EMP: An Elaborate Hoax or a Legitimate Threat?

(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you'll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

By the author of Be Ready for Anything and the online course Bloom Where You’re Planted

As a prepper and avid reader of post-apocalyptic fiction like One Second After, Alas Babylon, and Going Home, an EMP has long been on my mind as one of the most catastrophic threats we could face.

After reading numerous reports from the Congressional EMP Commission, I figured that the reality of such a threat was a given. So when I recently wrote about making Faraday cages, imagine my surprise when I saw this comment:

I appreciate the attempt to help people prepare for all kinds of disasters, but I’m going to have to throw a conversational bomb into this room, so to speak.

EMP is a total scam. See here: https://www.lewrockwell.com/2018/02/david-hathaway/emp-hoax/

Not only is EMP a scam, nuclear weapons are probably a scam. Certainly they were at the time of abhorrent and immoral destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, both cities victimized by fire bombing like all the other Japanese cities.

I suppose protection against lightning might be useful, a system of lightning rods being an alternative. I wouldn’t lose sleep at night over this EMP nonsense, especially when there are real dangers we face every day.

What?????

I was really surprised to see this. I went to read the article at the link and discovered the author of it had written an entire book on the topic called EMP Hoax. The book had a forward written by Lew Rockwell, for whom I have the deepest respect. Mr. Rockwell wrote of a nuclear detonation over the Pacific Ocean in 1962:

One purpose of the blast was to study the impact, if any, of Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) effects. One incident is alleged to show such effects. Based on this incident, the government concluded that hostile powers could use EMPs to disable the electronic infrastructure of our country. Even after the Cold War ended, the government has continued to tout the threat posed by EMPs.

Hathaway comments: “The alleged incident happened on the island of Oahu which is made up of the City and County of Honolulu. This incident has developed a cult following within the EMP science community. The incident allegedly involved blown fuses in a small number (less than 1%) of street light strings. It has been trotted out for decades as the single definitive proof of EMP effects on power grid and long-wire infrastructure.”

Hathaway isn’t convinced. He presents a painstaking discussion of the incident, subsequent investigations, and the science behind EMP effects. He writes clearly about complicated science, and his conclusion is backed by abundant evidence: “EMP is a ridiculous notion; one that we are supposed to give up our money, our common sense, and our freedom to validate. From the state’s perspective, there is always some area of life where people haven’t yet developed the proper level of panic to make them tolerate the forced filling of state coffers in relation to that area. There is always something new to fear that the public can’t quite grasp without the government to ratchet up its fears.”

David Hathaway deserves our gratitude for his excellent and timely account of a little-known propaganda campaign by the State.” (source)

So with this in mind, I spent the weekend doing some research on the topic.

Some mainstream outlets concur that EMP is not a legitimate threat.


Vice interviewed an analyst from Stratfor about how concerned we should be about an EMP. The analyst was pretty thorough, and concluded that he believed it was “not impossible” but “unlikely.”

It’s not that EMPs are not a threat. It’s just that—although the effect would be massive—currently they’re not really a risk apart from nuclear strikes, so highlighting them as the greatest threat there is might not be entirely realistic…

…When we’re talking about realistic versus unrealistic threats, currently generating an EMP with a nuclear weapon is the most feasible way to do it. Homebuilt EMP weapons aren’t very feasible. The cost you would put into building such a system versus the benefit that you would actually gain is very, very impaired…

…Besides the weight, and the cost of whatever you use to generate that kind of electricity—a capacitor, a large amount of batteries, or whatever power generation method—the cost would be so high, but the damage you can do with it would be so limited, that other much cheaper methods might be more efficient when it comes to damaging the area that you’re targeting. (source)

Larry Kummer of FabiusMaximus.com believes the threat of EMP is pure propaganda and points out that the naysayers don’t get press but there are plenty of them out there. He wrote:

The threat of EMP’s has been debunked many times. But only in the back pages. Experts know that speaking against the fear narratives gets one blackballed from the defense gravy train and blacklisted by journalists. Only the threat mongers, the warmongers, get attention.

The Wall Street Journal shows how the propaganda narrative works. There is a large body of analysis showing that the EMP threat is grossly exaggerated, especially versus the serious ones we face. For details see these posts about EMPs: Electromagnetic Pulse Weapons, generating waves of fear in America for 20 years and Renowned Physicists Cast Doubt on Gingrich’s Far-Fetched Scenario about EMP weapons. None of this appears in the WSJ, who give only the warnings. Some examples…

Then, Mr. Kummer rightly points out the threat of solar flares and other space weather events, which would wreak similar havoc to our electronics. He concludes, “Since natural threats don’t have anything like the military-industrial complex to shill for them, we remain vulnerable to events certain to occur eventually.”

Matthew Gault from War is Boring calls EMP an “overrated threat.” He interviewed cybersecurity expert Peter Singer, who had a LOT to say about his feeling that an EMP strike was unlikely. Here are some of the highlights from that interview.

“There’s this irony of the people who think it’s serious not realizing that they’re the joke,” he explained. “When you walk through the actual scenarios of use, it doesn’t pass the logic test.”

…Setting aside the geopolitical gymnastics that must occur to lead to that kind of exchange, if a foreign power detonated a 100 or more kiloton in an electromagnetic attack on America, then the world is at war and there’s little strategic benefit for the aggressor to not just go ahead and nuke a city.

“It doesn’t mean it can’t happen,” Singer told me. “But if the other side is using EMPs we’re moving into thermonuclear war.”

“A weapon of mass destruction is preferable to a weapon of mass disruption,” Butt explained. “A state would be highly unlikely to launch an EMP strike from their own territory because the rocket could be traced to the country of origin and would probably result in nuclear or massive conventional retaliation by the U.S.”

…However, we don’t know what the effects of an EMP might be. Studies conducted by both the Soviet Union and the United States during the Cold War produced dramatically different results every time.

An electromagnetic pulse is a highly unpredictable side effect of a predictably horrifying weapon. “It’s not a weapon we’ve seen past use of. Ever. Literally ever. Nor tests of,” Singer said. (source)

Patrick Disney of The Atlantic calls the hullabaloo a “campaign to terrify” us about the threat of an EMP and says it all goes back to the money trail of increased ballistic missile defenses. He believes the threat is unlikely to occur because of its unpredictable nature.

It may be that a terrorist, after going through the trouble of acquiring a nuclear warhead and a missile capable of delivering it to America’s shores, would be a fool to employ the ultimate weapon in such a cockamamie fashion. The effects of an EMP are far from universal; according to one commissioned study, a best-case scenario would impact 70 percent of electronics, while a worst-case estimate could be as low as 5 percent. Far better from the terrorist’s perspective to deliver the bomb as it was intended, rather than hang his hopes on a series of unpredictable events and second- or third-order consequences. After all, a nuclear bomb need not be made any more devastating to serve a terrorist’s purposes.

A slightly more plausible scenario could involve a state actor who, facing a vastly superior U.S. military massed on its border, might consider launching an EMP attack against U.S. troops as a way of evening the playing field. Because the U.S. military is much more highly dependent on technology than others, a rogue state facing the threat of invasion could conceivably attempt such a tactic against invading forces in the hopes that it could damage their capabilities without incurring the totally devastating retaliation that a “regular” nuclear strike would surely provoke. Of course, a wide-ranging EMP would knock out his own electronics as much as it would anyone else’s, so even this scenario is a bit far-fetched. (source)

These are all valid arguments. If a country or a group of terrorists acquired the nuclear capability to set off an EMP above America, would they do that even if they weren’t positive it would work? The retaliation if it didn’t work – heck, even if it DID work – would be formidable and thorough.

But all this doesn’t mean an EMP strike is impossible.


While it is possible we may be getting played by the fearmongers, it still doesn’t mean that a disaster that would take out our grid is impossible. It doesn’t mean that people who are preparing with Faraday cages and long-term supplies are being silly.

First of all, these preps will help us through a wide variety of disasters. The protected electronics would see us through a space weather event, and the other preps would help us through anything from World War 3 to a raging pandemic. I’ve mentioned my own plan to prep low-tech because it’s budget-friendly and it will get us through many different emergencies. There are all sorts of reasons the grid could be down for an extended period of time. Look no further than Puerto Rico to see that is a fact.

And furthermore, regarding an EMP, we simply don’t know what it would do because it has never happened.

I reached out to Dr. Arthur T. Bradley and asked him about his thoughts on whether an EMP was a legitimate threat or a gigantic hoax. Dr. Bradley is an electrical engineer at NASA and has done a lot of scholarly research on the possibilities of EMP and space weather events. He’s a prolific author and his book Disaster Preparedness for EMP Attacks and Solar Storms is a classic that belongs on every prepper’s bookshelf. (Find all of his books here.) Needless to say, Dr. Bradley is a pro and knows that of which he speaks.

Here’s his very thorough answer:

To address whether or not an EMP is a scam, we should first ask what it is we’re wanting to deny. An EMP is simply a broadband electromagnetic pulse. Such a pulse can be created by the sudden release of energy, such as a spark gap or on a larger scale, a bolt of lightning. Likewise, a very large explosion can release an EMP due to gamma rays ionizing nearby air molecules. EMPs from these events are well understood, and there are countless technical papers addressing the phenomenon. Even without expert confirmation, most people have experienced the phenomenon when their radio, phone, or TV suddenly “pops” when a bolt of lightning strikes nearby. Simply put, to say that “EMP is a scam” is to deny science.

The real question at hand is are the effects of a nuclear-generated EMP really as significant as people claim. The short answer to that is no one knows for sure. The US government observed EMPs during nuclear testing in the 60’s, such as during the Starfish experiments, and it was identified as a possible weapon to disrupt an enemy’s infrastructures. The Russians also did extensive EMP testing during the same period, including the Soviet Test 184 in 1962 that caused extensive damage on the ground, including destroying the Karaganda power plant.

The US Air Force later built a very large $60 million wooden structure, known as ATLAS-I (aka Trestle), to study how best to harden systems against an EMP. More recently, the government commissioned a group of technical experts to assess the nation’s vulnerabilities to such an attack.

This council was known as the EMP Commission and issued a Critical National Infrastructures Report in April of 2008. In it, the commission discussed in detail how the nation’s critical infrastructures and citizens could be disrupted by a high-altitude nuclear-generated EMP, and the feasibility of hardening military and civilian systems. The EMP Commission was later reestablished in 2006 to make specific recommendations on reducing our susceptibilities.

Their conclusion was that an EMP “has the capability to produce significant damage to critical infrastructures that support the fabric of U.S. society and the ability of the United States and Western nations to project influence and military power,” and “damage to or loss of these components could leave significant parts of the electric power grid out of service for months to a year or more.” The loss of electricity would lead to the subsequent disruption of every other infrastructure, including food and water distribution, telecommunications, banking, transportation, emergency services, government, and energy production.

Whether or not the commission’s assessments would prove accurate is impossible to say, since no country has ever suffered a wide-scale EMP attack. What can be said is that a group of highly-trained experts commissioned by the government came to some very dire conclusions about the effects of an EMP attack. 

So can it happen? We have a very decisive agreement on “maybe.”

My own conclusion? Keep prepping.


After reading all of this, it’s pretty clear that nobody knows for sure whether an EMP attack is likely or would work as an enemy might hope. There is compelling evidence from both sides of the argument that leave us up in the air.

As a prepper who wants to be ready for everything, here’s my advice.

An EMP that takes the grid down indefinitely is only one possibility among many others that could cause a long-term power outage.

So obviously, this isn’t an “it can never happen” scenario. Being ready for a long-term power outage and shutdown of the supply line is just common sense.

The twist of an EMP is that it would be longer-term and you can protect some of your devices from such an event. Faraday cages would also protect your electronics from a solar event. A Faraday cage is simple and inexpensive to make (learn how here) and the devices you would protect would be things that you would use anyway in certain types of emergencies, like communications devices, a backup laptop, and solar chargers. So, really, it isn’t costing you very much extra money to additionally make some preparations for the possibility that an EMP could occur.

As far as low-tech, off-grid systems, I think they’re a good idea for all sorts of reasons. Here are a few examples:

  • When I lived in the boondocks, I had no washing machine at my house. Having a backup way to do laundry helped me lengthen the time between my one-hour drive each way to the laundromat.
  • Having solar chargers and lights have been nothing but helpful in power-outage situations.
  • I yearn for solar panels on my roof to reduce my electric bill and decrease my dependence on public utilities.
  • California has had rolling power outages for years to manage the extra demand for power in the heat of summer – wouldn’t off-grid supplies make that more comfortable?

None of these preps are outrageous and most are very multipurpose. I think it’s very important to diversify your basic preps to see you through a wide variety of emergencies, and the potential (or lack thereof) of an EMP is no different.

What do you think?

Are you preparing for the possibility of an EMP? Do you think it’s a hoax or a possibility that we could face an EMP attack? Share your thoughts below.

EMP: An Elaborate Hoax or a Legitimate Threat?
Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Leave a Reply

  • I don’t when, or if ever, any particular event will happen, but I prepare for anything. The Faraday cages Daisy described and the books describe are relatively cheep and easy to do. Why not!

    You will find naysayers on most topics. Like the idiots that say we never went to the moon. I remember those days clearly. We went.

  • Interesting article. Take EMP out the equation and the Electric Grid is still our technological achilles heel. A coordinated terrorist attack on the power infrastructure is a very real threat. What I found very interesting in the “Assessing the threat from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) ” Executive report dated July 2017 on page two was that the information of the DOD is still classified. “In the absence of an unclassified, well-informed U.S. late-time (E3) EMP threat specification, electric utilities, electrical equipment manufacturers and electric research institutes have articulated their inability to design appropriate countermeasures and to justify cost recovery for capital investment programs”
    Without knowing the data, how can they harden the grid effectively? The report is in the following article by the Washington Examiner https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/emp-commission-warns-blackout-of-electricity-food-water-to-last-year-or-longer-huge-death-toll

    • You know what is annoying about this? It’s TRIVIAL to make counter measures. I’m an electrical engineer, and I’m going to quickly explain how this can EASILY be fixed and should have been fixed, 60 years ago.

      Let me start by explaining how a simple electrical generator works. You have a coil of wire, and when you have a fluctuating magnetic field near this, it induces a current. This is what an EMP does, it creates a sudden magnetic field, and when the magnetic field crosses a loop of wire, it induces a current, and you have MILES of wire in the electrical grid. It’s essentially one giant loop.

      So – how would you fix this? In the simple example of the generator I made with just a coil of wire, how would I cancel the effect of a magnetic field? You have TWO coils of wire, wound in the OPPOSITE direction. This will cause one coil to generate electricity in one direction, and the other coil to generate electricity in the opposite direction.

      How would you apply this to the electrical grid? In the transmissions lines, you have to cross the wires periodically. That’s it. This could have been easily done as the electrical grid was being built because MOST of it was built AFTER the Trinity Test. Wouldn’t have drastically increased cost to do this either. Barely would have changed it a bit.

      • Interesting reply. Is there a practical application of this ‘fix’ for an individual home owner to protect say a 100′ deep well with a .75hp submersible pump? Or perhaps other important circuits necessary for survival such as refrigeration, and communication?
        Thank you kindly, Mac

  • Thank you Daisy for another well researched, well written and thought provoking article! Personally, I just went through four multi-day power outages in a six week period this winter. Thank God it wasn’t as cold as it might have been because we have electric heat in our apartment complex and it was bad enough! Because I prep I had a stern camp stove and canned food that I could heat quickly; having hot food and beverages made a world of difference. I don’t think an EMP is the most likely of scenarios, but someone hacking the power grid or some weather related outage causing a cascading power failure with damage to the existing (and weakened) infrastructure is not only possible but probable. Best to be ready for anything to the best of one’s ability.

  • Problem: there are sheeple out there that have to write doom and gloom. Then they sit back and laugh at the people. I have been reading this dren for years and pay no attention to it. BUT I am prepared

  • I have a dragon repelling device. I will sell it to the DOD for a billion dollars. It’s been working well up to now.

    It is equal in value to the anti-ballistic missile defense systems the USA has spent billions developing.

    That’s the thing about anti-missile / anti-armageddon systems: if they fail in actual use, congress will only have about 30 minutes to launch an investigation into military contractor fraud, before said failure buries all the evidence, along with most of civilization…

    • “if they fail in actual use, congress will only have about 30 minutes to launch an investigation into military contractor fraud”

      they’re not worried about that. at all.

      that should tell you something.

  • If there was an atomic bomb exploded over a nation or a battleground theater, it would likely be a precursor to a much larger attack. We will have other things on our plate. My Nintendo not working would be the least of my worries. Read the “Space Weather” website for a while, and you will realize there are many non-nuclear solar events that can and do occur that cause such effects. One coronal mass ejection hitting earth dead on can mess up communications, knock out satellites, and damage power grids. This has happened many times, but the effects are capricious.

  • The threat of a nuclear EMP may be over-rated, but the repeat of a Carrington Event (1859) is real. A huge coronal mass ejection (CME) created a solar flare of such magnitude that telegraph lines acted as, and amplified, the electromagnetic pulse that shocked telegraph operators and set telegraph offices on fire.

    Today’s electrical grid would amplify this many times more. Such solar flares occur about every 150 years. We’re overdue for another one.

  • Some things to think about:

    1. Iran has done missile tests where the missile reached maximum altitude and exploded. They referred to these tests as ‘successful’.

    2. North Korea has functioning nuclear weapons, but do not have a multi-stage rocket and re-entry shielding to get a warhead into the US.

    3. North Korea has two satellites in orbit that are at the right altitude for an EMP attack on the US. No one knows what these satellites are for, what they contain, or even why they are there.

    4. SCUD missiles are available in the general military weaponry market. They can reach an altitude sufficient to detonate an effective EMP (in theory, if EMP is real).

    5. Iran has been testing launching missiles from shipping containers on a cargo ship. Again, exploding at max altitude is considered a success.

    6. Buy 3 SCUDS, get 3 NORK nukes mounted into those SCUDS, put them in shipping containers, and put the containers on three different cargo ships. Have one ship off the N. Carolina coast, one in the Gulf of Mexico and one off the N. Cali cost. Launch all three missiles at the same time; detonate over the US. You can guess the results. Scuttle the ships so that there is no evidence of where the attack came from, who did it and where to send the nuclear retaliation.

    I agree with Daisy; get a Faraday cage or two, and put some essential electronic spares in them.

    • In line with RayK’s comments, ISIS hates us, is not contained within one set fixed border, (like the US, like Mexico) so to what geographical point would you retaliate? They have demonstrated the ability to acquire cash in massive amounts, so they could easily partner with one of the above countries. And they attack America, and really devastate us, or simply greatly annoy us. Either way, it would make a great ISIS recruitment video.

  • Daisy,
    Your piece on the threat of an EMP is brilliant. Thanks for your even handed assessment.
    When I operated DestinySurvival.com and did interviews with various guests about the EMP threat, I got mixed answers; but I came away with the notion that maybe things wouldn’t be as bad as some are telling us. Not every device containing electronics would be adversely affected, and perhaps the geographic area affected would be limited.
    Some months ago I saw a video on YouTube, which I wouldn’t know how to find now; but it caused me to rethink the EMP threat. This man, whose name I don’t remember, claimed the big solar event of 1859 either didn’t happen, or it didn’t happen as we were told. As you know, much about the perceived danger of an EMP hinges on that event and how it might affect us with today’s technology.
    I could say more, but your advice is sufficient and sound.
    Keep up the good work.

  • Thanks for that bit of commonsense. As an electrical engineer and having watched just about every declassified archival nuke test video available on YouTube I have to say the threat of EMP is greatly over hyped . Let’s face it, all the nukes in the world can’t compete with one big solar flare with coronal mass ejection. We’ve had several of those just last year and aside from a few satellites that had to be rebooted, we on earth suffered no noticeable disruptions. While anything is always possible, to me this possibility is very low on my list of concerns.

  • I’m firmly in the camp that prepping for an EMP makes sense, because it requires so little extra effort….think of it as a prepper version of Pascal’s Wager. For the cost of some aluminum foil, a couple of galvanized trash cans and a roll of aluminum tape, I can protect the flashlights, radios, civil defense meters and solar chargers that I have to store anyway for other disasters.
    And to all the “experts” dismissing the idea of nuclear EMP – they seem to have a blind spot that it has to be delivered by ballistic missile. I’m more concerned with satellites from rogue nations. In fact when North Korea started lofting satellites into stable orbits is when I got serious about checking my faraday cages and sealing them up.
    As to the folks who deny that nuclear bombs exist (like the person you were quoting to start this article), I say, do some research and don’t believe every conspiracy site you visit. Heck, TV viewers in Los Angeles back in the 50s had two chances to see atomic bombs detonated live on TV! https://www.wired.com/2010/02/0201ktla-atomic-test/

  • Here’s my question:
    All those nuclear tests and all that recording equipment, and they got a lot of data using electronic devices, most of which were not inside Faraday cages. Tells me that most electronic devices don’t care about a nuke blast, or even a thermonuke blast.

    • Those tests were monitored with equipment that used vacuum tubes, not transistors or integrated circuits.

    • It might tell us that but we now have many electronic devices that are operated by micro-processors that use tiny amounts of electricity. Those tiny circuits do not do well when a current is induced in them that is several times or more what they are designed to handle. The word “POOF!” comes to mind. Since almost everything is controlled by micro-processors of various kinds these days, any EMP that could induce an unexpected current in them could easily damage or destroy such fragile circuits.

    • At the time, all the monitoring equipment had vacuum tubes, not transistors, integrated circuits and microprocessors.

  • One other thing, nuclear blasts are spherically symmetric. Any large fields generated on one side will be cancelled by an opposite field on the opposite side. That’s why there are pretty much zero radiative losses in transmission lines, and in twisted-pair lines as the current in adjacent lines runs in opposite directions, thus cancelling out any radiation.
    Anybody with anything to say about this that has at least a PhD in EE or physics should comment on this.

  • Excellent article. Ive done a lot of research on emp and have never seen any other article as well investigated as this. Thank you so much. I wish the newspapers presented both sides of eeverything like this.

  • Daisy,
    Great article, Good research. I agree that no one knows for sure and that preparing for a worst case catastrophic disaster puts anyone in a better position to survive and help others if so inclined.
    1979 was the year I became aware of Nuclear weapon generated EMP and the possible effects it could have on electronics. It concerned me so much that I went to my Commanding Officer and the XO and laid out my concern for the electronics on the Submarine I was assigned to. Big question from them was “What can be done to safe guard the electronics”? I didn’t know but I thought they would know. They didn’t know and since I had come up with this problem I was tasked with finding a solution that would work and not cost the U S Navy a ton of $$$$$$$$$$$. I was given 6 weeks. I researched all the available data on the effects of Nuc’s and presented a protection plan within the required time frame that at the time would cost the NAVY less than a $100 for each Submarine.
    The point of this little tale is that I am prepared, the effects were well known and the ability to shield from those effects is also well known. So I even today I teach family and friends how to protect vital electronics and it cost them little ( about $25 )
    My best to you and all out there who might be a little concerned.

  • Meanwhile, let them argue back and forth. It costs very little for a prepper to be prepared for the worse. If it never happens, great. If it does, then at least the prepper and his family have been protected. Unfortunately, the naysayers who laugh and taunt the prepper community will literally be left in the dark to perish. That is the truly unfortunate result. So instead, our government, whom unfortunately we cannot depend on, should be helping by instructing our nation on how to prep. Not how to shove their heads in the sand.

  • “Lights Out” by Ted Koppel is a good read on EMPs. Very well researched and includes much information.

  • The earth has already been hit with a powerful EMP event, the Carrington Event of 1859.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_storm_of_1859

    This event cause telegraph wires to melt and equipment to burst into flames. Telegraph operators also received severe electric shocks. Fortunately, there weren’t many electrical devices or systems operating in 1859. Today, of course, everything is dependent on electricity. Once the grid goes down there’d be no lights, no heating, no cooking, refrigeration, water pumping or sewage management. Back to the stone age.

    A similar event happen in Quebec Canada in 1989, although it was not as strong.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_1989_geomagnetic_storm

    While a nuclear attack seems like an unlikely method of eliminating the electrical grid, a massive solar flare directly hitting the earth would do it. The thing most people don’t know is that when a portion of the power grid does go down it takes a massive amount of power coming from other sections to reboot the failed portion. If the entire grid is down (and damaged) then where does the reboot come from?

    An other concern is damage to or destruction of the Large Power Transformers. These are critical devices designed to regulate the power supply within the grid and can take up to 2 years to build (if the factory is still operating and there’s a transportation network still around to deliver them).

    http://energyskeptic.com/2015/power-transformers-that-take-up-to-2-years-to-build/

    Always have a manual backup to any electric device or system.

    • Thanks for mentioning the Carrington Event. That pretty much ends the argument against EMP’s being phony. Whether a nuke produces a sufficient pulse to take out a wide area remains to be seen, however I have read the Russians have developed a special nuke to increase that effect.

      The other thing that can happen that nobody talks about is if our physics change. It’s totally possible that one day electricity just might not work anymore. I highly recommend “Dies the Fire” 1st book of the Emberverse series. It goes into detail about the scene when that happens.

    • Just a minor quibble – nuclear EMP theoretically will fry all the unshielded computer chips, diodes and other solid state electronics within the effective footprint of the attack (usually line of sight, but maybe smaller for low yield nukes.) A geomagnetic storm from a coronal mass ejection induces large ground currents which will damage the transformers that make the grid work. Basically, the ground currents will induce direct current voltages on long wire runs, say power lines…and if the system isn’t designed to eliminate that then when it hits the transformers that are designed for alternating current are damaged – they can’t take large DC voltages. A geomagnetic storm can’t fry your cellphone, but it could fry the repeaters since those cellular towers are powered usually by long electrical lines that are tied into the grid.
      Mitigation for geomagnetic storms: unplug from your electrical outlets and retract or disconnect any antennas – please note that with the solar observation satellites we’ll have hours or maybe days of warning before a CME can hit and cause a geomagnetic storm.
      Mitigation for EMP attack: have your gear shielded BEFORE the attack, since there will most likely be no warning.

  • Pretty dumb to doubt the EMPs. The 10 megaton explosion of a bomb not even optimized for EMP and set off at ground level not in the ionosphere where signal is magnified blew out 7 AMP fuses over 900 miles away. To put this in perspective a computer chip is fried by about 1 MilliAMP – a signal well less than a thousandth the test bomb generated at 900 miles. In that era we did not have microcomputers. In this age all our computers, cars, household devices, power network controls, pretty much everything uses milliamp chips. One bomb that size ignited over Kansas would stop every car, wipe out the electrical grid, wipe every computer, from coast to coast extending down to Mexico city and north of Ottawa.

  • Daisy,
    I am in your camp regarding the possibility and concept of either a strong solar flare as happened in 1859 doing severe damage to our electrical grid in present day event. Some nit-wit country may still try to knock us back to the 19th century with a HEMP or several across our hemisphere. While traveling through the NE last month by Amtrak, I saw many fields of solar farms and new factories covered with panels. My one concern I have with panels, wouldn’t the panels be shorted out by the EMP flash?

    • I think it was the Swiss who did a study on the affects of a EMP on solar panels. The panels themselves survived just fine.
      It was the electronics in the inverters that got fried.

      I am with Daisy on this one: Go low-tech from the word go. I do not see it as economically feasible to go all those lengths to try to maintain a lifestyle that maybe gone for the rest of my lifetime.
      I am going to be more interested in spending time growing as much food as I can than put the time and energy in making a electronic gadget work.

  • You have got to be kidding me…I will not elaborate or expand on my background, but suffice to say that I have a Faraday cage for my critical electronics and communication gear because I am retired DOD/DARPA . I can tell you that in this instance, Chicken Little is absolutely right. Besides, what happens with CME? That’s just the longwave component. Really? A hoax?

  • Any potential damage that might originate from an EMP can be totally prevented by simply disconnecting and grounding the antenna that would absorb and carry the pulse into the device at threat.

    • That would work for for a geomagnetic storm, but it’s not going to help against a nuclear EMP. The pulse from a nuclear EMP will be enough to fry microchips that aren’t shielded over a large area (possibly over almost all of the lower 48 states in a worst case scenario.) For that (unless the device is built to military protection standards), you’re going to want to keep any spares inside a faraday cage just to be safe.

  • I am a retired Marine Corps ordnance/munitions tech, if EMP’s are a scam or hoax why does the US military and NATO spend billions building munitions bunkers with a integral copper grid system designed to protect ordnance from EMP? Why are our missiles, ect designed to withstand the same? Do your research please, bad information gets people killed…

  • Here’s my out-of-the-box thought on this matter: For any hypothetical avenue of attack, I wouldn’t consider it a credible threat to the United States unless the United States had already used it against another country. Put another way, if it were possible to deliver EMP in a destructive manner, the US would already have done it to somebody else. A-bombs? Drones? Agent Orange? Stuxnet? We did them all to someone else first. Think about it.

  • To tie in to another topic, once an EMP knocks out the electrical grid the clock starts ticking on nuclear reactor meltdowns. The generators can only run so long, and only if they have fuel, fuel pumps or systems still operating to keep then running.

    A great series to watch are the “Life After People” shows from the History Channel.

    https://topdocumentaryfilms.com/life-after-people/

    These episodes show the dangerous conditions that are threatening the planet should technology fail. Once all the generators, cooling pumps and pressurization tanks fail not only will nuclear energy explode out of the power plants but also chemical plants, oil refineries and fuel dumps. Being anywhere downwind from one of these would kill you.

    Unfortunately, I think a lot of people feel that once civilization crashes and you get through the “lawless Mad Max” period that things will revert to a “Little House on the Prairie ” lifestyle. All those chemical poisons will eventually go somewhere when the containment systems fail, either into the air, your groundwater, the soil, and then into you.

  • Of course, it’s an elaborate hoax. The government depends on electricity [for their surveillance grid and cell towers] too much. They won’t let it fail or something to get in the way.

    Also, guess what else is an elaborate hoax. Nuclear bombs. Read about it. Civilian nuclear power is real, however. It’s the whole bomb thing. Yes, that terror weapon used to frighten people around the planet with extermination. Just another fraud perpetrated upon mankind.

  • One IMPORTANT thing was not talked about.. North Korea has two satellites orbiting America and each one has a nuclear payload. So they could detonate them at just the right position over America and cause a Massive EMP! And at orbit altitude the destruction would be wide spread.
    Also it doesn’t talk about the Carrington incident where a EMP melted all the copper telegraph wires back in the 1800’s . In today’s world that would have taken out all electronics!

  • Whether or not you believe nuclear bombs are real, EMP’s are real, Government conspiracies are real, etc, you should be aware of the industries and chemical plants around you. A storage tank failing at a chemical plant can send a toxic cloud across the ground killing everything in sight. If your homestead is 20 miles downwind you’re going to be hit.

    All those chemicals are going to go somewhere, and it may poison your area for years. Find out where the dangers are located in your area and whether you can defend against them. Otherwise, it may be best to move.

    http://lifeafterpeople.wikia.com/wiki/Toxic_Revenge

  • This report just showed up this morning:

    The Air Force released its 2018 Electromagnetic Defense Task Force report last week, which concluded that an electromagnetic pulse—generated either by a nuclear weapon or solar flare—could cripple systems that rely on the electromagnetic spectrum.

    https://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/john-venable/emp-would-devastate-us-power-grid

    We should also remember that in 1962 the US Joint Chiefs of Staff generated and signed off on Operation Northwoods, a plan to attack various American targets on US soil to be blamed on Castro in order to justify a full-scale invasion of Cuba. The only thing that killed the plan was President Kennedy’s refusal to go along with that false flag plan.

    Is it possible to with today’s technology, a false flag operation using a limited scale EMP, untraceable as to origin, might be used to justify whatever military adventure the MIC might envision?

    Nobody knows, but there is a long long history of the US lying its way into one war after another. From the non-existent WMDs of Iraq to the non-existent Gulf of Tonkin attacks to the years long effort of FDR to provoke the Japanese into a first strike on Pearl Harbor to the Wilson administration’s suppressing of Germany’s paid newspaper ads in this country warning Americans not to sail on the munitions-carrying Lusitania … we never seem to learn our lesson about almost always being lied to.

    –Lewis

  • I haven’t built a Faraday cage for my electronics yet. But I do have a question. I have a Mosler Office size safe, 4 x 3 x 4 feet outside slightly smaller inside (weighs about 500 lbs) fireproof. Will this work as a Faraday cage?

    • Yes, it probably would, but you’ll need to line it completely (all 6 internal faces) with cardboard (corrugated would be good), and use aluminum duct tape on the door edges to seal the gaps.

      Cheapest way from scratch is a 30 gal galvanized trash can, lined with cardboard, and lid sealed with aluminum tape.

      I’ve got two cans, one for batteries, NVG and IR gear and walkie-talkies, the other for my ham gear and drone.

  • Only one commenter has even mentioned the 1859 Carrington Event, caused by a CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) from the Sun. But the activity of our sun can get much, much more devastating than that at cyclic intervals.

    If you become fearful easily you might be better off disregarding this comment and moving on.
    In the 1940s the Americans sent an Air Force Scientific Team team led by a Major Maynard E. White to investigate possible movement of the earth’s magnetic poles. His son later wrote a book about his father’s discoveries titled World In Peril which I have discovered is downloadable without charge from the Wayback Machine website archive.org. What they found was not at all comforting. They concluded that the poles did not merely move a little but moved over great distances and that upon their meeting a point would be reached where they would swing back with great rapidity. They are moving now at several miles per year.
    There was speculation that under these circumstances, given the great speed of spin of the earth a dislocation of the earth’s tectonic plates could occur and give rise to a great cataclysm including a tsunami of unimaginable ferocity. However, even Einstein, at that time, declared himself unable to make adequate calculations about likelihood and consequences.
    In 1964 Chan Thomas published a book, The Adam & Eve Story. The CIA had a convulsion and declared it Classified. More recently they released a redacted version of the first chapter only. Lately an unredacted copy has become available without charge on the pdfdrive.com website. Thomas’ writings in this book may, to my mind, have provided an additional spur for the moon landings. The book predicted huge solar flare or mini-nova, magnetic pole reversal at high speed and tectonic plate dislocation involving cataclysm beyond biblical proportions
    When man landed on the moon heat scarred areas were found which were not the result of meteor hits but which would appear to be the result of massive Solar Flare of some sort. Such heat scarred areas are also present on earth but on the moon there is no question of its source being human.

    Further persuasive evidence is provided by the fact that scientists have now identified a number of suns which undergo repeated ‘micro-novas’ at intervals. They think there may be a lot more such suns but they can only identify them when they repeat the process, which may in some cases be at intervals of thousands of years. They now think our own sun undergoes a superflare or mini-nova at intervals of something in the order of 12,500 years. The exact link with magnetic pole reversal cannot yet be stated with certainty. They also had been thinking that the next ‘re-set’ of our planet could be arriving anytime from now but within the next 2,000 years. But the movement of the ‘Galactic Sheet’ and its interaction with Barnards Star and Alpha Centauri have led to opinions that it could arrive at our own sun and provoke spectacular activity possibly as early as 2046, although nothing is confirmed yet. This would explain why many governments have been industriously busying themselves constructing underground shelters of huge capacity. Even little Finland has one. It may be that most of them would be destroyed but if even a few of them survive we, as a species, would be able to find a way to carry on. I imagine, however, that it would be unlikely that we ordinary mortals will be allocated a place in one of these shelters. It might be helpful if I add that our ancestors may have faced the problem of cosmic rays penetrating a weak magnetic field. Obviously at least some of them survived which is why you are reading this. An underground city of unknown antiquity was found in what is now Turkey, quite by chance. It is called Derinkuyu, so you can look it up quite easily. It was and is multi-level. It could house 20,000 people and their livestock and it had flat circular rock ‘doors’ that could be rolled into place to seal off sections. Around the Earth as a whole there are many hundreds of miles of ancient underground tunnels that were dug out in the past, and that is just the ones that have been found. It takes a lot of work to do this kind of thing so there was obviously a highly compelling reason for their construction. I doubt that they did this to create shelter from other marauding tribes. It would be much easier to build a castle than to tunnel out millions of cubic metres of rock.

    Tectonic Plate Dislocation would explain the occasional finding of out of place and time artefacts in seemingly impossible places like embedded in coal or stone deep undergound in mines which, if tectonic plate dislocation occurs, could have fallen down a resulting chasm which subsequently closed up again.
    It also would explain why archeologists have found seemingly inexplicable evidence of previous civilisations of sophisticated ability in the far distant past which vanished apart from their stonework, fashioned and moved around in ways we cannot fathom or reproduce even today with all our modern technology. If you are not familiar with this have a look at this for starters https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxuiB1vhDjM&t=486s on the UnchartedX YouTube Channel.
    There are videos on the SuspiciousObservers Youtube Channel which contain more information about current magnetic pole movement and solar activity, etc.

    There is now a great deal of information about this. You may have wondered sometimes when you have looked at videos on Youtube that show huge pieces of beautifully carved and incredibly heavy ancient masonry that are strewn broken across the landscape as if by a mighty backhand blow, just what could have done that. If not have a look at the UnchartedX youtube channel. There is a clear answer, but it may make you feel a little fearful. And yes, it is provoked by the natural cycles of the Sun and it is thought to happen approximately every 12,500 years and it is expected to repeat soon, perhaps as soon as 2046. You will find a lot of information about this on the SuspiciousObservers Youtube channel, where you should scroll down and find the Earth Catastrophe Cycle playlist and watch as much of that as you can. You might not understand all of it, I certainly didn’t, but there is no doubting the main thrust of the evidence being offered up. Some of the videos offer advice on where the best spots on the globe are to take shelter and also give lists of potentially useful SHTF equipment to horde up. Personally I am too old and too unfit to be trying to find a cave up a mountain, and I will probably have passed on before it happens anyway, but if not I shall head for Gospel Pass, the highest road in Wales at 1800 odd feet above sea level and that will put the whole of the island of Ireland plus the other side of the Welsh Mountains between me and the Atlantic, and if that isn’t enough……well it’s just tough luck. If you happen to be in America I understand Pikes Peak would be quite a good bet. I think it is about 2 or 3 times the height of Gospel Pass. No doubt there are also others. Of course, if there is a massive x30+ Superflare there is always the possibility that it might eject from the sun in a direction that does not target Earth. Hold that thought!

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