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#178379 - 08/02/09 01:33 AM Re: One Second After -- novel about post-EMP survival [Re: EdD270]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1890
Loc: Washington, DC
Originally Posted By: EdD270
I'm not really informed well about EMP, but logic indicates it would only harm electrical equipment that was powered up at the time the EMP hits. Equipment that is not operating, or powered up, would not be affected. Is this correct?


That would be nice. My car rarely runs during the week and not that much on weekends.

On a normal day, unless you use your car for work, most people's cars aren't running the vast majority of the time.

My computer would be toast, though. Been wanting a Mac...

Maybe it's time for a spare. Hook it up to a solar battery charger and then I could still download photos from my digital camera which probably would not have been on, either.

Will want Zombie pics.


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#178396 - 08/02/09 04:10 AM Re: One Second After -- novel about post-EMP survival [Re: EdD270]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3555
Loc: Spring, Texas
Originally Posted By: EdD270
I'm not really informed well about EMP, but logic indicates it would only harm electrical equipment that was powered up at the time the EMP hits. Equipment that is not operating, or powered up, would not be affected. Is this correct?


Nope, it's still a problem for stuff that is plugged in but turned off. As the electromagnetic pulse passes through power lines high voltages are induced (same principle as the magnetic field of a rotating magnet in a generator causing electrons to flow in the wire surrounding it). The voltages induced in the power lines by EMP are GINORMOUS and will easily arc across something as minor as an "off" switch.

Stuff that isn't plugged will be spared this massive voltage but as the EMP passes through its conductors a voltage will still be induced. The question is will the voltage be high enough to burn out the device? The fear is solid-state stuff (computer chips) won't be able to handle even the relatively small voltages induced in them.

-Blast
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#178455 - 08/02/09 10:13 PM Re: One Second After -- novel about post-EMP survival [Re: Blast]
Russ Online   content
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4394
Loc: SOCAL
Blast has it. An EMP doesn't need the power turned on because it has all the power required. The only issue is how effectively it can couple (get inside) your electronic systems. If the system is protected by some form of Faraday cage (car body) and is insulated you may be lucky. On the whole though, a well executed EMP strike 300 miles above Omaha is likely to be extremely effective in taking out a high percentage of U.S. transportation and communication, as well as most of the electric grid. Ugly.

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#178462 - 08/02/09 10:40 PM Re: One Second After -- novel about post-EMP survival [Re: Russ]
KG2V Offline

Veteran

Registered: 08/19/03
Posts: 1371
Loc: Queens, New York City
There was some technical analysis to the EMP levels that would actually be generated in the books scenario vs say, nearby lightening etc - not nearly as bad as you think, and as someone said - you can imagine what the US Government respose would be. Hint, they wouldn't have to worry about EMP on the other end, but worry about, oh solar level temperatures
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#178471 - 08/03/09 02:48 AM Re: One Second After -- novel about post-EMP survival [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
"... where on earth does Mr Forstchen get the idea that the USA would be taken back 300-400 years considering electricity generation hasn't been in widespread use since the the early 1900s ..."

I suspect he's closer to being right than wrong.

For the first 300 of those 400 years, people knew how to survive where they were, with simple implements. In every settlement, most of the people knew how to grow food, one or two knew how to work metal, one or two could make wagons and wheels, some could make fabric, most could make clothing from scratch, someone could make boots and shoes, a few guys could build a grist mill.

The U.S. has 300 million people -- how many of them could do ONE of those things? Not very many.

It isn't the lack of electricity itself that we are so dependent on, it's all the things we need and use that are, in some form, based on electrical power.

America mostly manufactures for heavy industry. We've outsourced much of the 'simpler' stuff. Slam the import doors right this very minute, and we're going to be in a world of hurt. How are we going to suddenly crank up production just for things we need to survive, and do it without electricity?

Imagine molds carved by hand, basic materials collected and processed by hand, put together and built by hand... for 300 million people.

Food alone would be a massive problem, with overwhelming starvation. Who really knows how to grow it? Who even has seeds right in their home? Has their soil been improved, or is it solid clay or nutrient-poor sand? How many people have gardening books on hand, so they even know how to grow it? And if they can grow it, how do they preserve it for the other three-quarters of the year? Can it? Do you have the glass jars and lids? How many people know how to make containers from glass? There probably wouldn't be any lids, so they would have to use paraffin. Where do they get the paraffin? No jar lids means no pressure canning, just hot-water bath canning, and probably some sugar. Drying in humid country requires heat and insect protection. Pickling requires salt or vinegar. Does everyone have a goodly supply of salt and sugar and screening or netting?

How about medicine? Talk about the Dark Ages! No autoclaves, no centrifuges, no electron microscopes, most diagnostic equipment are just doorstops, no incubators, and most of the medications will probably be herbal (that strange old lady down the street with the 17 cats and her three acres devoted to herbs, everyone's new best friend!). Can you imagine how today's doctors would be dealing with the problems?

How fast can you manually shear a sheep? Pick enough cotton to make a yard of fabric? Pit a bucket of cherries? Shell a bucket of peas?

And I see two more problems: mostly the older people are likely to know how to 'do' things, but most aren't likely to have the strength and stamina.

The younger ones with the strength and stamina, forced to do actual menial labor? Stoop labor? Planting and harvesting potatoes by hand? Digging and preparing soil? Weeding by hand?

The MeFirst and Gimmee Generations doing this kind of labor? The tantrums, the screaming and the foot stamping would be heard from California to Maine, from Washington State to Florida!

Actually, I think the author understated his prediction. I think we would be taken right back to the Stone Age.


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#178472 - 08/03/09 03:19 AM Re: One Second After -- novel about post-EMP survival [Re: Dagny]
JCWohlschlag Offline
Some guy who wandered in…
Old Hand

Registered: 11/26/06
Posts: 724
Loc: Dallas, Pennsylvania, United S...
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#178473 - 08/03/09 03:42 AM Re: One Second After -- novel about post-EMP survival [Re: JCWohlschlag]
Todd W Offline
Product Tester
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 1928
Loc: Mountains of CA
Susan hit the nail on the head with "Food alone would be a massive problem, with overwhelming starvation. " Next up is illness and the ability to help sick people... and the "technology" there to do this. The author was spot on when he said to look at 3rd world countries and "small" sickness problems they have and how HUGE they are compared to places like the USA where you can get "common" (read: when there is power) medicine. It's a VERY big snowball affect.

It's not the lack of electricity @ our home that would be the largest concern for the MAJORITY of the population (sure people who are elderly or need electricity to survive it would affect them directly).

However, after a VERY short period of time grocery stores would be out, and people would start to go hungry. We are not talking months we are talking WEEKS! Your average store doesn't have enough food on hand, they re-supply DAILY. Now imagine an emergency people know they need food and water and they rush to get it... stores will be out in DAYS if they don't limit, and weeks if they do. Either way in less than a month in MOST cases people will start running out of food.

Without electricity food won't be able to be transported, (even grown or harvested), fuel will run out, deliveries will be slow, and resources on the mass scale that we rely on now will no longer be available.

This is NOT an "End of the World" scenario here it's just how our society has evolved, and how complex everything is, etc.

The EMP Report is a read, and they acknowledge failures in their "tests" but it's just a "test"... not 100% fact so keep that in mind too.

Either way, there is no harm in being prepared.


Edited by Todd W (08/03/09 03:44 AM)
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#178476 - 08/03/09 04:45 AM Re: One Second After -- novel about post-EMP survival [Re: Todd W]
Tom_L Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/19/07
Posts: 690
I don't want to spoil all the fun but are you guys serious with all this doom and gloom?

What do we actually KNOW about EMP and how it would affect the infrastructure? There are precious few FACTS out there. Aside from a few isolated tests, nobody knows for sure.

Would our electric appliances and electronics survive an EMP? Maybe yes, maybe not. But think about the Y2K. Before it happened, every journalist out there knew all there was to it. Nobody really paid any attention to what the real experts were saying. And it the end it was much ado about nothing. Am I the only one to see a pattern?

What is the possibility of an EMP knocking out the entire US infrastructure? From what I've been able to find out, very small indeed. If it does happen though, it will likely be caused by a deliberate high altitude detonation of a nuclear weapon. This is totally beyond the capabilities of any terrorist group at this time and could only be pulled off by one of the major world powers. So if that does happen, it will basically mean the beginning of a nuclear war. At which point, whether you can keep the medicine for your dog's rump refrigerated becomes totally immaterial because you'll have a bunch of real problems to deal with.

I'm all for preparedness but you can't foretell what specific cataclysm is going to happen next and when. All we can do is some common-sense preparation and improving ourselves, physically and mentally. But I sure wouldn't base my survival plans on the latest scare, sensationalistic journalism or mediocre fiction. YMMV.

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#178477 - 08/03/09 05:19 AM Re: One Second After -- novel about post-EMP survival [Re: Tom_L]
Todd W Offline
Product Tester
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 1928
Loc: Mountains of CA
EMP or Not.

Knowing that the infrastructure of this country is what most rely on to survive should be alarming enough to be prepared wink

Doesn't North Korea have this technology now...
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Self Sufficient Home - Our journey to self sufficiency.

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#178479 - 08/03/09 07:58 AM Re: One Second After -- novel about post-EMP survival [Re: Todd W]
LED Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/01/05
Posts: 1473
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
Originally Posted By: Todd W
Doesn't North Korea have this technology now...


Doesn't matter if they do or not. The world's watching that devastated country like a hawk. Nothing dangerous is coming out of there except maybe pollution. Same thing with Iran as an actual threat to the continental US. Zero. I say Tom's right, the only major EMP strike in the US would come from nuclear war. IMO the real "EMP" is the dollar and the deficit, as a sharp rise in interest rates for US debt would be catastrophic. And unfortunately this threat is all too real. Then again, books about monetary policy and currency manipulation just aren't as exciting as post apocalyptic novels. Hmmm, how about this one: "Interest Rate Armageddon, The Day After OPEC Dropped the Dollar." Or maybe "Basket of Currencies, The Day Inflation Came Home." Nah, still sounds boring.

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