Prepping for an EMP and Solar Flares

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Of all of the reasons to prepare, one that we all need to take seriously is the possibility of a catastrophic EMP, or electromagnetic pulse.  This is especially true right now, as we face a huge amount of solar activity the likes of which could send out huge solar flares wiping out  communication systems and modern electronics.

To be blunt about it, an EMP, if large enough, would affect the entire planet.  In an instant, civilization as we know it would change as we get swept backward in time by a century or two.

NASA Solar FlareMay 2013


For those of you that only kind-of, sort-of understand EMPs, in the simplest of terms, an EMP is is an abrupt burst of electromagnetic radiation.

There could be many causes.  To start with, certain types of high energy explosions, such as a nuclear explosion, will cause an EMP.  Likewise, an EMP can be the result of a suddenly fluctuating magnetic field.  Or, as I have mentioned before, it can be the result of Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) from solar activity.  But perhaps most sobering of all, is the possibility of a man-made EMP weapon that is purposely deployed in order to wreak devastation on our planet.

Regardless of the trigger, an EMP can be devastating to the power grid, resulting in rapidly changing electrical fields that can create fluctuating electrical currents and wild voltage surges.  Bottom line?  The electronic gizmos we have come to rely on would be toast.  The microchips would be fried or so severely damaged that they would become useless.


What would life be like following a massive EMP event or episode?  There would be no power, no transportation systems, no communication systems, no banking, no internet, no food and no water delivery systems.  This would truly be an End of The World As We Know it situation.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What if the power went out and never came back on?  Could you fend for yourself?
  • Could you keep yourself warm in the winter and cool in the summer?
  • Where would you find food?
  • What would you use for money if credit cards and ATM’s no longer worked?
  • How would you get from one place to another without transportation?
  • How would you wash your clothes?
  • How would you keep yourself healthy if sanitation systems were no longer functional and medicine could no longer be manufactured?
  • And the biggest question of all, how would you communicate with the rest of the world?

An electromagnetic pulse could potentially fry the vast majority of all microchips throughout the world. In an instant, nearly all of electronic devices would be rendered useless.

Back in 2004 the Wall Street Journal wrote:

“No American would necessarily die in the initial <EMP> attack, but what comes next is potentially catastrophic. The pulse would wipe out most electronics and telecommunications, including the power grid. Millions could die for want of modern medical care or even of starvation since farmers wouldn’t be able to harvest crops and distributors wouldn’t be able to get food to supermarkets. Commissioner Lowell Wood calls EMP attack a “giant continental time machine” that would move us back more than a century in technology to the late 1800s.”


We are risk right now; perhaps not so much from an overt EMP attack by our enemies (although that could) happen, but from at attack by Mother Nature and the sun.   NASA readily admits that the number of solar flares increases approximately every 11 years, and that the sun is currently moving towards another solar maximum, likely in 2013.

Will it happen?  All I can say is that it has happened before, with the “Carrington Event” of 1859:

At 11:18 AM on the cloudless morning of Thursday, September 1, 1859, 33-year-old Richard Carrington—widely acknowledged to be one of England’s foremost solar astronomers—was in his well-appointed private observatory. Just as usual on every sunny day, his telescope was projecting an 11-inch-wide image of the sun on a screen, and Carrington skillfully drew the sunspots he saw.

On that morning, he was capturing the likeness of an enormous group of sunspots. Suddenly, before his eyes, two brilliant beads of blinding white light appeared over the sunspots, intensified rapidly, and became kidney-shaped. Realizing that he was witnessing something unprecedented and “being somewhat flurried by the surprise,” Carrington later wrote, “I hastily ran to call someone to witness the exhibition with me. On returning within 60 seconds, I was mortified to find that it was already much changed and enfeebled.” He and his witness watched the white spots contract to mere pinpoints and disappear.

It was 11:23 AM. Only five minutes had passed.

Just before dawn the next day, skies all over planet Earth erupted in red, green, and purple auroras so brilliant that newspapers could be read as easily as in daylight. Indeed, stunning auroras pulsated even at near tropical latitudes over Cuba, the Bahamas, Jamaica, El Salvador, and Hawaii.

Even more disconcerting, telegraph systems worldwide went haywire. Spark discharges shocked telegraph operators and set the telegraph paper on fire. Even when telegraphers disconnected the batteries powering the lines, aurora-induced electric currents in the wires still allowed messages to be transmitted.

“What Carrington saw was a white-light solar flare—a magnetic explosion on the sun,” explains David Hathaway, solar physics team lead at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.


Even an optimist like me finds it sobering to think that we can be thrown back to the pre-industrial era times if a huge solar flare wipes our electrical grid and fries our electronics.  If for no other reason, this should be a call to action and a call to continue with our preps, for as obsessive as it may seem at times, the consequences of not being prepared could mean sickness, starvation, and even death.  Most certainly the government will not be there to take care of us and even if they tried, without the advantages of modern communications and electronics their efforts would be futile.

What to do?  Here are a few basic suggestions that even the most casual prepper can achieve.

Have plenty of emergency candles, matches, flashlights and extra batteries on hand at all times.

Store plenty of drinkable water plus some method to purify water. Locate supplemental water sources now and be prepared to purify the water on your own.

Stock plenty of basic, non-perishable food that will get you by while you are learning to survive under the most trying of circumstances. (See 20 Items to Kick Start Your Food Storage Plan.)

Live a healthy lifestyle.  If stuff happens, you will be much better off if you are healthy and not reliant on exotic prescription drugs or medical procedures.  Eat healthy, natural and real foods and get regular exercise.  This just makes good common sense.

TVs, video games and computers will not have the power to run.  Stock up on board games, books, and puzzles to keep your mind occupied while you wait out the crisis.

Be prepared to defend yourself and your property.  You need to decide how you want to arm yourself whether with a firearm, pepper spray, a baseball bat, or a bow and arrow.

Learn to  grow food in whatever area you have available.  Try container gardening, vertical gardening, hydroponics or a square foot garden.  All or viable alternatives when you do not have a lot of space.

Learn to cook outdoors over an open fire.

Seek out like minded folks that will barter for things they need in return for items that you have available.

Consider building a Faraday cage for your spare electronics.

Keep the fuel tanks in your vehicles topped off.  Traffic signals may not work but at least you will be able to get around.  Note, however, that many modern vehicles may not operate at all due to the electronics controlling their engines and other systems.


We are all members of the 21st century prepper movement.  We are learning to be self-reliant and to educate ourselves relative to the ways of old.  We are stocking up on essentials and learning to prepare for the worst of times with a positive mindset.

As frightening as a massive solar flare and an EMP may be, we can only do what we can do but even a little bit is better than nothing.  That said, I hope an EMP never happens.  But if it does, I want to be ready to fend for myself and to continue to live a rich and rewarding life in spite of it all.

For more information on solar flares and EMPs, visit the NASA website.  It will make a believer out of you.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


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Bargain Bin: Here are links to the related to today’s article.

Blocklite Mini Compact Size Ultra Bright 9V LED Flashlight: I now own 4 of these. There is a similar flashlight called the Pak-Lite (which is more expensive) but it does not have a high-low switch like this one. Less than $10.

Clear Mist 100 Hour Plus Emergency Candles: Although I like to make my own oil candles, I keep of these on hand as well.  They really do burn for 100 hours and are perfectly safe to use.  You might also want to pick up some lighters.

Ticket To Ride:  I love this board game!  On Amazon it has close to 800 reviews – all 5 stars.  For less than a night out in a restaurant, you can have loans of family fun with this fame.  No electricity required!

Coleman PefectFlow 1-Burner Stove:  This Coleman One-burner Propane Stove is an easy-to-use portable stove that should meet almost any camp cooking need. The PerfectFlow regulator provides consistent cooking performance by producing a steady fuel stream, even in cold weather, high altitudes, or when fuel is low. Equipped with one 10,000 BTU burner, this fully adjustable stove will last for 2.2 hours on high or up to nine hours on low.

Coleman One-Mantle Compact Propane Lantern: Easy to use and portable. This Coleman compact lantern lights with matches and is pressure-regulated for consistent light, regardless of weather. The porcelain ventilators will prevent rusting and help this lantern last you a long time.  And, please. Also stock up on lantern mantles! When fired off, these are fragile ceramic nets that will crumble and become useless if you even look at them cross-eyed. Without a functioning mantle, your lantern, whatever the fuel, is worthless. These are definitely not a DIY item.

UCO Stormproof Matches, Waterproof and Windproof with 15 Second Burn Time – 25 Matches:  A ZIPPO or BIC lighter are always good to have but it would not hurt to have some stormproof matches as well.

EcoZoom Versa Rocket Stove: Burning twigs and pinecones, this stove will cook a big pot of rice in under 20 minutes. The stove is solidly built and will burn charcoal as well. There is also a version that only burns biomass for slightly less money.

Maximal Power FC999 Universal Battery Charger: This nicely built charger will charge charge AA, AAA, C, D, N, 9V, Ni-MH, Ni-CD, and Alkaline batteries. It has an LED display so that when you first put a battery in the charging bay, you know whether it is viable for charging or simply bad and ready to go back to the recycle box.


Shop the Emergency Essentials Daily & Monthly Sales for Fantastic Deals!

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Every family should have at least one Tote-able Toilet.  I have priced purchasing the bucket and toilet seat lid separately and found that it was more economical to pick up this kit.  I have filled my portable potty with sanitation supplies plus, of course, plenty of TP.

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Prepping for an EMP and Solar Flares — 33 Comments

  1. Actually, it would be worse than that: it would be like going back 200 years with over 400 nuclear reactor core meltdowns going on at the same time….

    • Here is an article put out by a couple of years ago .. the same year that NASA put out there study that was over a thousand pages big but said the same thing.. enjoy..

      Could Super Solar Flares Take Us Back To 5000 BC?

      London, UK – 17th June 2010, 12:50 GMT

      Dear ATCA Open & Philanthropia Friends

      [Please note that the views presented by individual contributors are not necessarily representative of the views of ATCA, which is neutral. ATCA conducts collective Socratic dialogue on global opportunities and threats.]

      It is a very simple equation: Energy = Civilisation. Without any form of energy we regress to circa 5000 BC. Energy powers every aspect of our modern lifestyle: clean water, fresh food, lighting, comfortable shelter, mobility, communication, safety and security. Our very own giant hot star, the sun, is earth’s primary source of energy. On June 12th, at 00:55 Universal Time, an M2-class solar flare sparked a bright flash of extreme ultraviolet radiation, propelling a shock wave through the sun’s atmosphere, and hurling a billion-ton Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) into space. According to scientists at NASA’s Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), “The sun is waking up from a deep slumber, and in the next few years we expect to see much higher levels of solar activity… at the same time, our technological society has developed an unprecedented sensitivity to solar storms.” One needs to go back over 8,000 years in order to find a time when the sun was, on average, as active as it is at present!

      Solar Coronal Mass Ejection
      The sun supports almost all life on earth via photosynthesis and drives earth’s climate and weather. Solar flares have been connected with weather extremes, and there have been some powerful lightning storms in recent days:

      1. BP temporarily suspended siphoning operations on its Gulf of Mexico oil gusher after a drill ship collecting the oil was hit by lightning;
      2. A 62 feet — six storey — tall statue of Jesus Christ in Ohio came to a blazing end when it was struck by lightning in a thunderstorm and burned to the ground; and
      3. A bolt of lightning struck a local gasoline storage tank in North Carolina, erupting into a wall of flames that leapt as high as 100 feet and belched a plume of smoke in the shape of an arch across eight lanes of US interstate highway.

      The one critical factor that did not operate according to plan in many of the recent severe lightning-strikes was the electrical grounding system, which was supposed to draw lightning away from the structures. The sun has begun to awaken and possibly exhale a massive solar storm on planet earth’s electromagnetic field. Are several interlocking factors in play that could bring life as we know it to a stand-still via a catastrophic disruption?

      Catastrophic Disruption

      Our 21st century society is micro-managed by computers, 24/7 internet communications and interlocking electric grids. All are extremely vulnerable to outside forces, both natural and man-made. The National Academy of Sciences 2008 report titled “Severe Space Weather Events — Societal and Economic Impacts,” predicts that our sophisticated technology is vulnerable to a severe solar storm. In a worst case scenario, developed countries with high-tech cities could face blackouts and devastating financial costs 20 times higher than the economic damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. Sometimes catastrophe records are shattered abruptly by a wide margin. Now that it has been recalculated that the BP gusher is spilling over 60,000 barrels of oil a day since April 20th, as opposed to the original estimate of 5,000 barrels per day, this means we are adding the equivalent of one Exxon Valdez catastrophe every four days. So far, that equates to more than 13 times the potency of Exxon Valdez in 1989, and counting.

      Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) and Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP)

      The most dangerous type of solar flares for humanity are the Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) that occur during the most active period of the sun’s 11-year cycles. This time, the zenith of CMEs is set for 2012 as the solar cycle #24 reaches a crescendo. A CME happens when gas erupts from the solar corona — “crown” of outer atmosphere surrounding the sun — and carries a massive amount of radioactive material that can reach earth in three to five days. One potentially catastrophic disruption humanity is not prepared for is an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) or a burst of electromagnetic radiation from a major Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) from the sun. This would create a sudden, massive fluctuation in the earth’s electromagnetic field similar to the detonation of a High-altitude Electro-Magnetic Pulse (HEMP) nuclear device. The resulting electric and magnetic fields would then couple with electrical grid systems to produce damaging current and voltage surges.

      Solar flares vary in strength, and are highly radioactive, with x-rays and extreme heat. Their impact varies for the two sides of the same coin:

      1. Humanity: We are normally protected from extreme solar radiation by the earth’s atmosphere and magnetosphere. Earth’s magnetosphere deflects huge bursts of energy and keeps us from cooking like food in a microwave oven. However, strong solar flares can have a significant impact on degrading the earth’s magnetic field, letting the harmful rays through.

      2. Technology: Solar flares can damage satellites and x-rays can disturb radio and other wireless communications. Although there have been big sun storms before in history, we have never been this dependent on the technology they can disrupt. Small microprocessors and chips that power our vehicles; the Global Positioning System (GPS) that helps us navigate; Internet, satellite and mobile phones can all be affected. Immediate cash sources such as Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and credit card transactions may also malfunction. In the event of an EMP nothing using electrical or electronic systems may function correctly. This means no power for:

      i. Pumping fuel into vehicles;
      ii. Recharging batteries for flashlights, radios, pocket computers or communication devices;
      iii. Withdrawing cash or using credit cards to pay for food, fuel and services; and
      iv. Transportation of food, essential goods and professionals for emergency and healthcare services.

      Semi-Permanent Damage

      If a truly massive Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) hits earth, it could practically take out the world’s electricity distribution on a semi-permanent basis. It would take many years, if not decades, to repair the world’s electrical system, even if replacement parts were immediately available. There would be massive damage to power generation, distribution facilities, substations and countless transformers and switching equipment everywhere. When high power transformers used in substations or on utility poles are damaged, they must be scrapped or rebuilt. If the factories that create or repair these electrical components are also without power, they will be unable to rebuild or repair electrical equipment. With an AC power outage, there will be no diesel fuel available to fill the tanks of large heavy goods vehicles used to transport and install the massive electrical components.

      It takes an enormous amount of power to bring a power plant online. This power must come from another power plant. If all power plants were knocked off line, or all those in a specific region, there would be no means to start them back up again. It would take a year or two to get one operational again and additional years to power the rest. So it might be a decade for human civilisation to achieve a semblance of what it was, prior to the paralysis caused by a massive electromagnetic pulse.

      US Department of Defense (DoD) EMP Tests

      Earlier this year, when the US DoD tested the effects of an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) generator, the expected EMP level required to disable vehicles based on previous studies was 30 to 80 kV/m (kilo Volt per metre). However, the DoD began testing at only 5 kV/m. Driving a 2010 Toyota Prius through the path of the EMP generator pulse, the car dashboard immediately went blank and the Prius halted. This is the result of using smaller microchips and circuits, which makes them even more susceptible to EMP. Consider then that our entire 21st century civilisation is completely dependent on computers for power, lifestyle synchronisation, and everything else we do. Yet we don’t have any backup in the event of a massive electromagnetic pulse.

      Carrington Event

      Bursts of electromagnetic radiation have occurred before, the most notable being the Carrington event when the most powerful solar storm in recorded history hit earth. Just before noon on September 1st 1859, Richard Carrington — a 33 year old British astronomer — was observing an image of the sun on a white screen and was drawing the sunspots and solar flares. Suddenly, two beads of intense white light appeared over the sunspots. In sixty seconds the light had significantly diminished, and within five minutes completely disappeared from the screen. Just before dawn the next day, skies all over planet earth erupted in red, green, and purple auroras so brilliant that newspapers could be read as easily as in daylight. Carrington wrote that the glow of the flare brought campers out of their beds. They thought it was morning. They began preparing breakfast! Stunning auroras pulsated even at near tropical latitudes over Cuba, the Bahamas, Jamaica, El Salvador, and Hawaii. Worldwide, telegraph systems — the only equipment resembling today’s Internet and electrical grid in place at the time — went berserk. Carrington’s report makes reference to spark discharges that electrified telegraph lines, shocked telegraph operators and set telegraph paper on fire. Even when the telegraphers disconnected the batteries powering the lines, aurora-induced electric currents in the wires still allowed messages to be transmitted!

      On March 13th 1989, during the solar maximum of solar cycle #22, the northeast US and eastern Canada experienced a geomagnetic storm as a result of a large solar flare. This disrupted power in Quebec blacking out 6 million people for 9 hours. Like the Carrington event, this also induced current into the lines, causing power surges that melted a transformer in New Jersey. There were also 200 other incidents reported on the North American power grid including a nuclear power plant in New Jersey.

      What would happen today if another solar flare the size of the 1859 Carrington Event were to hit earth? According to a report by the National Academy of Science (NAS) it could induce electrical currents that would knock out at least 300 main transformers cutting off power to 130 million people, all within 90 seconds.

      Disruptions throughout the solar system suggest that the present solar cycle #24 is likely to produce Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) rivaling that of the 1859 Carrington Event. If this were to happen during dry conditions, many wooded parts would be totally in flames. The smoke and heat could affect weather patterns in places far removed from the fires not to mention disruptions in the food supply chain. Cascading catastrophic occurrences could happen concurrently. There would be no help to call on, since everyone would be busy dealing with their own local emergencies. Further:

      1. Loss of ground cover;
      2. Failure of irrigation systems due to a lack of electric power; and
      3. Persistent use of herbicides which have destroyed natural ground cover;

      would set us up for dust storms that might dwarf the ones in the 1930s during the Great Depression. We would, as before, probably see mass migrations to more sustainable regions.

      Why The Sudden Commotion?

      Some scientists believe an incoming brown dwarf star, several times the mass of Jupiter, is responsible for disrupting our solar system’s heliosphere. The brown dwarf has disturbed Pluto’s orbit. It is also disturbing the orbit of Jupiter and the rest of the celestial bodies in our solar system. The sun is emitting Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) during the last few months that are having a significant impact on the earth’s geomagnetic axis and electromagnetic field.

      Conclusion: Prevention and Precaution

      We must implement measures to protect our electrical power grids from a catastrophic Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) event caused by a super solar Coronal Mass Ejection (CME). Without intervention our modern civilisation remains utterly defenceless. Clean water, fresh food, lighting, comfortable shelter, mobility, communication, safety and security, would no longer be available or accessible, without electricity. The electrical power grids enable the superior quality of lifestyle and advanced standard of living within our 21st century tightly networked civilisation. Without modern technology at our fingertips, we would collectively revert back to sub-standard survival living circa 5000 BC within a matter of weeks. We no longer have skills or equipment to live as we did a thousand years ago. In such a scenario, sustainable off grid communities — cities or regions using alternative energy sources — may fair better. Avoiding some of the damage, they may be able to sustain some degree of normalcy, working infrastructure and capability.

      The electric grids around the world are dynamic and real time, having no storage. Production is dynamically orchestrated to meet current demand. Given that we do not have storage of energy and depend on a real time system, this is a severe vulnerability which also decreases efficiency. However, backed with USD 75 million in US Department of Energy smart grid demonstration grants, the first large-scale distributed battery storage project is being started in the US.

      The main US agency for watching the sun is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Space Environment Center (SEC). The SEC warns of impending solar storms so electric power, cell phone and satellite companies ought to take precautions. Tens of millions of dollars in protective measures properly implemented prior to an EMP event are likely to result in trillions of dollars saved following an EMP event. Ideally, all modern electronics ought to be EMP hardened, which is not possible. Given the practical constraints, parliamentary measures to protect the most critical infrastructure — such as generators, substations, power transformers and switching equipment of our national grid(s) — must be implemented as soon as possible. By protecting the national grid(s) through EMP hardening of critical electrical-electronic devices and equipment we can reduce the power grids’ vulnerability to damaging surges. NASA also advises:

      1. The private sector;
      2. Air travel industry; and
      3. Electric power utilities

      to take special precautions for the future when a colossal solar storm surges through earth. Smaller components and communications equipment — necessary to maintain continuity of operations during an emergency — also need to be protected from an EMP event. The time to initiate pre-emptive action is now, before a super solar flare takes us back to circa 5000 BC?


        • You are welcome.. I agree with the last one that commented that it would be a crap shoot to be hit by a solar flair.. I myself believe it would be a cascade event.. if you look back in history a squirrel took out the better part of the North East United states and Canada.. Once one system fails another then another. The United States has been so much more worried about what is happening someplace else that our congress has neglected to take care of our nation. Leaving a crumbling infrastructure that has instead of progressive infrastructure maintenance to a defensive infrastructure maintenance. We have out dated wiring, water lines and gas lines to mention just a few not to mention crumbling bridges and roads.. With this in mind any country that has us in its sights could set off one emp warhead and start the cascade event.
          The other thing that I haven’t to many people talk about is history. Look at historical warriors and how they defeated more powerful enemies. They divided the more powerful forces and once they were divided conquered them with a much smaller force. split the forces and you weaken the whole. Now look at us today.. we have our defence forces in how many different places and threats from how many different area’s.. with us dividing up our strength. Then with economics we are at our most vulnerable there. Our corporations have outsourced our economy and our Congress still is giving economic stimulus for other countries and given tax incentives to corporations that hide their earnings outside out shores. and printing up more money to accomplish a meager growth. take this into account and then take the five billion away for food stamps and the eic tax credit and you put the nation in a death spiral. the money that the low and middle class with children spend is amazing you take that little bit away then award more stimulus to other countries.. what was it cut five billion and increase the other to forty billion.. well my math says it doesn’t add up then expect those that you are taking the funds away from to pay for it..

  2. Gaye. I don’t know if you watch “Under the Dome”, I believe on CBS, but last night they thought they were going to run out of water, and my, oh my, the panic. The run on the grocery store, violence in the street, murder to get food and drink from the restaurants, and yes, even rape. There were some law enforcement, but they couldn’t do it all. Some law enforcement was busy taking care of their family. This all happened in a few minutes after a truck ran into the water tower and they lost all supplied water.
    I wondered if this episode was for all the preppers to show them what could happen. It was eye opening.

    • I believe Under the Dome is on Amazon Prime and yes, I do watch it. I have not watched the latest episode, though, so thanks for the heads up.

      I think you meant that the episode was for non-preppers, right? Most preppers do suspect that the worst will happen if supplies are cut off and that humans will go after each other with violence and worse. I wish it were not so but that is a probable likelihood.

      Let us hope that it never happens.

  3. I shouldn’t really be shocked at the number of people that look lost when they don’t have some electronic gadget in their hands, but it still does amaze me, how so many people can’t even drive without a GPS, speak to a friend without having text messaging capabilities and so much more.They are going to be in big trouble if we do ever experience an EMP. Or am I just over reacting?

    • Mike – I agree with you totally. I think the art of communicating in real-time and not by email or text, is being lost. Even in my own case, I force myself to pick up the phone and actually TALK to someone rather than rely on electronic communications.

  4. One silver lining to the dark cloud. All of the surveillance equipment installed by the alphabet agencies and all the data they have collected on would become instantly worthless and non-existent.

    One thing you did not mention was to have cash and silver coins at home. Because credit cards, debit cards and atms will not work.

    Even if you have a full tank of gas, most likely your vehicle has enough electronics to be shut down too. Were not completely sure. Some experiments have mixed results.

    In the event that your vehicle does not work, have good walking shoes in your Get Home Bag (GHB).

    If you live by an airport… well all I can say is DUCK. Hope you are not in an elevator. Hope you are not these people.

    What plans have you made if part of your family is out of town for business or college? Will they survive in place or hike back home? if they can’t make it, can the remaining members execute the family survival plan, or has the missing person been doing all the prepping and planning and training?

    • No worries – I make a ton of typos myself – to the point of embarrassment actually. I try to correct them the morning after my article posts but the typos still go out in my email updates. So like I said, no worries!

  5. I try to imagine different things that would affect society as a whole. very daunting. those big airplanes flying around all the time, would drop like rocks. no power, no fuel delivery, no food delivery, or medical.
    no water,waste treatment,garbage collection, and roving zombies. Just like in the new TV series “Under the Dome. I’ve been watching that, and thought of my fellow preppers. The book,” One Second After” by William Forstchen, Cormac Mccarty’s “The Road”, and the TV series “Jericho” all give some scenario’s on things to expect in an event such as an EMP. High voltage transformers being fried would take, not months, but a year or two, at best because our govt. despite dire warnings, hasn’t done anything to protect the general population. With no electricity, it would take some time to get them ordered, built, transported, and installed, and, with workers being busy with protecting their own families, would they have enough trained people to do that task. no alarms, police,medical(hospitals, pharmacies, drug , fire fighting, no phones,tv,cars,news,etc. etc…. there are ways to survive, if you are at least partially prepared and have hard copies of books,maps, pre-80’s vehicle to drive around in. that is why I want to learn old skills. what do you do when all of your shoes,socks jackets, bras, underwear, gloves wear out and you have nothing left? My husband is hard on shoes, and pants, but he is also skilled at dressing out an animal hide and making things. old tires might be used as the shoe bottoms, but finding material for bras and other intricacies that we take for granted? any ideas,anyone?

    • I have been hoarding old clothes up in the loft. These are things that have good fabric but perhaps are a bit stained or out of style. I already tested the sewing machine using solar power so I feel good about that. I also have a lot of yarn and can knit sock and gloves if it comes to that.

      I don’t have any ideas for bras – mine tend to last a long time. And I have two pairs of Timberland books that will never wear out.

  6. Gaye, by the by, I haven’t forgotten about worms. I have some and should be coming over soon. there are little babies in there. I also have some french tarragon if you are interested. I also have dozens of tomatoes, hoping they will ripen soon. I found a trick to help ripen them if the warmth doesn’t do the ripening for me, but would like bring them over to dehydrate. think we need to all have a catching up soon. been busy trying to finish things, and are behind in splitting wood for the winter. Hate to say it but I smell fall already. the humming birds have almost all but disappeared(headed south), and the maple leaves have been turning for more than a week now, more than a month earlier than last year.

  7. Wow, the “Fear Porn” blogs do get some replies. I am stymied by your ignorance of Solar Flares and wish you had written an article about preparing for the Bubonic Plague since it would have been as helpful. To find the latest pop culture fear and exploit it for your blog is just lazy. I quit reading Activist Post since they put your article on their site, so good job on that.
    I am sure your intention was good but come on, do some research next time instead of just referring your readers to Nasa dot gov.

    • Instead of criticizing and making vague innuendos about ignorance why don’t you educate? In my opinion you were “lazy” in your response.

  8. Mike, if you are such an expert in
    EMP’s please educate us,
    but dont be coming here and
    spewing accusations. Gaye DOES her
    research, do you. oh, and “fear porn”
    the fear porn is the lapdance media, not Gaye.
    Play nice or zip it!

  9. In an unintended way, the response from “Mike” should be beneficial to the reader. Mike is a rather honest example of those who taken by surprise and shocked beyond belief when it it happens. Thanks, Mike, in your case even ignorance has some value.

  10. My worry is this. No matter how prepared we may be we would still face the ever looming disaster of a nuclear meltdown. Without power, the reactors would blow sky high. We would then face deadly radiation poisoning. So what do you propose then?

  11. One Second After is a great book to read on EMP’s and survival after….based on some historical events ( footnoted).

    • Yes and no. I actually have a partially completed article on the subject.

      The short answer is that the solar panel itself may be somewhat resistant but there will likely be damage to the wiring and also to the solar controller. The real problem of course, is that until an EMP event occurs, we do not know for sure.

  12. anything with computer chips in it. the panels would probably be ok, but an inverter and maybe wiring would be fried. If the power is out for extended periods, nuclear reactors would be comprimised and they are all over the place. dont know that we would survive too long, everything would be permeated, plastics, wood, anything porous, thus contaminated, so eventually we would be subjected to radiation at some point. I think that stuff sealed in mylar bags may be ok if they are not opened until quite some time after a fallout. would have to do more research on it. I have charcoal tabs, but havent bought any of the other stuff.

  13. I’m an IT Professional who is also an Electronics Design Engineer. It would depend on what “Class” of flare hits the earth, and WHO is facing the sun when it does. It’s a crap shoot in more ways than one. While this kind of event is the most LIKELY thing to take us back to the stone age – just the odds of a massive (X9+) flare hitting the earth isn’t too likely.. then considering that only half the world is facing the sun at any one time, we would have chance to “duck” it possibly.. and.. the further away the USA is from the direct path (evening or morning) we might escape serious damage.

    But, it’s true that if a “Carrington Event” class flare hit us.. it would take a very long time for whoever gets hit by it to recover.

    Another thing. Cars & trucks would most likely be fine – even with a massive flare. The energy it would take for an EMP to penetrate a car’s metal shell and enter (by induction) into the electrical system would have to be beyond comprehension. The Navy did some test using a carrier and an enormous EMP generator. The maximum effective distance was less than 50 yards. The emp from this device was equivalent to an X30 solar flare.

    This stuff exists in movies and has carried over to the prepper movement so that everyone thinks their cars will just die.. doesn’t work like that.

    However.. electrical power grids are another thing. They are designed to “fail” if they experience overloads. More and more of the HUGE transformers that make up our Grid (over 2000 of them) are being “hardened” against EMP surges whether from Flares or a Nuclear device.

    While we are in no way safe.. we are NOT as vulnerable as we were even just 20 years ago.

    • I said all that so that people don’t fall into the “Hype” that if an X28 or X30 (massive flare) hits us we will loose everything.. we will not. 🙂

      • Hi James,

        How does one equate a naval ship with a modern car?
        Seems like the electronics and shielding would be utterly different. Love your post though. Got any scientific references we could check out or are you just relaying stories? Naval vets are know for those. 😉

  14. EMP and Coroidal Mass Ejection(CME)/Solar flares/Carrington Events are different things with differing effects. An EMP is an instantaneous event that will affect a given area. The higher the altitude of the EMP weapon, the larger the affected area, but it will not be world wide. A solar flare, on the other hand, can last for days, affecting the whole planet. The effects of each, as I mentioned, are different. EMP’s have three components which can knock out anything in its range. I say “can”, not “will”. Some things will be destroyed (sensitive microelectronics). Some will be affected but not destroyed (say, a car whose ECM gets “glitched”, causing a need to turn off the car, and restart). And some things will be unaffected (older cars, older electronics, “hardened” military systems, etc). The power grid will likely go down, and not come back for several months, maybe years. The biggest problem will be that we will get “knocked back 200 years”, but we’ll have a population that can’t be sustained with 200 yr old technology, there will be very few people around who have the knowledge to survive with 200 yr old technology, and our current survival supply lines (food, water, etc) are not set up to use 200 yr old technology. Farms are dependent on diesel fuel, large machinery, and a ready supply of water. The water supply is dependent on purification and pumping operations that require electricity. Casualties will be in the millions.

    CME’s/solar flares have one of the three components of EMP’s, but their primary effect will be to long conductors like long power transmission lines. The large transformers on the ends of these transmission lines are vulnerable, as is anything connected to the power grid. Any surge protector should protect anything connected. BUT… these large transformers are used to distribute and balance power demands around the country. Without these transformers, we will experience MANY blackouts, and some areas may be totally without power until the transformers get repaired or replaced, which will take months (maybe years). Some areas will be like NOLA post Katrina. Other areas will be hardly affected. There will likely be casualties, but nothing on the scale of an EMP.

    Bottom line: EMP’s can’t affect the entire globe, but the areas they do affect will be devastated; likely a grid down scenario for many months, possibly years, with millions of casualties. CME’s/solar flares can affect the entire globe, but the effects will be much less severe. I would MUCH rather get hit with another Carrington Event than an EMP.

  15. I commend you good folks for a lot of insightful information. There are a lot of “ifs”, unknowns. IF we, the US, get hit I would expect those in high density areas would be most effected. My observation is that “city folks” are often the least prepared, space constrained and take gov’t services for granted. There is even some dispute about need for grounding a Faraday cage. Old tube radios would work IF there are any stations transmitting. The wave effect of: loss of power, cell, internet followed by water shortage will lead to rampant violence particularly in cities. The fight to survive. gather what food, water, etc needed will make for mayhem. It will not take long before the big effects, nuclear meltdown,
    can’t flush, bath, cook. Food spoils quickly. I feel badly for big city folks. The rural areas may well do better, without transportation, crime may not spread as well in the country.
    To be sure, don’t count on gov’t, at any level, to be much help. Small groups of reliable, prepared friends I think has the best chance.

  16. I am more fearful that ISSIS Is able to launch an EMP,maybe from a ship off one of our coasts.with what they did in Paris and that they have said that they WILL attack the US,IAM WONDERING JUST WHAT THEY HAVE UP THAIR SLEVE FOR US.We are focused on them attacking soft targets in the US but what if that is just what they want us to do and divert our attention .AM I THE ONLY ONE THAT THINKS THEY WILL ATTACK WITH AN EMP?

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