Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Why EMP Hardening Can't Wait

New Warning on EMP unpreparedness. Link thanks to Ol' Remus at The Woodpile Report. The upgrades necessary to prepare our electronic grid against attack fall into what the Franklin Covey folks call Quadrant II - the Not Urgent, but Important tasks.

The thing is, QII tasks are the most likely to be shoved aside under time pressure. The Urgent tasks - whether important or not, will be dealt with. I'd be willing to guess that QIV tasks - Not Urgent, and Not Important - are more likely to be addressed. Those are often small, quick, mini-tasks that can be shoehorned into spaces in the schedule.

This concerns me for several reasons:

  • Like it or not, only the most Unplugged People will be relatively unaffected - Amish, Wilderness People. Everyone else will find that their daily lives have disintegrated. Banking, internet use, cable TV, phones, medical equipment, routing trucks, growing crops - all have been linked to use of electricity. Without it, most of use will be digging roots and eating bugs.
  • Some of you may be saying, Why, I'll just get a generator! Sad reality - you can't get gas to pump without electricity. Which means that your generator is a useless piece of junk.
  • A good portion of my life is conducted online. I don't even own a manual typewriter anymore. 
  • If the Internet goes down, the American public will be limited to the Mainstream news - do you trust them to relay actual news stories accurately? How effective would Trump be in getting his side conveyed without distortion? 
  • Medical - no drugs, no modern-day ER or Urgent Care. No X-rays, MRIs, nor a whole range of diagnostic and treatment tools. 19th century medicine - at best.



Been screaming about this for years, whether online or in person.

"OH, that can't happen"!

"Doesn't anyone who does this realize we'd retaliate and destroy them"?

"This is just disaster p0rn, it wouldn't really be that bad"!

And, of course, for the few people who know I am a prepper... "Well, I'll just come by your house".

Um, OK. How? In a true EMP situation your car won't work; neither will your GPS. And should you manage to get to my house, and present yourself "TA DA here I am, feed me" what's to prevent me from gunning you down where you stand and putting your head on a pike as a warning to others? (And in the case of a few people I know, I'd do that very cheerfully.)

Mark said...

The threat from an EMP attack has been a worry for me, even before reading "One Second After" by William Forstchen (I lost a bit of sleep after reading this book and its sequels). But we don't have to be attacked to suffer a major impact to our technology. I've also been concerned over the impacts of another Carrington-level solar flare ever since my days working in the USAF's Space Environmental Support business.

Of the two, I'd prefer the solar flare. The grid could be down for months, maybe longer, but modern electronics would not be permanently damaged (as in an EMP attack). Local power grids could still function, transport and communications would be available, and most of our technology would still be available -- if not immediately, then when power is restored.

The fact that we are prepared for neither, however, is something that greatly concerns me, as well.



Did you ever see the Bill Whittle video "Light's Out"?


This is the thing. People have been warning about this, whether EMP or CME, or whatever, for YEARS. Decades even. And nothing has been done in a systematic way because "That can't happen".

The stability privilege that most people have, not just in the US but around the world, is staggering. And - Hashem forbid - if it happens, these same people will be clawing at the doors of anyone they even THINK has food screaming FEED US.

Linda Fox said...

In the Northern OH area, in the early days of the 21st century (TL2 - Too Lazy To Look), there was a meltdown of the electric network. First Energy problem, started with one site, and triggered other outages. It took almost a week to get power back.

I had some experience of the challenges such an event could create. At that time most medications were prescribed in hard copy, and taken to the pharmacy to be filled. Almost all prescriptions are electronically handled - from doctor's office to pharmacy, with electronic verification of refills and insurance coverage. Some of that COULD be done offline, but - how would the pharmacy call the insurer? Phones would be down.

We live in a world mediated by electronic commerce. Even if we COULD manage, it would take time, and - in the interim, food riots would break out in the cities, where the EBTs would no longer work and social security and welfare checks were no longer accessible. The government has worked hard to eliminate cash; can't turn that around on a dime.

Brian E. said...

An uncomfortable reality for those of us that choose to ‘be prepared’ is the very real possibility of having to use deadly force to fend off those that either have knowledge of your preps, or notice that we’re not panicking and starving like they are. (Note to self - need to work more on my social distancing by increasing my ‘homestead’s acreage).

This is part of the all to often neglected ‘psychological’ preparedness that is really just as important as the physical supplies, if not more so.