSION TO ASSESS THE THREAT TO THE U.S. FROM ELECTROMAGNETIC PULSE ATTACK
22 JULY 2004, HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES -One Hundred Eighth Congress

Internet linkRead the Congressional report here:
http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/security/has204000.000/has204000_0.htm

A few excerpts from the 108th House Committee’s Commission to assess the threat to the US of an EMP attack, 22 July 2004:
•  I have at a number of hearings where it was appropriate to ask our military people how much of their warfighting capability would remain after a robust EMP laydown. Most frequently, the generals and the admirals turn to their staff who is behind them, and then they say, ”Gee, we will get back to you on the record for that.”
•  One of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) agents who are knowledgeable in this area told me that several years ago he briefed one of the Army Joint Chiefs on the EMP threat, and, after the briefing, the General cussed him out. He said, ”Why did you do that? Why did you have to ruin my day? You know there is nothing I can do about that. Why did you want to make me feel bad?” That is not the right response to this problem.

Congressman Weldon mentioned our meeting in Vienna, Austria, and the comment that Vladimir Lukin said. Now he was not a happy camper at that point in our meeting there because he had been sitting there in that hotel room for a couple of days with his arms crossed on his chest, looking up at the ceiling. At one point, he said, ”You spit on us, and now why should we help you?”

After that, he made the comment that Congressman Weldon referred to. He said, ”If we really wanted to hurt you with no fear of retaliation, we would launch an Submarine-launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM), we would detonate a nuclear weapon high above your country and shut down your power grid for six months or so.”
Curt understands enough Russian that he turned to me, and he said, ”Roscoe, did you hear what he said?” Well, of course, I heard it. I did not understand any of it until the translator. But Curt had understood it when he said it.
Then the third-ranking Communist was there, Alexander Shabanov, who smiled and said, ”If one weapon would not do it, we have some spares.”
So it is not that our enemy does not know that this is a big vulnerability in our country. This is, in fact, the ultimate asymmetric attack, not just on our military, but on our culture, on our society as a whole.
•  What we have concluded is that several potential adversaries have or over the next 15 years, which was the time horizon you mandated for us, over that time, can acquire the capability to attack the United States or its interests, friends and allies with a high-altitude nuclear weapon-generated electromagnetic pulse. Not only that, but a determined adversary can achieve an EMP attack capability without having a high level of sophistication.

EMP is one of a small number of threats that can hold our society at risk of catastrophic consequences and might result in the defeat of our military forces. EMP has the capability to produce significant damage to critical infrastructures and, thus, to the very fabric of U.S. society, as well as to our ability to project influence and military power abroad.

More reading on this topic is available at the following websites:
›  Nuke over U.S. could unleash electromagnetic tsunami, from World Tribune article: http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/05/front2453711.9284722223.html

› Gingrich sees Iran threat to U.S. like Nazi Germany:
http://www.wnd.com/2005/11/33506/

› Senator Jon Kyl speaks of this EMP threat:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A57774-2005Apr15.html

› Powerful Solar Storm Could Shut Down U.S. for Months:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,478024,00.html

› 90 seconds from catastrophe from solar storm (pdf file)
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/legacy/broadbandgrants/comments/7927.pdf

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C.  Stealth EMP Delivery systems now in production
New Hidden Missile System Unknown To Feds
See article at:
http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/new-hidden-missile-system-unknown-to-feds/nFDfM/

A portion of the article follows:
ATLANTA —
A Russian weapons company is marketing a new missile system that is hidden inside an ordinary shipping container. It can turn a ship, train or truck into a long-range missile launcher. Channel Two Action News anchor Justin Farmer investigated the threat and found officials at the Port of Savannah had never heard of the Club K Missile system.
It sounds like something out of a James Bond movie. A hidden cruise missile that can transform a shipping container into a missile launcher. The problem is it’s real and a Russian weapons company is advertising it for sale to anyone who has the cash to pay for it.

EMP scenario train-ship

A cruise missile in a shipping box on sale to rogue bidders
See news article at:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/7632543/A-cruise-missile-in-a-shipping-box-on-sale-to-rogue-bidders.html
Club – K container missile system. Stills from an animated film being used to market a missile system that allows cruise missiles to be launched from a freight container. this can be loaded onto a lorry, ship, or train as desired to move into position before launching missiles

Defense experts are warning of a new danger of ballistic weapons proliferation after a Russian company started marketing a cruise missile that can be launched from a shipping container.

EMP scenario truck

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New Hidden Missile System Unknown To Feds
See news article at:
http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/new-hidden-missile-system-unknown-to-feds/nFDfM/

North Korean Missile/Cargo Ships
http://www.eaglespeak.us/2007/02/north-korean-missilecargo-ships.html

EMP scenario ship-launcher

The DPRK may have some hidden assets as reported here: http://english.chosun.com/
A recent report by the U.S. Congress’ research unit Congressional Research Service (CRS) has raised questions about North Korea’s ability to transform cargo ships into missile launch pads. The CRS report said that North Korea has developed a submarine – or ship-mounted ballistic missile system with a range of at least 1550 miles (2,500 kilometers). The North has also transformed ordinary cargo ships to launch the missiles, the report said.

[And this is just what we, the common folks on the street, have learned.
 What else of such importance might be known by the Federal government & military intelligence, but not mentioned publicly.
What is being assembled in secret by an enemy foreign government or terrorist organization, or even constructed in a derelict building right here in the USA?
 Given a 1500 mile range, an EMP device could be: 1) launched against the east and/or west coast from half way across the ocean; 2) or launched from northern tip of South America against the central USA; 3) shipped north by railway to the US-Mexican border and launched against practically any/every region in the US; or 4) against the east and central US from a foreign oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

EMP attacks could also be made against Gulf of Mexico oil platforms with US gulf coast cities as collateral damage, thus crippling much of the US oil production. EMP attacks could more easily be made strictly against Gulf oil production facilities, thus avoiding a direct attack against Western populations and a certain nuclear retaliation. 

In either case, EMP used against the US mainland, Gulf of Mexico or Persian Gulf oil production will all be long m crippling events for the US economy. The internal dynamics of the US population will undoubtedly lead to truly massive unruly behavior and crime, as prices and shortages go from “0 to 60” overnight.

Think about it.
One day (or night) we may simply realize that we’ve lost electrical power or don’t have an energy supply.
The welfare net will be broken; regions will have lost the ability to function as a 21st Century civilization; tens of millions, maybe a hundred million people will be without an income,  without jobs – for months, perhaps years; regional agriculture tillage will be down, the crop planting or harvest lost; cannerys will not open, mills will not grind or bake, slaughterhouses will not process meat; grocery shelves will become bare within 12 hours; shelves in all stores will not be restocked, there will be no “just in time” shipments; gas station pumps will have ceased to operate without electric power, autos still running will run out of gasoline within days; medications will be depleted. Two weeks after the attack, with the nuclear power plant’s water pump generator fuel reserves depleted, reactor cores and spent fuel ponds will have lost cooling capacity  leading to regional, national or continental wide meltdowns and the consequent spread of high levels of radiation across downwind population centers; meanwhile, the public’s solid and liquid waste will accumulate within homes and along the streets, disease will follow; thirsty and hunger driven individuals and families will have first gone to their neighbors for help, then they’ll begin to walk…like ants spreading out from towns and cities in the disrupted areas, walking into the countryside, hungry and desperate.

Many of the news articles presented above were published between 2004 and 2010. There has been a lot of time since then for our adversaries to improve, test and update the missile delivery systems discussed, indeed to develop still other related attack schemes.
Mitigate the effects, do what you can, now.
Mr. Larry]

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Filed under Prepper articles, Survival Manual

Faraday Cage

(Survival Manual/7. Warehouse/Faraday Cage)

Faraday Cage protection from an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP)

 A.  The Day an E-Bomb Drops on an American City
4 April 2005, Strike the Root, by Jim Moore
http://www.strike-the-root.com/51/moore/moore2.html
[Current thinking is that  the target will probably not be an individual city, but a central location over the continental USA, with the nuclear detonation occurring a couple hundred miles in altitude, at the edge of space. Under this scenario, the EMP would affect the entire US power grid, our infrastructure would not be damaged, but much would be unusable–bad for commuters, bad for retail transactions, bad for high rise dwellers, bad for heating & air-conditioning, bad for aircraft in flight and, bad for people requiring prescription or OTC medicine. Mr. Larry]

“There is sharp cracking sound in the distance. A moment later a low rumbling sound, like an innocent clap of thunder, shakes the ground slightly and the whole city becomes immobile, as if frozen in time. All fluorescent lights, neon tubes, and television sets glow with eerie brightness; even the ones that are turned off at the time. Smoldering plastic seeps from outlet covers, electric wires arc, and telephone wires melt into tangled piles of smoking jelly.

Palm Pilots, DVD players, cell phones, portable appliances, and toys all feel warm to the touch because their batteries have become overloaded and are fried. Computers are toasted, and all the data on the hard drives is burned up and lost forever.

Then, the surroundings go deathly still. The background sounds of civilization in a busy city die out without a whimper. Cars and trucks sit motionless, their internal-combustion engines now stopped, will never start again.

What about the people, on the streets and in their houses? Miraculously, they are all unharmed, at least physically. But as they look around incredulously, unable to adjust their senses to the shock of this strange, silent environment, it suddenly dawns on them that something unexplainable and terrifying has just happened: the entire city is totally without power.
Without the electric circuitry to power their modern lifestyle, the civilization they took so much for granted has been thrown back 200 years, to a time when electricity had no meaning other than a lightning bolt flashing for an instant in the night sky. The city is now vulnerable and helpless.

But now, you say, let’s get real. This is a hypothetical scenario, isn’t it? This is just a trumped-up tale, a make-believe story in the mind of some Sci-fi writer or wacko atomic-scientist, right? No quite. This is a realistic assessment of the damage the Pentagon believes could be inflicted by a new generation of weapons called, E-bombs.
And just to assure you that what you read above is not only possible, investigative reporter Jim Wilson took the time and trouble to lay it all out in basic technological terms that most readers will be able to understand.

The E-bomb (or electromagnetic bomb) has a myriad of bizarre uses, Initially, the Army wants to use the E-bomb to explode artillery shells in flight. The Navy wants to use the E-bomb’s microwave pulses to neutralize anti-ship missiles. And the Air Force wants to equip its strike aircraft with E-bomb capabilities.

But, like all innovations, there is a downside. Once the principle is known, a low-tech E-bomb, with nearly the same destructive power of the big baby, could be built for as little as $400, according to an estimate by Popular Mechanics. The downside is obvious: what a boon for the terrorist who wants to shut down a whole city!”

[Note: This article was written sever years ago, in 2005; those ‘new’ weapons have been  tested and are well along their production schedule for all branches of the US armed forces and perhaps already distributed for deployment. See the following web articles:
1) Chinese EMP Weapons Program Confirmed by Intelligence Agencies; Designed to Attack US Carrier Fleets, Taiwan:
http://theintelhub.com/2011/07/22/chinese-emp-weapons-program-confirmed-by-intelligence-agencies-designed-to-attack-us-carrier-fleets-taiwan/
2) The USA Superconducting E-Bomb, 2003:
<http://www.superconductors.org/emp-bomb.htm&gt;
Mr. Larry]
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B.  The Solar ‘Katrina’ Storm That Could Take Our Power Grid Out For Years
07/15/10, HufingtonPost.com, by Lawrence E. Joseph (Author, “AFTERMATH: A Guide To Preparing For And Surviving Apocalypse 2012)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lawrence-e-joseph/the-solar-katrina-storm-t_b_641354.html

John Kappenman, 55, an obscure electrical engineer from Duluth, Minnesota was a major contributor to the landmark report, Severe Space Weather Events: Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts, published by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in December, 2008. Founded by Abraham Lincoln during the height of the Civil War, the NAS is the closest thing there is to a Supreme Court of scientific opinion for the United States, and much of the rest of the world.

“Electric power is modern society’s cornerstone technology, the technology on which virtually all other infrastructures and services depend… Collateral effects of a longer-term outage [such as would almost certainly result from a massive space weather event] would likely include, for example, disruption of the transportation, communication, banking, and finance systems, and government services; the breakdown of the distribution of potable water owing to pump failure and the loss of perishable foods and medications because of lack of refrigeration. The resulting loss of services for a significant period of time in even one region of the country could affect the entire nation and have international impact as well,” says the NAS report.

As examined extensively in my book, AFTERMATH, (Broadway/Random House, July, 2010) more than 100 million Americans could be affected by this blackout for months or years. Recovering from a future severe magnetic storm would cost $1 to $2 trillion per year– ten to twenty times the cost of Katrina. Of course, the damage would be immeasurably worse if such a massive, protracted catastrophe were to touch off social unrest sufficient to undermine the agencies and institutions in charge of the reconstruction effort.

The World’s Largest Lightning Rod
The world’s power grids, of which the United States has the most extensive, have in essence become giant antennas for space weather blasts. Just as a lightning rod attracts any lightning bolts that might otherwise strike a roof, the power grid, which is designed specifically to be extremely efficient at conducting electricity, attracts space weather bolts. Problem is that, unlike lightning rods, the power grid is gravely vulnerable to such shocks.

According to Kappenman’s research, a repeat of the geomagnetic storm that occurred in 1859 or 1921 would see the copper windings and leads of the 350 or so of the highest voltage transformers in the United States melt and burn out. These transformers connect nearly one-third of the entire US power grid infrastructure, damage levels of unimaginable proportions from any other threat. Transformers weigh over 100 tons apiece and usually cannot be repaired in the field, and because of their size they cannot be flown in from overseas factories where they are now made. In fact, most transformers damaged by space weather incidents cannot be repaired at all, and need to replaced with new units. Currently, the worldwide waiting list for transformers is about three years, and about half of those made fail either in test or prematurely while in service.

“We’ve been stacking risk multipliers on top of risk multipliers. The scientific community has developed a false sense of security regarding the power industry. We’ve got to preserve our capability and prevent wide-spread catastrophic damage to this vital infrastructure!” declares Kappenman.
We have already slept through at least one wake-up call, the geomagnetic storm of 1989,” Kappenman contends.

On March 13,1989, two solar blasts each about a tenth the size of the ones that hit in 1859 and 1921 knocked out the Hydro-Quebec electrical utility, causing it to go from fully operational to complete shutdown in 92 seconds. On the computer simulation, the blast looks like giant red, toothy mouths taking bites out of the top of the Northern Hemisphere. Millions of customers in Quebec lost power but within nine hours power was restored. No big deal in the grand scheme of things. True, a number of nuclear, oil and coal-powered plants as far away as Los Angeles subsequently reported transmission anomalies, but nothing blew up, although one large transformer at a Nuclear plant in New Jersey melted.

Another wake-up call came on Halloween, October 31, 2003. Kappenman was testifying before the Environment subcommittee of the House of Representatives Science Committee on the impact of the blackout of August 14, 2003 and potential impacts for severe space weather. The August 2003 blackout, not space weather related, is believed to have cost between $4 billion and $10 billion in repairs and collateral economic damage. As luck would have it, the day of Kappenman’s testimony turned out also to be a day of a powerful solar storm, known in space weather circles as Halloween 2003.

The utility industry’s objections to implementing a space weather defense program are thus more inertial than economic. Why go to all the trouble of preventing a space weather blackout when no (serious) one has ever happened, at least not in the United States? Then, there’s the commonsense reluctance to complicate a system that has thus far functioned so admirably. Inserting surge suppressors would also require installing high-speed switching circuits to bypass the transformers when necessary, yet another “moving part” that could potentially break down. Aggravating matters further is the inescapable fact that the more complex the network, the less control grid operators have over it…(the preceding paragraphs are an excerpt from the article).
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C.  The galvanized metal, trash can Faraday Cage
A galvanized metal trash can, can be a very effective electromagnetic shield. The interior of the body of the galvanized metal trash can should be lined with some material to electrically insulate items stored inside the container from the metal exterior. Cardboard probably works better than any other inexpensive material for this. Liners such as plastic trash bags may be too thin for this because of the momentary high voltages that could be induced on the exterior during an actual EMP. Do not place any insulation at a point where it would interfere with the electrical connection between the metal lid and the metal body of the trash can.

* Direction  for making a galvanized steel Faraday Cage can be seen on YouTube, at: <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoQZY1FtI3c&gt;
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.D.  Mr. Larry’s home assembled trash can – Faraday Cage
I made a cage similar to the one built on YouTube (see web address above), my construction photographs and descriptions follow;

[Photographs above: Left: A  30 gallon galvanized trash can (Home Depot or Lowes) cum Faraday cage. Seen with heavy-duty single strand grounding wire. The ground wire connects with only with the ground terminal of a three prong electric plug and is plugged into the household power grid to provide grounding. The other end of the ground wire attaches to the trash can handle with an alligator clip. The cage is normally covered with an attractive blanket in the house and located out of sight and out-of-the-way from the daily routine.
Right: Interior of can lid, the cardboard insulation is held in place with Velcro. Note a large electronic item is sitting on a cardboard shelf, 1/2 way down in the can. The can interior is sectioned into a top bay and a divided lower portion. The sheet of paper seen laying inside is an inventory list of what is in the can and its location in the divided lower compartment, as well as a list of other items that would need protection if emergency warning was given.]

[Photographs above: Left: Heavy duty cardboard insulation has been cut to shape and taped to fit snug, with a slight overlap, around the interior of can.  All the cardboard edges have been taped to increase their strength and longevity.
The lid interior has been fitted with cardboard and attached with strips of Velcro.
I’m lifting a double thick (2 pieces) cardboard shelf that sits inside the Faraday cage. The shelf is supported by a ‘ X ‘ shaped divider and separates the top bay compartment from the divided, lower compartment.
The sheets of cardboard  forming the interior side insulation, sit on a slightly larger bottom plate of cardboard.
Right: I made a cardboard divider and set it  in the lower compartment. The four  sections of the  divider are lettered A-D, each divider has been filled with stored electronics, batteries, etc. and listed on the Inventory Sheet. Stored items are inventoried with the  Letter label of the divider their stored in.  My stored electronics are further sealed in gallon size zip baggies, mostly for abrasion protection in storage and to keep related parts together.]

 My Faraday Cage  Contents  Inventory Sheet (an example list)

ITEM DESCRIPTION
Top What it is and does (below)
Battery Charger Deep cycle battery charger
Flash drive Personal data stored on this portable backup device.
A  Quad:
Rotary phone AT&T 210 black rotary dial telephone, phone cord (land line)
18v batteries Black and Decker variety, for various B&D equipment
USB dome Kensington 7 port USB dome with power pack
B  Quad:
CO Alarm To monitor CO in home or tent (closed quarters) when using propane for heat or cooking during emergency conditions.
 AA batteries  Enloop rechargeable AA batteries

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Emergency Additions & Packing
The inventory sheet should also contains a list of electronic items that you use on a daily basis and would need protection in the advent of a massive X5+ solar flare or an escalating threat of military attack, see example below:

Battery operated tools 12v Flood lamp Calculator
AA Battery USB charger with adapters Spare CFL’s (compact fluorescent bulbs) Indoor-outdoor remote thermometer
 IPod/IPad/Kindle  Battery operated wrist watches/wall clocks  External hard drive

Why might it be a good idea to build your own Faraday cage and stock or store some spare electronics in it? Read the next article. 

D.  What You Need to Know About the Likelihood of an EMP Attack on the U.S. : A Multi-Part Preparedness Series
June 15, 2009, EMP 101, By Kellene Bishop
<http://preparednesspro.wordpress.com/2009/06/15/emp-101-part-i%e2%80%94what-you-need-to-know-about-the-likelihood-of-an-emp-attack-on-the-u-s/&gt;

EMP 101: Part I The Likelihood
I recently finished reading two GREAT books, back to back, that are fictional scenarios about an EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) attack on the U.S. Both books are very well written, extremely realistic, and I had a hard time putting them down. The first one (still my all time favorite) was “Alas, Babylon” by Pat Frank. The second, as recommended by many readers on this site was “One Second Afterby William R. Forstchen. (Warning, occasional language in this book qualifies it as “rated PG-13”) Both authors are so expert in their fields of knowledge on the matters which they write, that I feel the books are more a prediction of things to come, rather than a work of fiction. Out of all of the possible scenarios of a man-made crisis, the most likely to occur against the U.S. is an EMP attack. However, what disturbed me so greatly is the majority of the pain and suffering in either of the books could have been substantially negated with the addition of a very legitimate reality in my world—a year’s supply of emergency food, water, and other items.

For those of you who may not be aware, the U.S. has received countless amounts of intelligence that an EMP attack is very likely. (Google EMP attack + U.S.) More recently, China has even admitted to preparing an EMP to “use on its enemies.” It’s no surprise that N. Korea has been playing with nukes lately. And contrary to the naïve understanding of many Americans, the Soviets have also been dedicating a great deal of their resources towards the perfection of nuclear attacks. In all actuality, an EMP attack could be done in such a way that we wouldn’t necessarily have any way of knowing WHO launched the attack against us (as accurately portrayed in Forstchen’s book).

About 8 years ago an officially commissioned report was released about the potential catastrophic consequences of an EMP attack over the U.S. Newt Gingrich specifically stated in response to this report, “this is not idle speculation but taken from the consensus finding of nine distinguished American scientists who authored the “Report of the Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse Attack.” Unfortunately, since the report was issued on the very same day as the 9/11 Commissions Report, it went largely unheeded and unnoticed by the press.

So why is an EMP attack more viable than an all out war or a nuclear bomb attack? Well it boils down to dollars and conquering. Why spends billions of dollars and countless lives on fighting an all out war when you can launch an EMP attack, wait it out for several months, and then come in and clean up the few that survived? For only a few thousand dollars each, 3 SCUD missiles can be launched off of a ship in the middle of the waters off of our coast, high up into the atmosphere. It’s not like we’d see “incoming SCUDs”. If we’re lucky we’ll simply see something launched into space. Several billions of dollars can be saved for any enemy when such a strategy is used. With this strategy countless numbers of soldiers, death camps, and an arsenal of bullets is not necessary. Human nature and our reliance on Prozac and technology will easily kill off the weak in a matter of days. Additionally, while the land of the U.S. is rich in resources, access to those resources is impeded if there is no population to harvest them. So using an EMP attack vs. something more deadly that would contaminate the very land an enemy wishes to possess is not in their best strategic interest either. Considering that an EMP attack would make us helpless to communicate or travel effectively, all an enemy has to do is wipe out our electricity, wait several months, and watch how the effects of such an attack kill off the weak, weaken the spirits of the strong, and then come and clean up what’s left. Bottom line, it’s less expensive and less messy for our nation’s enemies to use an EMP attack on us than anything else. Mother Nature and the ugly side of human nature is the ally of our enemy and will work in concert successfully with such an attack. The key to any successful attack is knowing your enemy’s vulnerability. Clearly, technology is our Achilles heel here in the U.S. and it would take very little money and effort to wipe us out.

If an EMP attack were launched against the Philippines, it would make a very small impact comparatively. The Filipinos are used to sporadic technology availability, living off of what they produce, minimal medical access, and a scarcity of food and good drinking water. Heck, they haven’t even progressed to doing their laundry on a washboard yet. They’re still pounding their clothes against rocks in the rivers. But the U.S.? We are a nation of overly medicated, out of shape, pampered, spoiled and indulgent citizens. Don’t underestimate the destruction that can be had simply by the emotional impact of such an attack on the generation of the “entitlement mentality.”

So, what does all of this mean to you? It means that you need to begin seeing your world differently—NOW. While I will be writing a multi-part series on an EMP attack to shed some light on various aspects of your survival, it’s important that you begin NOW to look around you and be aware. What do you currently rely on that is operated by electricity that you would have NO ability to use after an EMP? Cooking. Driving. Medical? Communications? Whatever the answer is you need to prepare yourself mentally and physically to battle such instances. Some scenarios may be trivial ones of inconvenience. Yet some may be life or death—all because the power goes out indefinitely.

As I said in the beginning, the only problem I had with these stories is that the suffering of people portrayed on the pages was not realistic in MY world. A shortage of food, pain relievers, clothing, bedding, personal hygiene items, water, heat, light, and knowledge is NOT going to happen in my home. I’m prepared specifically for such a realistic situation. Ask yourself, are you? Then again, the authors most likely wouldn’t have sold a single book had they focused on how a prepared person would encounter a disaster vs. the majority of the U.S. population. Guess that would be a pretty boring storing only pertinent for the Discovery Channel.

EMP 101: Part II—The Aftermath
The Aftermath, by Kellene Bishop
<http://preparednesspro.wordpress.com/2009/06/16/emp-101-part-ii-the-aftermath/&gt;

Yesterday we discussed the reality of an EMP attack on the U.S. and today we will bring the aftermath of an EMP attack a bit closer so that we can mentally go through the various ramifications. If you mentally prepare, even little by little, you will be significantly better off.

#1 The Aftermath Reality: Since an EMP essentially fries anything electric, this means most automobiles post-1970 will be useless. This may explain why my husband’s dream car as of late is a 1967 Ford Bronco.  As early as 1970, key components of automobiles were made with electrical parts. You’re well aware that some models today brag about being completely electrical. This will be problem with an EMP. If you’re driving your beautiful Cooper car when an EMP strikes, you won’t feel the road rattle. You won’t hear a noise. Your automobile will simply stop dead in its tracks. Be prepared mentally for alternative transportation. For me that’s “hoofing it” so I have a couple of pairs of good shoes in storage, and made sure that my bikes have several tire repair kits to go with them. You may also want to consider having a “li’l red wagon” or something that you can easily push and pull with supplies or your passengers therein. This is not to say that you will have to flee where you are when an EMP hits, but as the aftermath becomes a way of life, you will have to travel at some point even if it’s just a mile or so. Personally, I will want to be able to travel so that I can check on other individuals and deliver any aid I may be able to.

#2 The Aftermath Reality: The most vital services that will be destroyed in an EMP attack are communications. Telephones, radio, walkie-talkies, etc. Can you imagine what life will be like in the aftermath without these luxuries? And to think we mock individuals who don’t have texting abilities nowadays.  This is yet another reason why you will want to make sure your walking shoes or your bike are ready for use—delivering messages.

While your challenge will be wide scale, without proper communication you’ll feel like you’re on you very own little planet. One of the recommendations I make to prepare for the aftermath is to take the time to get your HAM radio license, appropriate equipment, and THEN be sure that it’s kept out of range of an EMP strike. This can be accomplished in different ways, but the most popular is a Faraday cage.

You can easily create a Faraday cage which will protect most electronics from an EMP attack. We’ll talk more about Faraday cages later in this series. (Sorry, I haven’t found a contractor yet who can do this to my whole house.) You can actually obtain a Faraday cage from a business that’s going under that has been using one for their server room. I’ve even found decent sized Faraday cages on E-bay. Then again you can also use materials of your own for such storage with aluminum foil, mesh copper or brass sheeting, a cheap “space blanket” made of Mylar, or even an oversized stock pot! There are Faraday blankets available as well.

#3 The Aftermath Reality: The banking industry will be destroyed with one pulse. No ATMs, folks. You will be unable to buy any goods without cash. (We’ll see how long human nature allows such civil transactions to take place before burglary and looting commences.) You will be unable to fill your car with gasoline, even if it is an older model. Gas pumps are operated electronically nowadays. Your home security system will be useless. You won’t be able to rely on the television and video games to entertain your children. And you’ll have to be sure to have an alternative way to cook your meals—as well as the knowledge necessary to cook in such a manner. There will be no refrigeration. So either keep your freezer and refrigerator closed for as long as possible, or start canning meats and such and eating the foods in the freezer first.

#4 The Aftermath Reality: Lastly, consider the medical implications of an EMP attack. Obtaining medications that we are accustomed to using will be virtually impossible. Those individuals who rely on medical technology to survive in their homes will be at the highest risk in the aftermath of an EMP attack. Unlike our food supply which relies on a three-day delivery cycle, our medical supplies largely rely on a one day delivery cycle. So what can you do to prepare? First make sure you have as many medical supplies on hand that you can obtain such as pain relievers, cough and cold remedies, anti-bacterial creams, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, cotton balls, heat packs, essential oils, and your own medications. (Just so you know, since I use coupons, I get the majority of these items really cheap or for free!)

Next, do all you can do now to get as healthy as possible without medication. When I started out this year I had a stark moment of realization. I looked at my nightstand and saw 7 prescription bottles. I knew that such reliance would hinder me dramatically if we were to encounter a true emergency, so I made the goal to get healthy so that I could eliminate all of them. It’s been 6 months and I’ve eliminated all but one of them by focusing on the use of high quality nutritional products. I may not be able to store a year’s worth of medications properly, but I CAN store a year’s worth of nutritional products that help me replace the chemical alternatives.

To recap, prepare your mind and your body for the aftermath of an EMP attack, and you won’t end up being the star of your own Armageddon story.

EMP 101: Part III—Prepare Medically
How to prepare medically for an EMP attack, by Kellene Bishop
<http://preparednesspro.wordpress.com/2009/06/17/emp-101-part-3-prepare-medically/.

When any natural disaster hits a region there will always be devastating consequences, particularly to those who are in ill-health or who rely on medications and modern technology to get through their day. Unfortunately, without preparing medically, these individuals will be the first casualties of such a disaster. I understand that stating such a reality doesn’t make me popular or a preferred guest at your next dinner party, but I do feel compelled to teach you the real consequences of a crisis, while also teaching you to prepare medically so you can avoid being a death statistic.

First get the 10,000 foot view of how an EMP attack or a solar flare will affect your medical preparedness. ALL electrical gidgets and gadgets will be fried and made useless, regardless of whether or not they are turned on, plugged in, or out of their styrofoam box. So, if your “plan” is to race to Walgreens once you catch wind of an emergency, you’re in for a rude awakening. Medical supplies such as prescriptions run on a one day delivery schedule. That means that the most that pharmacies have on hand is ONE day of supplies for their regular number of customers. Regular, as in a peaceful, calm, normal day. If the “fit hits the shan,” you need to understand the mathematical problem in expecting your supplies will be on hand when you need them in a mass emergency situation. You will have LESS than 30 minutes to get there, get it, and get out. So you see why that’s not the best plan to prepare medically? What you should do is to have a frank conversation with your doctor, tell him that you want and need to prepare medically for an emergency, and ask for a 1 to 3 month supply of your medications in addition to what you need to be taking. So long as your prescription is not a controlled substance, you should be able to make a convincing argument to prepare medically.

If you are dealing with diabetic issues in which you need insulin, get what you can as a supply AND store advanced technology ice packs to prepare medically. There are kinds of ice packs that look like a pox-marked quilt that stay frozen and distribute the cold for longer periods of time than simple ice. There are also gel packs that can be heated or frozen. They hold their temperature a lot longer than ice. Keep in mind, if you store your insulin in the refrigerator, dramatically limit opening that refrigerator. You will be able to keep it cool for a 50% longer period of time. Other preparedness methods that you should explore are solar energy generators sufficient only to run a small refrigerator, a “solar oven” that converts to a refrigerator at night and how to construct an electricity free refrigerator (see Google). Our forefathers did without electricity and so can we if need be.

Another suggestion to prepare medically is for you to be certain that you are storing nutritious foods. I hear folks frequently tell me that they will be able to survive off of their food storage simply because of all of the boxes they have of Kraft Mac and Cheese. I assure you, that is not surviving. It’s barely even living. In an emergency situation your body is naturally in a heightened state of stress. Your body needs MORE nutrition to “survive”, let alone to thrive. Stress compromises your entire health system—especially your immune system. Having proper nutrition in a crisis situation is the utmost of importance. Multi-vitamins, essential oils, quality grains, sprouting supplies, etc. will all be crucial to you surviving not only an existing medical crisis, but one that may occur due to your circumstances as well. You can not underestimate the power of nutrition for your health—especially in an emergency.

It’s easy for us in this country to become complacent with all that medical technology will do for us that we aren’t willing to do for ourselves. On New Year’s Day this year, I looked at my nightstand and was struck by how many prescription bottles I had that I needed to take every day. I suddenly became very aware of how those prescriptions would compromise my ability to survive and emergency. Thus in the name of emergency preparedness I made a vow that I would eliminate the need for all of them this year if it were at all possible. As of May, I have eliminated all but one of these meds by being more conscientious of what I eat, how active I am physically, and using nutrition as my medicine instead of just as my food. (Please consult your physician before attempting this.)

For the first 8 years of my marriage, my husband’s breakfast consisted of two handfuls of peanut M&M’s, a Cherry Coke, and a bag of Cheetos (he fondly called it “Vitamin C3”). Throughout the day he would eat Lindt chocolate and any other kind of sweets that sounded appetizing. I couldn’t get that man to eat veggies unless it was on a slab of beef. Healthy, eh? However, one day it hit him that he didn’t want to be a slave to these kinds of foods in an emergency. So he went from a sugar addict to a “no sugar guy” overnight. He’s now 2 years “sober”—all in the name of emergency preparedness. He also runs up “Y” mountain in Provo, Utah every morning while stopping long enough to do a total of 600 push-ups along the way. Each day it’s being prepared for an emergency that motivates him. (Please consult a psychologist before attempting this! )

While it’s not realistic to arm yourself with a year’s supply of medicine, you can arm yourself with as much health and strength as you can possibly store AND you can also have a year’s high-quality nutritional products on hand. I’m not talking about diet shakes. I’m talking about products such as Reliv, Sunrider, Young Living, Xooma’s water sachets, etc. Worst case scenario, stocking up on some Ensure may save your life if you can’t get the other products. I don’t recommend nutritional products such as these to make money in an “MLM.” I recommend products like these to literally save your life. (Which is exactly why I’m NOT going to provide you with contact information for these products. Please Google them.)

Increase your knowledge of the use of essential oils, herbs, and alternative medicines. There is an abundance of information freely available. Even cancer can be appeased with alternative medicine (click here) All of these chemicals we take have their own natural origins. Go to the source. Even diabetes can be made less severe with essential oils and herbs (click here).

Lastly, in order to prepare medically you need to keep in mind that in the event of an EMP attack, it’s not likely that you will have any notice. Unlike a tornado warning, you won’t be able to go underground for safety. BUT…if you DO have such a warning, then be prepared to flee into or to store vital items immediately in a Faraday cage or like protection. (More info on that coming up this week.) If you have a pacemaker or oxygen machine, get yourself as far below ground as possible.

The bottom line is, we do not have to be helpless medically in any event with some concentrated efforts to prepare medically now. Remember, you won’t be able to rely on hospitals, doctors or emergency services to help amidst a catastrophic event (Think Hurricane Katrina). But as you prepare medically, you can be self-sufficient with mental and physical preparedness now.

EMP 101: Part IV—Faraday Cages
Faraday Cages, by Kellene Bishop
<http://preparednesspro.wordpress.com/2009/06/18/emp-101-part-iv-faraday-cage/&gt;

We’ve established that an EMP incident will fry all electronics. This occurs whether or not they are plugged in or turned on. This also affects automobiles, batteries, computers, medical equipment, etc. Needless to say, in such an instance, life as we know it will change dramatically. Even more distressing is the fact that the strike of an EMP is not likely to give any warning. You don’t see it. You don’t feel it. You are simply left with the sudden consequences and whatever preparedness you have on hand. So, other than your preparedness supplies, your new best friend may be a Faraday cage. In fact, with the knowledge of the protection that a Faraday cage can provide you, you may be able to enjoy nearly as comfortable a lifestyle as you did prior to any electromagnetic pulse.

While being mentally prepared to live in the Stone Age may be helpful, it’s not necessary. Aren’t you glad?
First of all, allow me to dispel some myths about Faraday cages—and boy, howdy, there are a LOT of them.
•  Whether or not your electronics are plugged in, how long of an antenna you’ve got on something, what voltage it is, or whether or not they operate with batteries—all non-protected electronics will be affected by an EMP.
•  Batteries will be affected, usually in the form of “shorting” as well.
•  Electronic phone systems will also be damaged.
•  Surge protectors are useless in the event of an EMP exposure.
•  Just because your car has rubber tires, it will not be impervious to the effects of an EMP. Rubber containers are insufficient protection against an EMP.
•  And oh yeah—yes, your Faraday cages DO need to be grounded. If it’s NOT grounded, then the Faraday cage merely becomes a reflector or an amplifier.
•  Yes, a microwave can act as a Faraday cage, but why in the world would you want to use it for that? That’s just silly when you can make one simply.
•  Faraday cages do not have to be solid, thus the name “cage” instead of the oft misused term—“box.” In fact, many of them that you can build yourself or will see on the internet will resemble a bird-cage or a very finely meshed chicken coop wire.
•  Also, contrary to what you may see on the internet, a sheet of foil on a box will not protect you. It’s not thick enough to withstand the pulse. However, you CAN protect your items if they are buried a couple of feet underground in every direction (up and sideways.)
•  Last, but not least, a car is NOT a Faraday cage sufficient to withstand an EMP incident. It has some similar components, yes. Most cars made today consist of fiberglass and disjointed parts, not a continuous metal material. In addition to that, they are on tires. Tires on a car do NOT serve as grounding. Folks are simply getting an EMP strike confused with a lightning strike. Now, IF you had an old-fashioned car that was made of metal, that had its tires removed, that was also attached to an Iron or copper pole and that was ALSO on dirt—not gravel—then yes, you may have a car that doubles as a Faraday cage. (Kind of like the old clunker my dad has out in his “back forty.”
•  The cages do not have to be solid, but they do have to be constructed continuously without gaps between the protective material.
There. Now that we’ve discredited 90% of the internet information out there, let’s continue.

Faraday cages are named after Michael Faraday who invented them in 1836. They block out external electrostatic fields and electromagnetic radiation. One mistake many people make when it comes to an EMP is to compare it to a lightning bolt. The effects of an EMP and a direct lightning bolt are very similar, but they are not at all similar in terms of their visibility, and effect on the body. An EMP is more like a radio wave, not a visible bolt of light or electric current.

It’s the substrate layers of the diodes and transistors that make them susceptible to a magnetic pulse attack. Electronics are made up of diodes and transistors and substrate layers. A computer, car, television, and cell phones are made up of tons of transistors. When hit with a powerful magnetic pulse, the substrate layers are destroyed. However, early 1960’s and before electronics did not use substrate layers. They used vacuum tubes. This is why older electronics are less susceptible to damage. This is why a human or animal body will not be affected. Yes, our bodies consist of an electric volt. But understand there’s a difference between electricity and electronics.

I just want to reiterate this again. It’s important that any Faraday cage that you plan to use is grounded. It has to be grounded in order to disperse the energy.

What you should know though is that a Faraday cage is not fool-proof. The higher the frequency of the magnetic pulse, the faster it is. This is what causes the burn out. The cages must be grounded, continuously connecting, and the openings of them cannot be too large. Chicken coop wire would work, but only if you double or even triple layered it as the opening are too large. For a reference of opening size, look at the front of your microwave door. It’s a small mesh. Just a like a snake can slither its way through the right sized hole, so can an electronic wave.

You can have an instant Faraday cage with a galvanized trash can or a large stock pot like they use in restaurants. (Be sure to clamp the lid down. Remember—continuous connection is key. Since Faraday cages are not fool-proof, depending on the strength of the pulse, I would recommend burying such containers 2 feet under the ground, storing survival electrical and battery items. (Including batteries).

An easy way to make a Faraday cage would be to acquire some 2 x 4 brass mesh sheets. (Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel did a couple of experiments using this successfully.) Make a box frame with the 2 x 4′s and staple the brass mesh to the outside. Create a securely attached/connected access entry within the frame. Solder a ground wire to one of the corners and ground the cage. Scrap metal and mesh wires can easily be obtained in junk yards, on E-bay, the clay modeling section of a craft store, or at your local hardware or “farm and feed” store. The important aspect of this to remember though is that mesh or sheet metal only shields magnetic fields if the frequency is up in the RF range. To properly stop the wave, you need some iron, steel, or some slabs of thick copper. Most electronics are useful in the VHF/UHF/SHF range today and will need more substantial protection. Remember when you’re browsing the internet. Protecting against sparks is not the same as protecting against a strong magnetic pulse.

You can make your “cage” as small or as large as you’d like. It wouldn’t be out of the question to continuously line a basement storage room or hole in the ground with copper mesh wire and a grounding rod.

Bottom line, with an appropriately constructed Faraday cage, you can likely protect that which is inside from the electromagnetic attack of an EMP incident or solar flare, thus preserving the function of all that is contained therein.

Be selective in what you protect. It makes no sense to protect a cell phone, for example, as the cell towers will be useless. If it were me, I would protect radios, communication devices (such as a HAM radio), batteries and all of their respective tools, thumb drives loaded with all of my vital information, and a laptop. Keep in mind that a Faraday cage should be your LAST concern in terms of protecting every electronic that you enjoy presently. It’s not like if you preserve your television you’re going to have any “juice” to plug it into. Don’t focus on a Faraday cage and its time, effort, and expense at the risk of neglecting food, water, and medical supplies. It would be better for you to read up on solar power, wind and steam energy instead.

See also the 4dtraveler posts;
(Survival Manual/1. Disaster/Nuclear EMP)
(Survival Manual/1. Disaster/Solar flare EMP)
(Survival Manual/1. Disaster/Long Term Power Outage)
(Survival Manual/2. Social issues/Checklist 100 things that disappear first)
(Survival Manual/3. Food and Water/Develop a survival food list)
(Survival Manual/3. Food and Water/Water)

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