When The Grid Goes Down...

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Jeremiah Johnson (nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces) via ReadyNutrition.com,

Let’s just say that the unthinkable becomes the real and happening.  Let’s take this article and go over it.  This will be a segment in three parts, the next ones being immediate actions taken at work and at home.  I’m hitting on traveling first, as there are so many vacationers jaunting around happily over the landscape.  All kidding aside, traffic is congested during the summer, extending traveling time on the commutes.  Let’s game the scenario, and here it is.

Here’s the scenario:

You’re cruising down the highway in your 2013 four-door sedan, having just dropped the kids off twenty minutes ago to the swim club.  Now you’re on the open highway with a heavy traffic flow…about 5 miles from the edge of town and 7 miles from work.  You’re listening to the radio, when suddenly it crackles and goes dead, along with your engine.  You look around and pumping the brakes manage to slow down and then drive off the road onto the shoulder, just feet away from the back bumper of another vehicle.


The vehicle comes to a stop, and you try the ignition again.  You look at your watch, a Casio G-Shock, to find there is no display.  You reach for your cell phone.  Nothing.  It’s dead.  There are perhaps a dozen cars around you…half to your front and half to your rear.  All of them have stopped, and most of the drivers have gotten out.  You hear the sound of an engine, and looking up, see a ’58 Ford pickup truck weaving in and out of the stalled traffic, moving toward your rear, away from town.  The book “One Second After” has just played out in real life.  The United States has been attacked by an EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) weapon.  You’re 15 miles from home, and the “S” has hit the fan.

On Friday 7/29/17, North Korea just successfully tested an ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) and experts from four different countries including the U.S. have determined that they have the capability of striking the U.S. anywhere.  That means the optimal point for an EMP strike (dead center of the continental U.S., at 300 km above ground) is not only their prime target but also attainable.

15 Tips to Get Safely Home Following an EMP

Back to our scenario.  Most will be clueless and unprepared.  Let’s do it up, down and dirty with the steps that you should take if you are “Citizen X” outlined in the scenario:

1. Have a plan already in place: That means to formulate one right now, if you haven’t already done so.

2. If there are a lot of people around, such as in the scenario, then immediately grab your gear and get out of there. What gear, you may ask?  We’ve “gamed” much of this to the point of nausea, but let’s list out those essentials:

“Go/Bug Out Bag”: This guy already needs to be packed and ready, in that vehicle that will become a 3,000-lb. paperweight. Three days’ supply of ready-to-eat food, one day’s worth of water and the means to filter more.  Compass, flashlight, knife, first aid kit, poncho, jacket/sweatshirt, extra socks, map, light sleeping bag, fire starting material, small fishing kit (hooks, line, bobber), sewing kit, MSW (Minor Surgical Wound) kit, extra cash ($20 denominations and smaller), ground pad, extra clothing (hat, OG bandana, etc.), and ammo. An EMP may be followed by radiological and nuclear consequences. Having an NBC gas mask and anti-radiation pills in your vehicle could be a lifesaver.

Weapon: Please don’t feed me “legal information,” or “I can’t do that in my state.” These are “sink or swim” rules.  If you don’t have a weapon now, you may not have one later.  If you don’t have the fortitude to take that weapon and be ready to use it when the time comes, then you probably won’t survive this or be able to help your family.  One rifle, one pistol, with ammo for each.

Grab that bag and put it on, securing your weapons. Then secure the vehicle, closing the windows and locking it up.  If nobody is around, throw it into neutral and push it off the road.  Camouflage it with branches and leaves…taking care not to cut them from the immediate area that you stash it.  Most likely it’ll be “violated,” so now is the time to take the stuff you need and get it out. If the scenario above applies, just secure the vehicle and get out of there.

3. Traveling: Do not walk on the roads. Skirt the road with about 50 meters (that’s about 150 feet) between you and the edge of the road.  Stay away from people unless you know them and trust them…both qualities are emboldened.

4. For metro people: If you are out in the suburbs or open road, and you must return to the city? It may be better for you and your family to arrange for a rallying point outside of the city.  If that isn’t possible, then you should exercise extreme caution.  Allow the nearest family member to secure the home and then wait for you.  Travel when it’s dark to be on the safe side.  Your visibility is cut down, and so is the visibility of those who may be hunting you.

5. Long distance to go? Forage along the way.  Refill your canteens/water bottles whenever you’re able, and take note of any freestanding water supplies or “blue” features (that’s the color of water on a military map) for use in the future.  DON’T MARK YOUR MAP!  If someone gets a hold of it, you do not want them to be able to find your home.  You must commit the route to memory and adjust your steps accordingly.

6. Dealing with the Stress of the Event: The power is not coming back on…ever…and it really has begun…the Day After Doomsday is here. Take a deep breath and concentrate on your training, your preparations.  If you don’t have any, then this piece is a wake-up call to get moving!  The best way to do it is immediately accepting what has happened without dwelling on it.  Concentrate on the tasks at hand: navigating home, scouting what is in between, and foraging for anything you need.  You have a job to do!  Reconnaissance!  We’ll go over that now.

Reconnaissance: You must see on the ground what is in between you and the happy Hallmark home you’re returning to. You should take note of any places that hold medical supplies, food, or anything you may need for yourself or your family.  You should take note of possible refuge sites to hide if you and the family hightail it out of the home instead of having a “Walton Family Homecoming.”  You must take note of water features, danger locations (cliffs or impassable terrain features), as well as dangerous individuals.  Yes, the ones who were jerks before all of this?  Wait until you see how they’ll be now, with no controls exercised over them.

7. The best advice I can give: Travel at night. This may be impossible for several reasons.  Firstly, if it’s an all-out nuke attack, there may be the problem of radiation for you, in which case you’ll have to either reach home immediately or seek shelter immediately to remain in place for several weeks.  Secondly, you may have other family members that need to be attended to and cannot wait for a long time.  The kids in the scenario are a prime example.  If it is an EMP only, there will be a “quiet period” of about 6 to 12 hours before everything breaks loose and the sequel to the movie “The Road” begins in real life.  Darkness is the best time to travel.  It hides you and helps you to cover your tracks until the morning light.

8.The rest of the family: They must KNOW THE OVERALL PLAN AND HAVE A PLAN OF THEIR OWN TO FOLLOW UNTIL YOU GET THEM OR UNTIL THEY REACH HOME. This is all going to take some preparation on your part and remember the saying: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Don’t put it off!

9. Avoid people, families, and groups of people. Your goal when traveling is to be invisible.  I wrote some articles on how to hunt and how to avoid the manhunt.  You may want to refresh yourself on those points, and follow a few basic rules I keep in my own mind and heart:

  • When a disaster occurs, everyone is your “friend” even when they are not
  • There is no interest but self-interest outside of you and your immediate family
  • Whatever you need and have, they also need and want
  • They will kill you for the barest of essentials of what you’re carrying
  • Don’t talk to anyone: don’t exchange information, pleasantries, and do not tell anyone anything about yourself, your family, your general destination, or your home…it can be used against you later…and it will be.

10. Coming home: Don’t walk right on in. Use a roundabout route, and go to a spot where you can watch your house for at least half an hour or so before making your “triumphant return.”  The S has hit the fan, and this is not the return of the Prodigal…you’re just going to tiptoe in.  But before you tiptoe through the tulips and the window, keep in mind that Tiny Tim and his gang of marauders may have done it before you.  That is why you want to watch the house closely.  Best Advice I can give: Have your kids/spouse put up a long-distance-visible sign/signal so that you know everything is either OK or that you’ll have to come in and rescue the family.  For example, if the birdhouse is still on the corner of the porch, then all is well.  If the birdhouse is gone, or if it’s sitting on top of the post that holds the mailbox…well, time to play CQB (that’s Close Quarters Battle) and clear the house of the rats.

11. Never underestimate anyone’s ability to take your family members hostage: That goes for the “friendly neighbors,” most of all…the biggest rats on the block. If that happens, guess what?  You’re now the HRT (that’s Hostage Rescue Team), or you better have a couple of guys such as this in your survival group/pod/neighborhood unit.  The hardest guy or gal in the world will “cave” when their son or daughter is being held at gunpoint by some goon.

12. You’re home…Now, it’s time to fight! That’s right!  Just when you thought it would be cozy and comfortable…just you and the family and your happy supplies…here comes a whole bagful of “Gummi Bears” down the block…only these bears are armed with baseball bats, zip guns, chains, and crowbars.  Armed also with about a week of BO (that’s Body Odor), all twelve of them combined still have an IQ of 50, tops…and here they are, at your door.  They don’t want Halloween candy, by the way.  You just walked twenty miles.          Say, remember that article I wrote about using ginseng, and drinking coffee to help you keep alert and awake?  I hope that one comes to mind because it’s about to become a “festival” at your house.  We’re going to cover more on this in the next segment.

13. Obtain that “second set” of electronic equipment. Oh yeah, the one JJ continuously warns about!  Well, now that all your electronics that were exposed are junk, I hope you made some Faraday cages and stashed an extra one of those radios…or even several, for those of you who thought long-term.  You need to find out what’s going on.  Ham radios may help if you shielded them.  So may CB’s and satellite phones.

14. Arm the whole family: by the time you reach home, every family member either accompanying you (small children and toddlers excepted) should be armed. Time to really see how tight and full of solidarity you are as a real family unit…one that must fight in order to survive.

15. Exit stage left: You may just find that the homecoming isn’t; that is, you must write it off as a loss and get out of there…it’s either destroyed and burning or occupied by the marauders. Unless you have the skills and the ability to deal with all of them, it is better to retreat and stay alive.  You need a plan in place in order to make this work.

We’ve covered a lot of information here.  This is all designed to stimulate those creative thought processes.  The thinking alone is not enough: you must formulate a plan and then implement it.  A plan without action is of no use.  A plan executed too late is a tragedy: a funeral dirge getting ready to play.  Don’t be too late to formulate your plan for you and your family.  If the lights go out, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the party’s over…and the party may be one that never comes to an end.  Fight that good fight each and every day!  JJ out!

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Bendromeda Strain's picture

Who is going to be broadcasting?

Me on my radio. You really are off the deep end, pal. Thankfully there are engineers (and McGuyvers) out there who don't obsess over can't and won't.

HRH Feant2's picture

This is a good article. How many people can walk home from work? I know people that commute 60 to 90 miles each way. I know one person that could walk home that far in one day. My oral surgeon. He was into those torture running marathons where they ran over mountains and shit for 100 miles. Crazy! But seriously I don't know anyone else that could hoof it 60 miles.

How many people have walking shoes and spare socks? A simple canteen and water filter? Flashlight? Lightweight backpack? I do. Keep in my car at all times behind the front seat. Why? Common sense. Plus it is the Boy Scout motto to "be prepared."

Praetorian Guard's picture

Please explain to me, someone, why some state would trigger a high burst aerial nuke, generating an EMP, and yet hold back from finishing off the CONUS? Come on. If an EMP is triggered, you can bet your fucking ass city killers are right behind it...

HRH Feant2's picture

Easy. Because the damage is greater. If you hit a city you affect only that one city. If their is an atmospheric airburst the damage is massive. Not physical damage. What can you do without electricity? What can you do when your cell phone doesn't work? When your car starter / computer is fried? When your internet service went down and doesn't turn back on because, it too, had all their fancy servers, fried. How are you going to pump gas? How are you going to buy anything? Seen any non-electronic cash registers lately? Imagine people without their favorite device taken from them for 12 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours. A week. Two weeks.

Dude you need to get up to speed if you think you are part of the Praetorian Guard!

Praetorian Guard's picture

Wrong! By triggering a high altitude nuke that produces an EMP, you have declared war. In bounds are a fact. Silos are hardened, meaning a full exchange is underway. Fire first, ask questions later. Window for launch is MINUTES, and most nuke nations ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE THE CHANCE and WILL LAUNCH. I am up to speed dipshit. I know how this works. It is sad you DO NOT!!! You are talking about WWIII, not some isolated EMP and oh, help us world... hungry sharks will smell the blood. We would have MUCH BIGGER ISSUES at hand.

HRH Feant2's picture

Inbounds from who? Do you realize that Russia and China would love to let North Korea be their proxy and turn out the lights in a large portion of the US. They wouldn't need to waste any other nukes on the US. The know we would self destruct in a few weeks.

No one wants WWIII asshole. But lots of people want the lights to go out in the US. They understand how vulnerable we are. And I can promise you they read the EMP Commission Report and understand the consequences fully.

Your stupidity is not my problem. For someone peddling a prepper site you are an idiot.

nizeoni's picture

haha..yeah a country with 178 freaking military bases having a currency with no value but backed by oil and guns.and in that a very few benefit, they suck the blood out from 99% of world..you are not part of the "WE", unless you are shilling here. like they give a shit about you. there is nothing like US only a few private corporation backed by the US military.

nizeoni's picture

haha..yeah a country with 178 freaking military bases having a currency with no value but backed by oil and guns.and in that a very few benefit, they suck the blood out from 99% of world..you are not part of the "WE", unless you are shilling here. like they give a shit about you. there is nothing like US only a few private corporation backed by the US military.

Praetorian Guard's picture

Seriously fuck stick? You think that it somehow ends with a high altitude nuke (EMP)???? ...and that somehow that is the ONLY exchange? Jesus Fucking Christ...

Wrong, douche, First Strike is the US option. Simulators show time and again a first strike is "winnable", whatever the fuck that means. ...but you go on believing that we are the good guys and would restrain ourselves...

FoggyWorld's picture

Given that we seem to have very few friends, how would you know who would set off the EMP you plan to strike first?

Advoc8tr's picture

Sure you guys would wipe them off the map within hours or days ... but that doesn't mean anyone else would start shooting at you or each other ?   NK knows it only gets 1 chance ... trying to land a nuke provides an opportunity for it to be intercepted .. high altitude would have much greater chance of success.   If China sees that NK strikes first and preemptively they may hold back ... who knows.  I guess it depends on the extent of the "collateral damage" from the US retaliation.

Sweet Cheeks's picture

An EMP just starts the population die off. Then the second wave attacks the weaked opposition.

Dragon HAwk's picture

And remember a City is a liability, while an military base is an asset. cities will drain resources as soon as they start to burn and people evacuate. there is a reason they bomb cities to make people flee,  and yeah EMP for the surprise, inbound nukes for the  Win.

FlKeysFisherman's picture

Just get a shotgun, a rifle and a four wheel drive.

skinwalker's picture

And a country boy can survive!

TBT or not TBT's picture

A carburated 4 wheel drive.   anything with chips in it would become chunk of metal.   Also, gas pumps will be out.  

Jethro Dull's picture

Wellpoint, length of Pvc, old fashion pitcher pump.

FoggyWorld's picture

Food?   Food for years that you can protect?

Medicine?   Medicine for the things that will happen?

Clean water?   Clean water that you can protect?




Bigly's picture

So what year of car will still run again? What is the newest year. ..but will still run.

Toyota, VW, Benz, etc...

I really would like to know...

Praetorian Guard's picture

You would be better off with a diesel...

idahobandito's picture

Diesel with a mechanical fuel pump such as a 12 valve cummins (dodge), 6.9 IH (ford) 6.2 gm(gm). You would have to pop the hood to shut the fuel(engine) off physically at the pump, as the solinoid may not work. 5 speed would alow you to pop star without a charged battery since the alt may fail. You would probably get 10-20 starts off the battery before needing a charge.

stampman's picture

I lived in a big, long E-150 with a standard 5-speed and 300 ci straight six for a year.  Always parked for the night on a slope in case the battery drew down somehow.  Just loosen the clutch, go forward or back depending on the cant, and pop-start with the clutch.  Works every time.  Even easier in reverse going backwards.

Auto trannies out there?  YOU POOR BASTARDS!

Better shelter in place at your McMansion.

RafterManFMJ's picture

I used to drink. I still do, but I used to too.

HRH Feant2's picture

An EMP would cause a surge and fry your car computer. Some people say it will damage your electrical starter and you should keep a spare in a faraday cage (cheapest and easiest is a galvanized metal trash can that is sealed).

If your car has a computer it is going to be a big paperweight. Even if you do have a car or truck you can start the road is going to blocked in a lot of places. I am thinking a motorcycle would be a good option. Spare starter in the trash can, save it for a rainy day.

Socratic Dog's picture

Mate, if the most important spare for a motorcycle you can think of is a starter, you are not going to survive. Ever hear of a kickstarter? Pushing a bike to start it?

HRH Feant2's picture

Sheila, here! Not much of a motorcycle rider but that sounds great! If you can kickstart it, or push it, even better!

stampman's picture

I get it.  Anything to not have to do the utterly unthinkable--walk.

HRH Feant2's picture

Walking or riding a bicycle sound fine. No need to get huffy.

HRH Feant2's picture

Why you mad? I like JJ. He is fun!

Hulk's picture

JFC, this means a megaton device has just went off high up. Bigger fucking problems are about to happen other than your car wont start.  in 3,2,1...

Praetorian Guard's picture

Amen!! Who the fuck writes this shit?

idontcare's picture

You tell me what's wrong with this Bio (try "the smell" test & then you'll understand why his articles are just a bit.... off):

"Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead."


Socratic Dog's picture

That is really, really funny. A fucking herbalist and ACLS man, advising me on surviving an EMP. Jesus.

stampman's picture

"In my country I was champion of everything!" -Lars of Johnny Quest.

seek's picture

This is really, really bad information. The author clearly has never done any legitimate research on the subject whatsoever.

EMP effects only damage devices with long wires attached (e.g. things like power lines) attached to them. Your watch or cellphone will be completely unaffected (though the towers may be toast), and to get to the point where the EMP from a bomb would affect them, you'd be well inside the kill radius of the bomb.

High-altitude EMP will take out the grid, and a few other vulnerable systems. It won't even affect cars. Indeed modern cars are tested under contract at Sandia's EMP test center in New Mexico, not out of concern for nukes but other hazards. The literal worst-case scenario is a restart.

This stuff is well studied and plenty of documents are available outlining the risks and affected system. While the threat is real enough, there's no need to exaggerate to ridiculous extremes where nothing works -- a dead grid is more than enough.

idahobandito's picture

CME effects power lines (carrington event in 1850's burned out the telegraph lines) EMP effect micro chips and some transistors. All really depends on the shielding and grounding.

seek's picture

HEMP creates a voltage gradient (actually more than one, but that's secondary) of around 10KV/m. Most chips have protection diodes good to 2.5KV, and the conductor length in a chip or a small device is a tiny fraction of meter. The direct voltage gradient simply isn't a threat beyond possible triggering single-event upset.

Induced voltage, like that on a long wire, is a completely different story. Do that same math on a few thousand feet of powerline and you get a much worse result.

There's a lot of different resources about this on the web, I did a quick google and this isn't a bad overview at all if you're technically minded: http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1549/2

EMP/HEMP really is a complete non-issue for chips and small devices. Size and wires is what matters. There's no credible research that shows otherwise.

Hulk's picture

The voltage gradient aint shit compared to the thermonuclear war about to start due to the emp.

no disrespect intended seek...

HRH Feant2's picture

Thank you for the link.

Do you remember that experiment, more than 10 years ago, maybe 20 years, where they unfurled a long line in space? Ah, found it! June 27, 1993: LA Times: "NASA unfurled 1640 feet of copper wire high above Earth on Saturday and conducted electricity through the line in a low-cost space tether test." "This tether is considerably shorter, one-third of a mile compared with 12 1/2 miles of cord on the first two experiments." "The tether is one-sixteenth of an inch thick and consists of strands of 18-gauge copper wire lightly coated with Teflon for insulation. Once fully extended, it picked up electrical current from one end and moved it to the other end and out into space, all in a matter of milliseconds, McCoy said. The tether generated 50 to 100 volts while speeding through Earth's magnetic field."

idontcare's picture

The author makes it up as he goes, just like his being of any stature in the military beyond being drafted to go to Nam.

Praetorian Guard's picture



Common misconceptions

A 2010 technical report written for the US government's Oak Ridge National Laboratory included a brief section addressing common EMP myths.[44] The remainder of this section is a direct quotation from that Oak Ridge report regarding common HEMP Myths:

Much of the literature on HEMP is either classified or not easily accessible. Probably because of this, some of what is openly available tends to vary in accuracy – some, especially from the Internet, has major inaccuracies. Some discussions of HEMP have the right words and concepts, but do not quite have them put together right, or have inaccurate interpretations. Here we will discuss some common misunderstandings. HEMP has also appeared in some movies, and there are on-line discussions about possible errors in their depiction of HEMP. Here we will be concerned with E1 HEMP, and ignore misunderstandings about other types of EMP.
Extremists: Some general emphasis of comments fall into either “the world as we know it will come to an end” if there is a high altitude nuclear burst, or the other extreme: “it’s not a big deal, nothing much will happen”. Since we really have never had a nuclear burst over anything like our current modern infrastructure, no one really knows for sure what would happen, but both extremes are not very believable.
Yield: There appears to be an assumption that yield is important – it is not for E1. The assumption that E1 is an issue only for cold war type situations, but not for terrorists or rogue nations, is false. Very big bombs might have better area coverage of high fields by going to higher burst heights, but for peak fields the burst yield is only a very minor consideration.
1962 experience: Some point to the Starfish event, and the rather minor HEMP effects produced at Hawaii by it. However, there are many problems with extrapolating that experience:
1. That was about half a century ago. Since then, the use of electronics has increased greatly, and the type of sensitive electronics we currently use did not really exist back then.
2. The burst was fairly far away from Hawaii, and the incident E1 HEMP was much less than worst case.
3. The island is small – if over the continental U.S., long transmission lines would be exposed (especially an issue for late-time HEMP). In addition, widely separated substations would have been exposed, although with electromechanical relays (not solid state). Also the yield argument has been used – Starfish was a very big weapon, yet it did very little – see the previous item, yield is not really very significant.
Cars dying: Some say that all vehicles traveling will come to a halt, with all modern vehicles damaged because of their use of modern electronics (and one movie even had a bulk, non-electronic part dying). Most likely there will be some vehicles affected, but probably just a small fraction of them (although this could create traffic jams in large cities). A car does not have very long cabling to act as antennas, and there is some protection from metallic construction. As non-metallic materials are used more and more in the future to decrease weight and increase fuel efficiency, this advantage may disappear.
Wristwatch dying: One movie critic pointed out that electronics in a helicopter were affected, but not the star’s electronic watch. A watch is much too small for HEMP to affect it.
Electrons present: One critic, with some awareness of the generation process, said that HEMP could not be present unless there were also energetic electrons present. This is true when one is within the source region, which exists for all types of EMP – there are energetic electrons present. However for the HEMP, the radiation and energetic electrons are present at altitudes of 20 to 40 km, not at the ground.
Turn equipment off: There is truth to this recommendation (if there were a way to know that a burst was about to happen). Equipment is more vulnerable if it is operating, because some failure modes involving E1 HEMP trigger the system’s energy to damage itself. However, damage can also happen, but not as easily, to systems that are turned off.
Maximum conductor length: There is a suggestion that equipment will be OK if all connected conductors are less than a specific length. Certainly shorter lengths are generally better, but there is no magic length value, with shorter always being better and longer not. Coupling is much too complex for such a blanket statement – instead it should be “the shorter the better, in general”. (There can be exceptions, such as resonance effects, which depend on line lengths.)
Stay away from metal: There is a recommendation to be some distance away from any metal when a HEMP event occurs (assuming there was warning), because very high voltages could be generated. Metal can collect E1 HEMP energy, and easily generate high voltages. However, the “skin effect” (a term not really derived from the skin of humans or any other animal) means that if a human were touching a large “antenna” during an E1 HEMP event, any current flow would not penetrate into the body. Generally E1 HEMP is considered harmless for human bodies.
lolmao500's picture

Fact : I would worry more about nkorean/chinese sleeping agents living in the US and SK blowing up nuclear power plants and electrical substations leading to months if not years of blackouts.


Praetorian Guard's picture

Yes, or even bio/chem-weapons. Or a major cyber attack that tanks the markets - the US Achilles heel...

stampman's picture

"Generally HEMP is considered harmless for human bodies."

Glad to know my smokeables are safe to use.


Socratic Dog's picture

Steady on there mate. The man is a graduate from the Green Beret food canning school. He knows how to make jam. A fucking expert. Not to mention a Master Herbalist. Give him some respect.

gregga777's picture

The devil is in the details regarding EMP. There are so many possible scenarios that it's impossible to generalize. Designing electronic systems to survive an EMP is extremely expensive and requires lots of testing to get it right. I've designed unmanned systems that had to operate providing that it survived a nearby nuclear weapon detonation. Following deployment there has to be constant attention to maintenance to ensure that the shielding doesn't become compromised from damage and/or wear and tear.

First, it has to be a really big bomb (at least 100-kT TNT (trinitrotoluene) equivalent) detonated at the "right" altitude to produce sufficient free electrons and/or electromagnetic field to cover a wide geographic area. A "small" bomb won't generate enough free electrons or strong enough EM field. One "big" bomb would not be sufficient to completely cover the continental United States. Altitude and atmospheric conditions are variables that will affect the geographic area affected.

Second, a very strong EMP may penetrate any gaps in shielding and may cause damage to electronics inside the shield. There doesn't necessarily have to be long, unshielded wire runs. Any external wire shielding has to be very robust to prevent currents on the shielding from coupling into the wire bundles.

Third, from data I've seen the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) nuclear tests have so far not exceeded 10-kT TNT (trinitrotoluene) equivalent. The first US 'hydrogen' bomb filled a small building. It took many years of design and continuous testing to miniaturize them to their current size.