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#178484 - 08/03/09 12:11 PM Re: One Second After -- novel about post-EMP survival [Re: Tom_L]
Russ Online   content

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5099
The discussion presupposes that someone can detonate a nuc' up there. To enter the argument and just dis the presumption is an interesting way of avoidance.

If two countries such as Iran and North Korea are working on nuclear weapons (they are) and delivery technologies (they are) and we know they will probably have a limited number of weapons in their arsenals, one way that they can effectively use a limited strike capability is with that high altitude burst.

It is technologically feasible and if a nuclear nation decided to do it there's not much we could do to stop it without a preemptive strike and that takes us to a political area we should avoid.

We are discussing the outcome of a successful EMP strike. The presumption may be wrong, but that doesn't make the discussion invalid. We as a nation aren't prepared for the aftermath.

#178485 - 08/03/09 12:15 PM Re: One Second After -- novel about post-EMP survival [Re: LED]
unimogbert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 857
Loc: Colorado
I read the book 2 weeks ago.

I'm an Electrical Engineer.
I work in the defense industry. I've analysed some projects for some of their characteristics related to their EMP-resistance.

I don't expect any of my cars or my motorcycle to run afterwards (though they might - depends on many factors)

EMP is a very serious threat to the US though it is just one of many possibilities.
An EMP weapon is a very cost-effective way to attack the most electronically dependent nation that has ever existed.
An EMP weapon can be manufactured without using nuclear detonation to create the pulse though it would be shorter ranged.
But that just means a few more are needed.
For a nuclear warhead EMP all it really would take is 1 at high altitude.

Reading the book spurred me to put together a walk-home-from-work-kit for each car I might drive to work. I have been studying water sources and layup sites along the way. Since the walk home is about 40 miles, this is a non-trivial exercise.
Previously I'd just had warm clothing and boots in each car. Now my kit is built like I really mean to use it.

I hope it's just a thought experiment.

#178486 - 08/03/09 12:28 PM Re: One Second After -- novel about post-EMP survival [Re: Dagny]
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2817
Loc: La-USA
I wrote this AAR a week ago, elsewhere.

I'm just getting around to posting it here. An EMP attack is always on my mind. Our BoB's go on trips with us and I keep a GHB (Get Home Bag) with me at work (on a towboat)

I got off the boat yesterday in Superman's home, Metropolis, Il. I took advantage of the location to travel throughg the countryside in which I have my "escape routes" running.

Keep in mind that my escape routes are in the event that an EMP attack was launched against the country.

I took Hwy 45 southward from Paducah down to Fulton, Ky, and thence southward to Memphis, Tn via Hwy 51.

Hwy 45 runs between 2 of the escape routes (RR tracks) that I have documented from Paducah, Ky to Fulton, Ky. I found that the fields are all planted with corn and soybeans (subject for another post), there is an Amish community around Mayfield, Ky. The topography consists of gently rolling hills and many large/small creeks.

I-55 going south from Memphis, Tn to Brookhaven, Ms consists of gently rolling hills as well with more forest and (cattle) grazing lands.

All of this countryside is rich in wildlife such as deer, raccoon, rabbit, squirrel, etc. The natives are mostly an older lot and friendly enough to strangers that are also friendly and appropriately behaved. There are no water shortages through the areas although fresh water will still need to be filtered/strained and then either treated or boiled prior to consuming.
The best luck is what you make yourself!

#178488 - 08/03/09 12:37 PM Re: One Second After -- novel about post-EMP survival [Re: unimogbert]
benjammin Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
I have simulated EMPs and I can tell you anything electronic that isn't massively sheilded is quite vulnerable, as well as most transformers.

A conventionally fired EMP is really easy and cheap to build. It may take out a small city.

A nuclear EMP at altitude will knock out all consumer electronics in the CONUS, right down to the wristwatches and cell phones all of us use. I've mentioned before what the sheilding requirements would be to keep tech tools from being zapped.

Anyone read the prologue (intro) to the story "Lights Out". That seems like a pretty feasible scenario for delivery.

However, anyone who would attack us with an EMP of that nature would well realize that a retaliatory strike would not be preventable, and would not be so limited. Sure they might hurt us, but they would cease to exist. Even the Ayatollah prefers to keep what power he has to being vaporized.
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

#178489 - 08/03/09 12:50 PM Re: One Second After -- novel about post-EMP survival [Re: benjammin]
Russ Online   content

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5099
However, anyone who would attack us with an EMP of that nature would well realize that a retaliatory strike would not be preventable, and would not be so limited. Sure they might hurt us, but they would cease to exist. Even the Ayatollah prefers to keep what power he has to being vaporized.
Don't be so sure Benjamin. A ship engineered as a launch platform could fire the missile from off either coast and then scuttled. The crew either sacrificed or picked up by a second ship with no evidence. All they'd need is plausible deniability and the Ayatollah could sit back and say, "Who, Me?"

There's no nuclear fallout, no craters, Geiger counters read nothing -- pretty soon folks will deny there was a nuclear weapon detonated. The only counter is good intel and a preemptive strike. I'm not sure we as a nation still have the national will to stop it even if we had the intel.

#178491 - 08/03/09 01:03 PM Re: One Second After -- novel about post-EMP survival [Re: LED]
Tyber Offline

Registered: 04/27/09
Posts: 292
Loc: ST. Paul MN
I have read the results on the EMP Commissionís findings.

Some interesting facts.. Out of the 20 newer model cars they tested only about 3 or 4 of them totally died. They said that when hit with an EMP while running some stopped. Interestingly enough they only needed to be restarted (some required new fuses and a little tinkering) and they ran adequately.

And the electricity that is generated by diesel Generators would not stop. That is the great thing about Diesel they can survive an EMP attack.

Also lots of Buildings that house critical data and infrastructures are built with a Faraday barrier. A Faraday Barrier is something that will mitigate or Lessing the impact of an EMP. There was an article written on this in Military & Aerospace Electronics Magazine.

Before you all think I am the "it is all OK" person. The Truth is that it wouldn't be OK. The infrastructure would break down like Katrina I am sorry to say. The statistics are not saying that 90% of the population will die. The statistics say that 70% will die after one year of no electrical power. The truth is that we would be set back, and there is no denying that.

The good news is that people like us on this forum that are prepared and are adequately knowledgeable in the skills that seem to no longer be in style will do just fine. We will struggle and be terribly inconvienced but we can and will find solutions. Throwing us not so much back into the Stone Age, but more the colonial age...

I don't see Electricity totaly being demolished by an EMP. But as we went about fixing the infrastructure (if that level of organization could be acquired.) there would be more islands of electricity. If you think about it some people would get there solar panels back up and running. Towns that use Hydro electricity would get the circuits and fuses necessary replace. The diesel generators would be fed the fuel necessary and they can run even during an EMP.

Would an EMP produces an apocalyptic environment? YUP.. more colonial/wild west apocalyptic and a lot less Mad Max / Cave Man.

Edited by Tyber (08/03/09 01:10 PM)

#178492 - 08/03/09 01:23 PM Re: One Second After -- novel about post-EMP survival [Re: benjammin]
Dagny Offline

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1916
Loc: Washington, DC
Googling "Faraday cage" yields a lot of interesting results.

Not just on EMP but also lightning strikes. Previously, I'd assumed a car was a refuge in a lightning storm because of the rubber tires. Nope. And my Honda Element's plastic panels reduce the Faraday protection. Dang. Argues for stocking up on bike tires and tennis shoes.

Don't know anything about this person or their qualifications, but they are concise:


a car is NOT a Faraday cage sufficient to withstand an EMP incident. It has some similar components, yes. Most cars made today consist of fiberglass and disjointed parts, not a continuous metal material. In addition to that, they are on tires. Tires on a car do NOT serve as grounding. Folks are simply getting an EMP strike confused with a lightening strike. Now, IF you had an old fashioned car that was made of metal, that had its tires removed, that was also attached to an Iron or copper pole and that was ALSO on dirtónot gravelóthen yes, you may have a car that doubles as a Faraday cage.

You can have an instant Faraday cage with a galvanized trash can or a large stock pot like they use in restaurants. (Be sure to clamp the lid down. Rememberócontinuous connection is key. Since Faraday cages are not fool proof, depending on the strength of the pulse, I would recommend burying such containers 2 feet under the ground, storing survival electrical and battery items. (Including batteries).

Be selective in what you protect. It makes no sense to protect a cell phone, for example, as the cell towers will be useless. If it were me, I would protect radios, communication devices (such as a HAM radio), batteries and all of their respective tools, thumb drives loaded with all of my vital information, and a laptop.

National Lightning Safety Institute


Electrically speaking, at lightning's higher frequencies, currents are carried mostly on the outside of conducting objects. A thick copper wire or a hollow-wall metal pipe will carry most of the lightning on outer surfaces. This phenomenon is called "skin effect." The same holds true for lightning when it strikes metal vehicles: the outer surface carries most of the electricity. The persons inside this steel box can be likened to protected by a partial Faraday cage.

If the car is made of fiberglass (a poor conductor) or a convertible, skin effect principles may not work. (Corvette and Saturn owners, please note this fact.)

School Buses. Metal buses are good Faraday cages.

#178502 - 08/03/09 03:12 PM Re: One Second After -- novel about post-EMP survival [Re: LED]
Blast Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3561
Loc: Spring, Texas
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.

Actually, to me those sound terrifying. At this time I am not worrying about EMP. Having looked into it, I haven't been able to find any proof Iran, NK, or other minor powers have the technology to get a nuke that high (+300 miles) above the USA. As much as a terrorist group would like the put us in the dark I feel they'd take the easier route of trucking the nuke into a city then detonating it, and even that I consider to be a low threat. Sidenote: I'll start worrying once a rogue power develops a rocket strong enough to do this.

Economic disasters seem much more likely to me at this time.


p.s. I welcome any information or links indicating terrorists currently have the launch capabilities needed.
Blogging the Borderlands
Wild Edibles Blog
I miss OBG.

#178504 - 08/03/09 03:43 PM Re: One Second After -- novel about post-EMP survival [Re: Blast]
Russ Online   content

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5099
Actually what N.Korea has been doing lately comes close to demonstrating the delivery although not from a sea-based platform. Both N. Korea and Iran are years away from putting a warhead in position, but all that means is we have a bit of time if we decide to use it. If we keep saying that it will never happen we'll just convince ourselves that we're safe.

Once I get some near-term issues resolved and move out of CA (another topic entirely), my first major purchase will be a mule or two. Then I'll start collecting old mule pulled farm equipment. . .

#178512 - 08/03/09 04:25 PM Re: One Second After -- novel about post-EMP survival [Re: LED]
Todd W Offline
Product Tester

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 1928
Loc: Mountains of CA
Originally Posted By: LED
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.

So, because the "world" is watching means we should not be concerned. That sounds like even more reason to be concerned to me wink They know something is up, they are watching.

We already know that "the world" can not prevent everything bad from happening to us wink
Self Sufficient Home - Our journey to self sufficiency.

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