It could happen:

Via Insty there is THIS.

If you’ve read One Second After, (and if you haven’t, then you should) then you have an idea as to how bad it could be…. (It likely won’t be QUITE as bad as predicted in that story, as that was, of course, fiction, and sensationalized….and was written to frighten people to make the threat of EMP a higher priority than it is today….but it will be bad)

The scenario, that of an EMP event, be it man made or natural, is one of the reasons I strongly suggest that people prepare….Have 90+ days worth of food, and means of getting clean, drinkable water. Just try living without electricity for 24 hours…..Now try living without transportation (and all the things it brings to you, like food, and water, and fuel). Think about how much food will spoil in your house alone without electricity….Will you be able to cook and prepare the food you have without electrons? Yeah, you have a gas stove. How are you gonna use the gas stove if the electronics that control the pumps and valves which deliver that gas to your home aren’t working? (Those of you with electric stoves are screwed)…

How about the food that you buy at the store? If (and it is an if) the trucks that deliver it are operable, they will soon stop because because electronics and electricity are needed to meter, control, and move that fuel to the fueling stations. Not to mention that the store won’t be able to take anything but cash…..and there isn’t enough actual cash existing in this country to meet the needs, even if you could move it to the banks….and assuming that the bank could somehow figure out how to give you what is in your account……that they can’t access because the server for their computerized records isn’t operable…..if it isn’t fried. Of course, the good news might be that they won’t be able to tell how much you owe them either….. But what are we gonna do for a medium of exchange….assuming that you will have job without electricity….

Heat your house? Not a chance…..AC in the South? If you can’t live without AC, then you’d better pay attention here.

How many meals are there in your house right now? How would you get water if there wasn’t municipal water working. (or, if you have a well, no electricity)?

Yeah, you think you are prepared… have a generator. If it is natural gas powered, then you are screwed. 2 days, tops, then the natural gas pressure fails. Gasoline powered? You are only good for a few days, maybe a week tops. It is hard to store that much gasoline:  at best you can store it for 6 months. And that much gasoline is a real hazard.  Most air cooled gasoline engines are designed for rebuild or replacement after 250-400 hours of operation. Do you stock oil for the crankcase? How about oil filters? Air filters?   Diesel? Yeah, but how much fuel can you store? Same with propane. A few months, tops, if you are lucky, using those two last fuels. And that assumes that your gennie survives the EMP (mine will fail, but I have the parts stored to fix it, and it is diesel, and I keep enough fuel to run for about 4 hours a day for 180 days….. And I have lots of space….., but likely not enough fuel either)

Try an “experiment”….Some time soon (I highly suggest starting on a Friday night) turn off all your breakers that control everything except for your fridge and freezer (no sense in wasting all that food!). All of ’em. Turn off your gas, and turn off your water. If you really want a lesson, use no food that was trucked to your location or stored at any point using electricity to keep it fresh…..

Think about it. Yer gonna get hungry quickly, thirsty too. Yer house is gonna start to smell….You are going to get either cold or hot, depending on your location (maybe both). Life isn’t going to be comfortable. I’ll bet that few people will be able to deal with it for 12 hours, much less a weekend….and a significant part of that time you will likely be sleeping.

Now think about the fact that farmers need fuel for their tractors and harvesting equipment. Drying the grain so it doesn’t mold or otherwise spoil. Fertilizer is trucked in, as is seed grain (few modern high yield hybrid grains will germinate a second generation). Fuel to bring that food to a distribution point. Fuel for you to get to that point and to bring you and it home…..Some means of exchange so you can purchase that food…..Starting to get the idea yet?

It isn’t all bad news though. Would the US be able to deal with large scale EMP damage? Yep. We are, despite the fact that we are spoiled, a resilient people. Some folks might die (hopefully not many), and many would live only because the government would feed and house them. Whether that would include you would depend a lot on your state of preparedness.You can decide today if you want to live in a government shelter…under authoritarian rule…or not. Will you go when you get hungry enough? How about when your kids get hungry?

The only difference between most people and those who were forced to shelter in the Superdome during and after Katrina is a matter of degree. Few people have enough preparation for a serious event. You may have financial means to deal with the problems, and insurance to recover your losses, but what if there is little food or no decent shelter without electricity and no infrastructure for you to access those finances? And nothing that you can spend that money on to change your situation!  Seriously. All the money in the world won’t help if there is nothing to buy. And, of course, such an event would bankrupt the insurance folks….

It’s not all bad though.

Things would begin to get better after a few months. Most of the infrastructure will still be there. The wires and the power plants will, for the most part, still exist. So the only thing we will need to replace would be the control circuitry and the transformers. Maybe a few switches. You flat screen will likely be toast, as will your telephone and internet and the computer on your desk. But we can live without those. In a few months power will return, and things will, if not return to normal, at least return to livable. Some systems we can do without, some will be jury rigged. Food and fuel distribution will return, in some form.

But you’d better be self sufficient for a few months, maybe better 6 or more. If you have a house with a basement or a garage, you can easily do it. If you live in an apartment, you can rent a storage garage for a few bucks a month. You might even have one already. How far is it from where you live?

Sometime later, I think I’ll discuss the issues with the fact that people are people. Human nature being what it is, and the issues with the thinness of the veneer of “civilized behavior” and the ramifications of that when our system of laws and governance (which are fueled by, or at least aided by, electricity and energy) is in disrepair or inoperable due to lack of electricity and fuel….coupled with the fact that everyone will likely be hungry and thirsty……and have kids who are hungry and thirsty.  And how that, coupled with the fact that you have food and they don’t. can lead to…”issues”…. And how you can prepare for that.

Hope this made you think

2 thoughts on “It could happen:

  1. Great Book.. I highly recommend reading it. Although you never want to believe this will happen, the possibility of it happening is very real.

  2. I am an active couponer, and I often get food and health items for free or next to nothing…and I stockpile. I have many canned goods, Sterno, water, charcoal – you name it, I've got it.

    Too many people sniff dismissively at the idea of couponing and stockpiling, but it is an important subject i wish more people would take seriously. I'm ready to take care of my family. I wonder how many others can say the same. As long as my son still likes peanut butter, I'll have use for the 30+ containers I rotate through my stockpile…

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