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The military warns of what one would do to our society. Notably:

18 months or more are required to replace key elements of the electric grid that would be damaged or knocked out.

Could you survive 18 months?

15 Responses to “EMP”

  1. pkoning Says:

    Nope. Few of us could. Some Mormons, I expect. A fair number of Amish as well.
    Would this be confined to one country? If so, the most likely outcome is a mass refugee flow. If it’s most of the developed world, it suggests we’d be heading back to 500 AD or so, both as far as population and as far as technology goes. At best.

  2. Ravenwood Says:

    Where do they get 18 months? My guess is that when things become a priority, that 18 months would easily be shortened.

  3. Chris. Says:

    –Would this be confined to one country?–

    From the briefings I had from my military days in the 90’s; the radius of the EMP is based on altitude.

    and here’s a Map.

    So yes, escape to Mexico/Europe would be possible.

    —Where do they get 18 months? My guess is that when things become a priority, that 18 months would easily be shortened.— I would say that 18 Months is extremely optimistic. Remember, every car just died. (anything new than about 1990 – won’t run without it’s computer). Every computer, Every cell phone, and every cell phone tower- Every piece of infrastructure that requires an integrated circuit to run just died.

    Oh and your bank account? All the one’s and zero’s that make up your money. They just became all zero’s.(Unless there’s backups in Europe – Backups in the US would probably be rendered useless.)

  4. Ellen Says:

    I’m prepared to deal with a few days up to a month. That’s the sort of thing that can happen with storms, or when the power net throws a hissy fit. But I’m neither healthy nor young enough to forge a new life in the wilderness. Pity; I’m SCA, and when I was younger I knew enough about olden crafts to stand a chance.

  5. Joat Says:

    Ellen, your SCA comment reminded me of this song

  6. Andrew Says:

    When I was 18, I decided to get thyroid cancer.
    Since it got removed, I take a pill to live.
    My dose has changed over the years, but it’s basically 6 days a week now, with Sunday off.
    Refilling one day early a month would mean…
    I would have needed to start saving them over 40 years ago, and I’ve only been taking them for 22.

    Plus also, the pharmacy doesn’t exactly let me refill early every time.

    And that’s just the “medical part”.

    If I didn’t have that issue, let’s see, water, food, shelter, fuel to cook food, water to bathe with, something to defend said stuff…
    Kind of pointless.
    A month I could probably do.
    Maybe more, but at some point the neighbors will figure out my boy and I are both eating.

  7. ExpatNJ Says:

    1. “escape to Mexico/Europe would be possible”

    a. Possible, yes. But, how are you getting there? Most motor vehicles, aircraft and ships in USA that get EMP will be immobile. Do you expect “Mexico/Europe” to send rescue craft?
    b. While I am reluctant to tout the importance of the USA economy, its impact on economies of “Mexico/Europe” cannot be dismissed. IOW, if USA goes down, a lot more than USA goes down.

    2. “at some point the neighbors will figure out my boy and I are both eating”

    You can either bring them into your survivalist sphere and share, or discourage their interest in your food.
    Got gunz?

  8. dittybopper Says:

    Probably, yes. I’m mildly clever, and I’ve given the subject more thought than the vast majority of people out there, and I’m willing and able to exploit resources they probably don’t even know about.

    The trick is getting past the part where most of the people die. Once you aren’t competing with as many people for the available resources, you’re much better off.

    Oh, and you can’t really do it alone.

  9. nk Says:

    Scaaary! Will it animate the dead and will they try to eat us, too?

  10. pkoning Says:

    “Lucifer’s Hammer” will give some clues about what this would look like. Only worse, because there at least a fair amount of electronics still worked for a while.
    Some of us still have radios that don’t mind (ones with tubes). But it’s not just electronics since 1970, but rather since about 1960 — transistors too — that are gone. With some bad luck, motors with alternators or with electronic ignition are toast too. Classic DC generator and spark coil with points (or magneto or mechanical diesel) engines are still ok. Sufficiently old motorcycles with a kick starter, too. Small airplanes even.

  11. Sigivald Says:

    18 months with no society? No. Basically nobody will, honestly, short of farmers with lots of guns and friends.

    Without the power grid being stable and running well? Probably.

    I’m not really sanguine about the 18 month guesstimate being firm or well established; it’s not that kind of paper, and that reporting is kind of awful.

    (I’m not at all sure I trust the UCS to tell me anything about nuclear power honestly or fairly, either, though I certainly support EMP-hardened gensets for reactors, or fail-safe designs for new plants, but that’s on principle anyway.)

  12. Will Says:

    Figure 95% of all vehicles die instantly. Actually, that’s a big variable. Various tests are inconclusive. Too many variables to nail it down, but plan on them not being common.
    The death toll is expected to run about 90% total. Lots of variables for any location.
    If left alone, probably take a decade to get civilization jumpstarted.
    Odds of being left alone? Not good. Depends on whether other parts of the world get hit hard enough to discourage them from trying to colonize here.

    Depends on whether EMP or CME (a Carrington Event). A CME might take out the entire world, or just a major chunk of it. Another variable.

  13. Sigivald Says:

    Also, ref. above, note that “EMPs just destroy all electronics!!!” ain’t quite so.

    See this summation of Army testing of normal consumer vehicles against EMP.

    “No effects were subsequently observed in those automobiles that were not turned on during EMP exposure”

    And only one operating vehicle had permanent significant damage; most just needed to be restarted or a battery disconnect to reboot electronics.

    (“Based on these test results, we expect few automobile effects at EMP field levels below 25 kV/m. Approximately 10 percent or more of the automobiles exposed to higher field levels may experience serious EMP effects, including engine stall, that require driver intervention to correct. We further expect that at least two out of three automobiles on the road will manifest some nuisance response at these higher field levels”.

    25kV/m is about the middle of the road for a high-altitude nuke EMP, with the majority of the coverage of the continent from a maximum-coverage strike being 25kV/m or less.

    So you don’t need “mechanical only” to survive; very likely nothing will happen, or nothing much.)

  14. Ellen Says:

    Joat – I, too, thought of music:

  15. Tim Says:

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