“Here’s an interesting question. If you are a terrorist organization and could only lay your hands on one nuclear weapon. Would you want to blow up one city or detonate it high enough to wipe out the electrical systems for thousands of cities?” – By Just In Case Jack
The damaging after-effects to electronics from a massive electromagnetic pulse effuse from the physical principle of electromagnetic inductance.
Essentially what this means is that current is induced in any conductive material when affected by a magnet or electromagnetic wave of sufficient energy. An EMP is of the latter variety, literally a pulse of electromagnetic energy that induces current in conventional electronics beyond what they can handle. In essence when an EMP or coronal mass ejection is unleashed on the planet, unprotected electronic systems will fry.
Why is this a big deal? Simple really.
The 21st century U.S. depends on copious inputs of energy, so much so that electricity has become a fundamental to human existence (what with our I-phones and personal computers). In addition to this the internet has further complexed our society. People and devices are more connected than ever before, which is nice but potentially fatal.
The downside of increased inter-connectivity is it accentuates the fragility of civilization.
A massive EMP would devastate our world and literally decimate our national population. Some have noted that as many as 9 out of 10 people could die within the first year of an attack from starvation alone – not to mention the countless other deaths that would result from violence, disease, and the environment. Prominent among those who relate portents of doom is an ex-CIA analyst Dr. Vincent Pry who has confirmed the above ratio back in 2015.
And according to a 2004 executive report issued by the ‘Commission to Assess the Threat to the United States from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attack’:
“The distribution system is a chokepoint in the US food infrastructure. Supermarkets typically carry only enough food to provision the local population for 1 to 3 days. Supermarkets replenish their stocks on virtually a daily basis from regional warehouses that usually carry enough food to supply a multi-county area for about one month. The large quantities of food kept in regional warehouses will do little to alleviate a crisis if it cannot be distributed to the population in a timely manner. Distribution depends largely on a functioning transportation system.”
A functioning transportation system. This is key.
What trucks will still run after an EMP? One can reasonably guess not many. And the rail systems? Probably shot too, as they are more or less dependent on sensitive electrical systems. The average citizen doesn’t store food so once the markets run dry there will be pandemonium and death.
But say you do manage to adopt a pre-industrial mode of existence. How long will you have to wait before the power is restored?
We don’t know.
There are many variables known and unknown that could compound or alleviate the many onerous difficulties lead on by the attack – for example what if an invasion follows?
What we do know is this – no matter the disaster, your best chances for safety and security reside in building a stockpile of food, water, and other essential supplies. Perhaps even cultivating a community of personas with a vested interest in each other would bolster ones bulwark against full-on social disorder and famine.
We aren’t here to give you specific answers. We simply aim to provide you with the notion that preparedness is always smarter than carelessness.
In conclusion, one would do well to research the threat assessment for an EMP. It is an instigator of a possible, though unprecedented, crisis scenario.