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EMP weapons. The most likely SHTF scenario?

This is a discussion on EMP weapons. The most likely SHTF scenario? within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; One thing that is commonly mentioned is that today's electronics are more sensitive than the ones of old. In many ways this is true. Everything ...

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  1. #106
    Distinguished Member Array noway2's Avatar
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    One thing that is commonly mentioned is that today's electronics are more sensitive than the ones of old. In many ways this is true. Everything is smaller, faster, shorter, and runs at higher frequencies and lower voltages. The circuits don't have the "noise margins" and resiliency that they used to. At the same time this has necessitataed a change in the way electronics are designed, simply to make them work. Today, they have a lot of chokes and filters, use ground and power planes, decoupling capacitors, surge supressors, and isolating power supplies, differential signal and optical cable (think of your Ethernet / Internet connection). In many ways these things make equipment much more resillient than the stuff of old.

    I agree with you AutoFan that a lot of things may need to be reset, but I don't think that the damange will be physical or permanent.

    For a point of comparison. The day before yesterday we had a powerful storm move through that damaged some equipment. The system is a chilled water loop for air conditioning consisting of outside electrical equipment and ionized water running through uninsulated ductile iron in the ground. It took several lightning strikes destroying the electric meter at the transformer which burned up the metering CTs and damaged one motor. The fact that the CTs burned up indicates that there were massive surges of current (it is suspected that the power companies surge supressors failed). I have no idea off hand how many volts/meter is generated by the lightening, but it also gives one hell of a current surge, bigger than your going to induce with an EM field in equipment.


  2. #107
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    Some of the things to remember about a CME or EMP is that (unlike the book ‘One Second After”) is that all of the effects will not be immediate but there will be cumulative effects (especially with a large CME) due to the buildup radiation belts in the Earth’s geo magnetic field. This radiation will mainly effect communications and may make certain high frequencies unusable for some time.
    A CME event the size of the 1921 solar storm would leave about 130 million Americans without power for 6 to 12 months with full recovery of the power grid taking as long as 9 years (or longer depending on damage to the rest of the world). The 1921 storm was 10 times stronger than the 1989 event which blacked out Quebec and parts of the North eastern US for 9 hours and damaged power plants from Texas to Washington. I do not know how this compares with the 1859 Carrington event but have heard that it was anywhere from 4 to 40 times the size of the 1921 CME.


    Having no power for an extended period of time means no refrigeration, no fuel, no medicine, no food distribution, and chaos happening in about 3 days (which is about the average amount of food on store shelves). With a CME there will most likely be places unaffected and there will eventually be civil order (probably marital law with the confiscation of all firearms and food) but the ability of our government or any country’s government to respond to half of its population being suddenly without power for a prolong period of time is questionable.
    I am less familiar with the effects caused by an EMP because I see this as a less likely scenario, mainly because the nation states that are most capable of launching an EMP attack are our NATO allies Israel, China, and Russia. If Russia or China launched an EMP attack I am pretty sure that it would trigger a limited or full scale nuclear exchange and an EMP will be the least of my concerns. Other nuclear nation states or those trying to become nuclear powers such as India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Iran do not (IMO) currently posses the ability to effectively attack with an EMP.


    The vulnerability of our electrical system can be demonstrated by the Northeast blackout of 2003 which put 55 million people in North America out of power. This was caused by a series of chain events set off by trees coming into contact with power lines. Being prepared to function without power and outside aid for a prolong period of time will enable you to survive many types of disasters. This requires preparation for the acquisition of drinking water (the most important), food, and shelter during all types of weather.
    As I have stated before that if you are prepared to survive in your current home (not by Bugging Out) without power for 3 weeks or longer, then you are well prepared for most anything.


    For those of you who are interested in further reading I would suggest the following

    SEVERE SPACE WEATHER EVENTS—UNDERSTANDING SOCIETAL AND ECONOMIC IMPACTS

    High-Impact, Low-Frequency (HILF) Event Risk Effort

    Also see EMPact America
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  3. #108
    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgrass101 View Post
    Some of the things to remember about a CME or EMP is that (unlike the book ‘One Second After”) is that all of the effects will not be immediate but there will be cumulative effects (especially with a large CME) due to the buildup radiation belts in the Earth’s geo magnetic field. This radiation will mainly effect communications and may make certain high frequencies unusable for some time.
    A CME event the size of the 1921 solar storm would leave about 130 million Americans without power for 6 to 12 months with full recovery of the power grid taking as long as 9 years (or longer depending on damage to the rest of the world). The 1921 storm was 10 times stronger than the 1989 event which blacked out Quebec and parts of the North eastern US for 9 hours and damaged power plants from Texas to Washington. I do not know how this compares with the 1859 Carrington event but have heard that it was anywhere from 4 to 40 times the size of the 1921 CME.


    Having no power for an extended period of time means no refrigeration, no fuel, no medicine, no food distribution, and chaos happening in about 3 days (which is about the average amount of food on store shelves). With a CME there will most likely be places unaffected and there will eventually be civil order (probably marital law with the confiscation of all firearms and food) but the ability of our government or any country’s government to respond to half of its population being suddenly without power for a prolong period of time is questionable.
    I am less familiar with the effects caused by an EMP because I see this as a less likely scenario, mainly because the nation states that are most capable of launching an EMP attack are our NATO allies Israel, China, and Russia. If Russia or China launched an EMP attack I am pretty sure that it would trigger a limited or full scale nuclear exchange and an EMP will be the least of my concerns. Other nuclear nation states or those trying to become nuclear powers such as India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Iran do not (IMO) currently posses the ability to effectively attack with an EMP.


    The vulnerability of our electrical system can be demonstrated by the Northeast blackout of 2003 which put 55 million people in North America out of power. This was caused by a series of chain events set off by trees coming into contact with power lines. Being prepared to function without power and outside aid for a prolong period of time will enable you to survive many types of disasters. This requires preparation for the acquisition of drinking water (the most important), food, and shelter during all types of weather.
    As I have stated before that if you are prepared to survive in your current home (not by Bugging Out) without power for 3 weeks or longer, then you are well prepared for most anything.


    For those of you who are interested in further reading I would suggest the following

    SEVERE SPACE WEATHER EVENTS—UNDERSTANDING SOCIETAL AND ECONOMIC IMPACTS

    High-Impact, Low-Frequency (HILF) Event Risk Effort

    Also see EMPact America
    Thank you for the links... Now, on to more baiting... which I'm not... I just want some clarity...

    In your first paragraph you tell us that a Coronal Mass Ejection or an ElectroMagnetic Pulse could take down the grid for at the minimum of 6-12 months with a full recovery that could take up to 9 years... 9 YEARS


    At the end of your post you tell us that if we are prepared to survive in home ("bugging in") for 3 WEEKS (or longer) we'll do just fine... There's a gap of 465 WEEKS there... between 3 weeks and 9 YEARS... And if my area is one of the last to regain amenities... what am I to do for those remaining 465 weeks?
    Rats!
    It could be worse!
    I suppose

  4. #109
    Senior Member Array ZX9RCAM's Avatar
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    Great books!
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    Just shoot the guy next to you in the knee and run like heck.

  5. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by oakchas View Post
    At the end of your post you tell us that if we are prepared to survive in home ("bugging in") for 3 WEEKS (or longer) we'll do just fine... There's a gap of 465 WEEKS there... between 3 weeks and 9 YEARS... And if my area is one of the last to regain amenities... what am I to do for those remaining 465 weeks?
    I don't know you, decide if you need to prepare to survive for the remaining 465 weeks and what you need to do in order to survive. I am just saying that if you are prepared to survuve without power for a reasonably long period of time then you should be prepared for most natural diasters. I never said you would be fine. As for my family we are prepared for an X amount of time and then after that we will just have too react as the situation dictates.

    You can decide to prepare for what ever you want too, if you want to prepare for an alein invasion, fine with me. If you want my advice to prepare for a zombie apocalypse, I will give you whatever advice I can that seems helpful including me telling you that I think you might be over prepping. But I will not discourage you from being prepared and I will try to give you tips that will help you for much more likely events.

    I will also advise you to try out your plan, and turn off your houses power for a few days or more (its up to you) or to take a backpacking trip with your Bug-Out bag or get-Home bag and see that it works for you. Most people will find problems with their plans will quickly and become more realistic about their plans and abilities.

    You seem to be expecting someone to say "If you do X then you will be prefectly prepared for event Y" and to have a complete step-by-step plan for every possible event. Then remarking when they don't. I am stating that you need to develop a genearl basic plan that can be used in most events and geared toward the most common events in your area. For me it is tornados and hurricanes and their aftermaths, if you live on the west coast it might be earthquakes, in Iowa it might be corn monsters you get the idea.

    So tell me what you are going to do for those 465 weeks?
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

  6. #111
    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgrass101 View Post
    You seem to be expecting someone to say "If you do X then you will be prefectly prepared for event Y" and to have a complete step-by-step plan for every possible event. Then remarking when they don't. I am stating that you need to develop a genearl basic plan that can be used in most events and geared toward the most common events in your area. For me it is tornados and hurricanes and their aftermaths, if you live on the west coast it might be earthquakes, in Iowa it might be corn monsters you get the idea.

    So tell me what you are going to do for those 465 weeks?
    I don't expect anyone to tell me to do this or that to survive the coming apocalypse in whatever form it may or may not take...

    I have said that the book One Second After (the actual subject of this thread) is a good study in what could be done by a community to survive longer term disasters (the scenario lasts about a year, IIRC). I have also indicated that it might be a bit more realistic than Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse‎. And have suggested that The Road might be an accurate depiction of a PAW in which a few survivors are still around after a 9 or 10 year "event"...

    Interesting thing, that. You see, The Road takes place some 10 years after "the event" (whatever it was) and you have a lone man and his son traveling down the (inland) east coast to get to the southern coast of the US (along the Gulf of Mexico, apparently). They have survived "the event" apparently... for 10 years (the age of the boy, who was delivered sometime after the occurrence of "the event" (we can discern this from the text)). The interesting correlation (to me) is the 10 year period being so close to your posted 9 year wait for the infrastructure of the grid to be fully restored.

    The man has two bullets left for his revolver.. After 10 years, I figure that's pretty good... probably better than most of today's "preppers" could expect to have after that period of time... prepared foods and MRE's to survive that long, would take one heck of a stockpile.

    One thing I used to believe... is that after "the event"... knowledge will be necessary... More than gold, guns and stockpiles. And, I assumed that there will be little communication... without electricity... My "plan," such as it was... was to secure the biggest public library in my area...

    After everybody has looted all the grocery stores, siphoned all the gas for their generators, so that they could watch videos they looted from other stores, burned all the books they have for heating fuel... Some might actually want to know how to grow food... raise food... slaughter food... make machinery... fix machinery... and so on.... and they won't be able to google it. Where are they going to get the knowledge to do these things? Books. The books they burned to stay warm...

    Guess who controls the books?

    Ah yes.... and then they made a movie that illustrated it... sort of... "The Book of Eli."

    As to what I'll do for the remaining 413 weeks... (I have enough for 52+-)... I don't really know... pray a bit more frequently, certainly.... but, we shall see.... perhaps
    Rats!
    It could be worse!
    I suppose

  7. #112
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    For those who stockpile in preparation of long term disasters. You may be prepared to protect your property from others but what will you do when the Government comes to take part of your supplies as a tax to use as they see fit. The Government has already said the bartering can be taxed the same as cash transactions.

    Michael
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  8. #113
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    /\/\...or just take it outright.
    If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.

    -Will Rogers

    Im a big fan of the .22LR for bear defense.
    Just shoot the guy next to you in the knee and run like heck.

  9. #114
    VIP Member Array Badey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlr1m View Post
    For those who stockpile in preparation of long term disasters. You may be prepared to protect your property from others but what will you do when the Government comes to take part of your supplies as a tax to use as they see fit. The Government has already said the bartering can be taxed the same as cash transactions.

    Michael
    Isn't this the point of the Second Amendment?
    Though defensive violence will always be a sad necessity in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men -St. Augustine

  10. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by oakchas View Post
    One thing I used to believe... is that after "the event"... knowledge will be necessary... More than gold, guns and stockpiles. And, I assumed that there will be little communication... without electricity... My "plan," such as it was... was to secure the biggest public library in my area...

    After everybody has looted all the grocery stores, siphoned all the gas for their generators, so that they could watch videos they looted from other stores, burned all the books they have for heating fuel... Some might actually want to know how to grow food... raise food... slaughter food... make machinery... fix machinery... and so on.... and they won't be able to google it. Where are they going to get the knowledge to do these things? Books. The books they burned to stay warm...
    I suggest that people acquire skills now, like gardening, canning, hunting, etc... Instead learning when they have too. You do not want to learn how to garden when you are starving; the margin of error is too narrow.

    I agree with amassing books, we like books and have a lot of books.

    Knowledge is needed, but skills developed before hand would be even more valuable than just raw knowledge. Which would you rather have, someone who knows how to build (and has built) a wind generator using an alternator or someone with a book about building wind generators? You have to not only plan but practice, store what you eat and eat what you store.

    For a power down event, hunting will not be a good skill to put food on the table, because everyone will be hunting. And I try to point that out to people whose plan is to “go in the woods and live off the land”, especially when they know nothing about gathering or preserving their deer meat without power. But that is a lot of people plan, until they try it for a few days (the few who took me up on it didn’t make it thru a long weekend).

    I try to encourage people to live more simply, to be more self reliant and to develop skills now while there is time. Don’t just have a book on edible wild plants, but pick, cook and eat those plants. If you are going to landscape your yard, plant fruit trees and berry bushes. You don’t have to supply 100% of you food yourself but try for 10%. It will be easier to scale up from 10 and have skills, than to start from 0 with no skills.

    It seems that we are in agreement, that more is needed than gold, guns and SPAM. That practical knowledge (not just theoretical) is required. I encourage people to attend workshops, take classes, and form an actual community with their neighbors. Develop plans and take them for a test run. I believe that these things are much more fun and rewarding than watching Jersey Shore on your plasma TV. But you still have to be able to survive the event and it’s immediate aftermath.
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

  11. #116
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    A microwave oven is a Faraday cage. My main mode of transport is a 1972 W200 Dodge Power Wagon, the wife would be upset with her Chevy dead on it feet though.
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  12. #117
    Distinguished Member Array noway2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 40Bob View Post
    A microwave oven is a Faraday cage.
    Here is the rub (and this is one bit that I do remember from my EM classes): the microwave is designed to block only in a certain frequency band. Notice the door which you can see through. Even though it has holes in it, the screening is completely opaque in the microwave spectrum, which is roughly 10^9 Hz. The holes allow visible light to pass through which is roughly 10^14 Hz. If you recall the old C band satelite dishes, they were the same way in that you could see right through them.
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  13. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by 40Bob View Post
    A microwave oven is a Faraday cage. My main mode of transport is a 1972 W200 Dodge Power Wagon, the wife would be upset with her Chevy dead on it feet though.
    Love that truck! I have a soft spot in my heart for older, heavy duty trucks and 4X4's. I drive a '94 Cherokee myself. Not all that old but, compared to what is rolling off the Jeep lines these day, it's worlds away.

    My wife finished the book tonight. She now wants to assess out ammo supplies, maybe get a couple of more AK's and lay in some long shelf life food supplies. We aren't going to go crazy. But we will be more prepared than we are now for a natural disaster or a man made one.
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  14. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by TN_Mike View Post
    Love that truck! I have a soft spot in my heart for older, heavy duty trucks and 4X4's. I drive a '94 Cherokee myself. Not all that old but, compared to what is rolling off the Jeep lines these day, it's worlds away.

    My wife finished the book tonight. She now wants to assess out ammo supplies, maybe get a couple of more AK's and lay in some long shelf life food supplies. We aren't going to go crazy. But we will be more prepared than we are now for a natural disaster or a man made one.
    There you go! While the scenario presented may or may not be the most likely form of attack or natural disaster we face... It is always good to use these books to determine where your shortfalls in preparation may be... And determine your course of action... in the event of an "event".

    One thing's for certain, as illustrated in the book, it won't be long before the woods are hunted out... How to make up for protein loss? beans and rice are indeed staples... but I do like meat... freeze dried beef? or fresh... what..?

    I used to raise rabbits... sold young ones to a guy who had a "pick up" route and would take them to a processing plant in Arkansas... did some of my own butchering, too. A trio of rabbits (2 does and a buck) will keep a couple of people in good meat for years... and you can use the offspring as replacement breeding stock... (That's done all the time in the rabbit industry). Rabbits are quiet... do not require much feed (comparatively inexpensive feed at that) and are prolific breeders, as well as being easy to raise... (you want New Zealand white rabbits they are the breed of choice for "meats" but there are some cross breeds that do well).

    If you don't live out in the open... (house near the road or in a development) you can have a "square foot garden" that takes up little space and will provide veggies nearly year round... Square foot gardening works well, takes little space, little maintenance (compared to conventional {row} gardens) and keeps you out of the crosshairs of looters/brigands as it is much smaller than a row garden. Google it.

    Then you can supplement all that rice and all those beans... eat well and survive a long time...with minimal "footprint" (size) less noise and effort ... all important if there really are roving bands...
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    Rats!
    It could be worse!
    I suppose

  15. #120
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    You can also think about getting 3-4 bantam laying hens, they can eat kitchen scraps, help keep the bugs out of your garden, turn your compost and give you good natural fertilzer all the while producing yummy eggs.

    oakchas is right, you can produce a lot of food in a small space. And now is the time to start.

    If you were on the Titanic (and didn't have a lifeboat) which would you rather be, a guy with a book about building lifeboats (and no wood working skills), or a carpenter without a book about building lifeboats?

    Here's one of my little gardens.

    west side garden.jpg
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

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