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#92915 - 04/29/07 06:35 PM Are EMP's a big deal?
AROTC Offline
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Registered: 05/06/04
Posts: 604
Loc: Manhattan
Well are they? What is the likelihood that a nuclear or non-nuclear EMP is going to destroy society? And if one does, will you really care if your laptop/cellphone/mp3 player still work? I just don't see EMPs as being a major concern when it comes to preparing for emergencies. I'd rather spend my time and resources on contingencies that I'm more likely to encounter.
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#92920 - 04/29/07 07:07 PM Re: Are EMP's a big deal? [Re: AROTC]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
It isn't a big deal. You'll loose some gear, but if you thought ahead, you won't loose much data because you've burned it to optical media, and you can use a compass and map. Sure, long range comm is pretty much out, but if you've planned ahead, anyone who would be worried will know you have a plan and your plan has a safety margin in terms of time as to when they can expect you to show up if comms are out.

It is worth planning for becuase while it is a relatively low probability scenario that for someone prepared pretty easily compensated for, it is a serious one. Just like a plague or the old Y2K-bug. What all three of those have in common, other than being less likely to occure than a bad storm or earthquake, once you've prepared for the likely, getting ready for the unlikely doesn't really cost anything more than sitting down with a few sheets of paper and a pencil and thinking about if for a little while.

Now, if you want implausable scenarios, the zombies or an alien invasion. I like alien invasions who do not come in peace and don't care who your leader is. That's just fun think about. laugh
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#92930 - 04/29/07 09:00 PM Re: Are EMP's a big deal? [Re: AROTC]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: AROTC
I just don't see EMPs as being a major concern when it comes to preparing for emergencies.


I would agree that I don't give EMP any thought in terms of my personal preparedness. There's really not that much we can do in addition to the usual preparations that I would consider very practical. Wrap my electronics stuff in aluminum foil? Well, I'm not convinced that would help. Build a Faraday cage inside my house? Well, maybe during the height of the Cold War, but doesn't seem to make as much sense now.

However, and this is a huge "if"...if we ever had a situation like a high-altitude nuclear burst over the continental US, that is going to drastically affect most/all of us for quite a while. Just think about EMP's effect on the electrical grid of this country. Imagine no electricity for weeks during the summer heat. It didn't really seem to get that much coverage in the US, but 52,000 people died in the European heat wave of 2003. That makes Katrina's death toll look puny in comparison.

It's interesting that there seems to be more posts about EMP lately on this forum compared to a year ago. I don't watch the TV show Jericho so I'm not sure EMP was a big issue on that show, but I wonder if that's sparking this increased interest lately?

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#92932 - 04/29/07 09:41 PM Re: Are EMP's a big deal? [Re: Arney]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I remember that summer in 2003, the death tolls in central Europe were shocking, because it mainly affected the elderly and because it caused so many problems for the Health services of France and other European countries. In France it got to the point where there wasn't even enough room in the mortuaries in some of the France’s main cities. Even here is Scotland in 2003 the constant hot weather was unrelenting but just manageable without air conditioning. (You should realise just how scary that last sentence was). Global warming was put forward as the main causative factor for the death toll in Europe just as it was for the Katrina Hurricane disaster. There has just been a report here that the warmest temperatures in the UK for April have been the warmest ever recorded being over 3 degrees warmer than normal. I fear that Europe could see the same problems as in 2003 and it might be the US faces the same problems as in 2005 this year. Talking about EMP effects on the forum might be topical because of the agenda set by some in the US media boogie man terror circles but the real threat to every ones way of life lies elsewhere. The debate in the US is just some years behind everyone else in the world. That debate is about Global Warming and how to tackle it. I Don't think I've seen a thread about this issue on the forum!

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#92945 - 04/29/07 11:47 PM Re: Are EMP's a big deal? [Re: ]
raydarkhorse Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 510
Loc: on the road 10-11 months out o...
I think EMP has become such an issue (at least for me) is that terrorist groups are continually trying to make or obtain a nuke. If a terrorist group is able to obtain a single nuclear weapon then the way for them to get the most bang for their buck is employing it in such a manner to use the EMP to the utmost. I don’t think it will be knocking out the entire US because of the logistics involved in making a rocket large enough to put it high enough to cause that much damage. But with a small pressurized plane they could get high enough to cause a black out along the east coast that would knock out most of the electrical grid, causing blackouts across most of the country. Most of the country would be up and running again in a week or two but the damage to the east coast would take years to recover from. As far as nature we are constantly being bombarded by the radiation from solar flares and it constantly causing problems with satellites and communications. With every solar flare (that comes our way) we run a 50/50 chance of EMP doing a great deal of damage depending on it’s magnetic polarity.
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#92947 - 04/29/07 11:56 PM Re: Are EMP's a big deal? [Re: raydarkhorse]
wildman800 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 2828
Loc: La-USA
NASA just issued a warning that in March of 2008, the next solar cycle starts and that people should prepare for possible electrical and electronic blackouts as a result.
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#92949 - 04/30/07 12:45 AM Re: Are EMP's a big deal? [Re: raydarkhorse]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Quote:
If a terrorist group is able to obtain a single nuclear weapon then the way for them to get the most bang for their buck is employing it in such a manner to use the EMP to the utmost


I don't think this is what a terrorist would do with a nuclear weapon if they were able to get hold of one. Sticking the bomb down into the Cumbre Vieja would be what they would do. Anybody seen the film the 'The Dambusters'. Similar sort of idea.


Edited by bentirran (04/30/07 01:21 AM)

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#92955 - 04/30/07 03:06 AM Re: Are EMP's a big deal? [Re: wildman800]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
Runs upward until it peaks probably the winter of '11-'12. It's gonna be interesting.
_________________________
-IronRaven

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

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#92956 - 04/30/07 03:09 AM Re: Are EMP's a big deal? [Re: raydarkhorse]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
They'd probably just stick it in a truck and hit a major banking center- NY, LA, London, Paris, Berlin, maybe Tokyo.

And the area of effect at such a low altitude would be pretty small. It's easier just to stick it in a light plane and simulate an airburst from a stealthed warhead, then sit back and watch the fun.
_________________________
-IronRaven

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

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#92983 - 04/30/07 07:18 AM Re: Are EMP's a big deal? [Re: AROTC]
JCWohlschlag Offline
Some guy who wandered in…
Old Hand

Registered: 11/26/06
Posts: 724
Loc: Dallas, Pennsylvania, United S...
As far as I’m concerned, EMP is pretty simple to deal with. Simply line whatever containers you use to store your emergency gear with some copper mesh fabric and make sure your gear is insulated from the mesh. Normal copper mesh has been shown to have a very high attenuation rate (~108 dB) in the frequencies that EMPs put most of their energy (3 Hz — 30 kHz) and an acceptable attenuation even at the higher frequencies. (Keep in mind that attenuation is measured in dB, which is a logarithmic scale, i.e. 10 dB attenuation cuts the signal to 1/10th power, 20 dB to 1/100th, 30 dB to 1/1,000th, …, 100 dB to 1/10,000,000,000th. 108 dB attenuation is around 1/68-billionth, or 0.00000000000016%, of its original power.)

The way I figure it, using a Faraday cage container isn’t too difficult to put together, and should keep your equipment pretty safe from EMP, solar CME, and whatever other EMF transients may happen. And the bottom line… if the stuff in the container still fries, it was pretty much toast anyway. But, that only applies to the stuff you can keep in a container. All the other stuff, the best you can do is hope.
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