Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Danger of Electromagnetic Pulse Attack

A Nightmare Scenario for America

By Lisa Karpova

Imagine one day that suddenly and without warning, every single vehicle in the United States built after the 1970s was totally incapable of running. No going up to the grocery store, in fact no more food deliveries by truck anymore to your local store.

There would be no trains, planes or buses running. Only muscle powered canoes on the waterways.

Imagine that there is no longer any electricity. You cannot keep your food from spoiling in the refrigerator. There is no heat, no air conditioning. No electric tools or appliances work. There is no way to pump water to your house, so you are also without water.

Imagine that there is no telephone service of any sort. You cannot communicate with anyone unless you walk to where they are. Which means, too, no computers, no internet, no cellular phones or iPods, no television or radio.

Your world is silent except for the occasional bird chirp or dog barking...which won't last long with no food for the dog. Perhaps there might be human screams of hunger...or despair.

The country has been transported back to the stone age. Your ability to grow your own food is limited to your access to seeds and whether or not you get enough rain.

There are riots in the cities. The only people who have access to fresh food are those with guns who can hunt and those by bodies of water with edible fish.

The supply of canned goods is rapidly going down to nothing. As are the matches that light your grill, the only way to cook. Factories are not producing anything to replace what is consumed.

Does that seem like science fiction? It's not. In fact, it may be right around the corner.

This is what would happen if someone exploded a nuclear weapon 300 miles up in the atmosphere above the country. It would involve every single state on the continent. It would even involve vast parts of Mexico and Canada.

No missle defense could prevent it. It is commonly referred to as EMP, electromagnetic pulse explosion. The energy released by such a weapon "would interact with the Earth's magnetic field, producing an extremely fast and powerful electromagnetic burst that rushes to the ground at 94% the speed of light, slamming everything on the ground with as much as 50,000 volts per square meter at high amps."

Simple to do with a nuclear device, it's almost a given that some power or group might get put out with the policy of the U.S.A. and decide to go this route. Note that there are also non-nuclear devices capable of producing an EMP.

This explanation and description have been very basic. For the scientific and technical details, there are any number of sources available to give more information about using a nuclear device to set off an electromagnetic pulse.

The Threat of an EMP is Real

By: Stacy Coleman

An EMP is something that sounds like it could have come out of any Science Fiction movie, a device dreamed up in Hollywood. The scary part about this threat is it is real and can possibly happen, as it has once before. This has not been well publicized by the media but is truly worthwhile. They either need or want us to be dependent on them and the government for help, as well as, answers, should this happen. We have found out over the last few years, that most of those in power do not want the public prepared for anything.

An EMP is known as an electromagnetic pulse the definition as follows is from Wikipedia.com:

“An electromagnetic pulse (sometimes abbreviated EMP) is a burst of electromagnetic radiation. The abrupt pulse of electromagnetic radiation usually results from certain types of high energy explosions, especially a nuclear explosion, or from a suddenly fluctuating magnetic field. The resulting rapidly changing electric fields and magnetic fields may couple with electrical/electronic systems to produce damaging current and voltage surges.

In military terminology, a nuclear bomb detonated hundreds of miles above the Earth’s surface is known as a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse (HEMP) device. Effects of a HEMP device depend on a very large number of factors, including the altitude of the detonation, energy yield, gamma ray output, interactions with the Earth’s magnetic field, and electromagnetic shielding of targets.”

Now that you have an understanding on what exactly this is, we will look at what exactly it is this has the capability of doing. An EMP attack would be a very real and very destructive force causing several major concerns, that will really disturb those that are not informed. That is why I feel, I must get the word out there to exactly, as to what it is we are dealing with should this ever affect us. There are three different stages in which the damage is done. This according toNuclear Electromagnetic Pulse by, Jerry Emanuelson, B.S.E.E.:

“The EMP is usually described in terms of 3 components. The E1 pulse is a very fast pulse that generates very high voltages. E1 is the component that destroys computers and communications equipment and is too fast for ordinary lightning protectors. The E2 component of the pulse is the easiest to protect against, and has similarities in strength and timing to the electrical pulses produced by lightning. The E3 pulse is very different from the E1 and E2 pulses from an EMP. The E3 component of the pulse is a very slow pulse, lasting tens to hundreds of seconds, that is caused by the nuclear detonation heaving the earth’s magnetic field out of the way, followed by the restoration of the magnetic field to its natural place. The E3 component has similarities to a geomagnetic storm caused by a very severe solar flare.”

Those facts on what an EMP does almost seem unrealistic to ever expect to happen in real life. That is what the normal mind would think. What if I told you that this has been tested already? These devices do work and were tested by our Federal Government.  It was not really publicized. This was called The Starfish Prime Nuclear Test.

Information on The Starfish Prime Nuclear Test is from the following Absolute Astronomy:

“On 9 July 1962, at 09:00:09 Coordinated Universal Time, (which was 8 July, Honolulu time, at nine seconds after 11 p.m.), the Starfish Prime test was successfully detonated at an altitude of 400 kilometers (248.5 mi). The coordinates of the detonation were 16 degrees, 28 minutes North latitude, 169 degrees, 38 minutes West longitude. The actual weapon yield was very close to the design yield, which has been described by various sources at different values in the range of 1.4 to 1.45 megatons (6.0 PJ).

The Thor missile carrying the Starfish Prime warhead actually reached a maximum height of about 1100 km (just over 680 miles), and the warhead was detonated on its downward trajectory when it had fallen to the programmed altitude of 400 kilometers (248.5 mi). The nuclear warhead detonated at 13 minutes and 41 seconds after liftoff of the Thor missile from Johnston Island.”

This test had a laundry list of effects on United States citizens according to Nuclear Electromagnetic Pulse by, Jerry Emanuelson, B.S.E.E.:

“The Starfish Prime test knocked out some of the electrical and electronic components in Hawaii, which was 897 miles (1445 kilometers) away from the nuclear explosion. The damage was very limited compared to what it would be today because the electrical and electronic components of 1962 were much more resistant to the effects of EMP than the sensitive microelectronics of today. The magnitude of the effect of an EMP attack on the United States, or any similar advanced country, will remain unknown until one actually happens. Unless the device is very small or detonated at an insufficiently high altitude, it is likely that it would knock out the nearly the entire electrical power grid of the United States. It would destroy many other electrical and (especially) electronic devices. Larger microelectronic devices, and devices that are connected to antennas or to the power grid at the time of the pulse, would be especially vulnerable.”

That test was done back in 1962; if that test were done today with the way electronics are hooked into every aspect of our lives, it would cause catastrophic damage. Everything is now computer controlled, and that would be the first thing to go. This would mean no communication with anyone, who does not live close to you. You would not be able to get medications, health attention; the news would also be disrupted. The power would also be knocked out, leading to mass chaos in the streets. We need to remember there are enemies of the United States, developing nuclear programs and all it would take is for one nut job in power to detonate one bomb, and we as a country would be destroyed as seen in (Image 2). Just think of how America is being perceived in the world, we could be the proverbial “sitting duck.”

This article is not in any way written to cause fear, but it is meant to offer a heightened sense of awareness to a catastrophic end, we could be forced to endure. I will leave you with one final question to ask yourself. Why is no one in the main stream media telling you this? This could forever change the world dynamic that could restructure whether America is as a super power. This is why I believe our Founding Fathers established the press to be an unofficial fourth branch of the government, a watch dog for the people. I hope this article was helpful, as well as, informative. May God continue to bless America!

Time for an EMP Recognition Day

By Jena Baker McNeill and James Jay Carafano

On March 23, 1983, President Ronald Reagan gave a famous speech where he outlined his plans for the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), aimed at protecting America from a nuclear missile attack using land- and sea-based missile defense systems. On the anniversary of this famous oratory, however, America faces another threat, one that requires Congress’s immediate attention: an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack.

An EMP attack can begin with the explosion of a nuclear weapon high in the atmosphere. This explosion interacts with the planet’s magnetic fields, creating a pulse, which in turn causes extensive damage to electronic systems. The EMP resulting from the blast would cause widespread damage, devastating the economy and resulting in the deaths of millions of Americans. Despite repeated warnings, Congress has taken virtually no action to prepare or protect against an EMP attack. In order to facilitate a national discussion regarding the EMP threat, Congress should establish March 23 as EMP Recognition Day.

Explored by America’s Adversaries

The likelihood of an EMP attack is disconcerting. Nearly 30 countries currently possess ballistic missile capabilities. Indeed, some have extensive knowledge of EMP and its effects. North Korea currently possesses a large arsenal of missiles and has been publicly testing its ballistic weapons. It has also been reported that Russian scientists have worked with North Korea on developing an EMP weapon. Countries and non-state actors are also exploring improvised or non-nuclear EMPs as a means of harnessing the destructive power of EMP without the need for missile capabilities. EMP has even been seen to occur naturally during a solar flare event (the last of which happened in the late 1800s).

Despite such concerns and repeated warnings from the congressionally mandated EMP Commission, the President’s budget does not place a great enough emphasis on missile defense, let alone the EMP threat. For instance, the President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 budget requested $9.9 billion for missile defense, a $600 million decrease from FY 2009 (although a $900 million increase over FY 2010). Neither Congress nor the White House has looked extensively at hardening critical infrastructure against EMP or revising recovery plans or disaster planning scenarios to be reflective of this unique threat.

Time for an EMP Recognition Day

Given the increased likelihood that the U.S. could suffer an EMP attack in the near future, the time has come for Congress to recognize the danger that EMP poses and act to address this threat. If, just for one day, Congress simulated even a fraction of the impact such an attack would have, the scope of the danger would be clear. To do so, Congress should establish an EMP Recognition Day. For instance, Congress could:

  1. Close all cafeterias. After an EMP attack, transportation networks would grind to a halt and no food would be delivered.
  2. Walk to work. Traffic lights would no longer function, so all roads would be gridlocked. The computer systems operating mass transit would be inoperative.
  3. Turn off Members’ Blackberries. Satellites in low-earth and many of the communication support systems would be disabled. Devices such as Blackberries and GPS would not work.
  4. Shut off the lights. Critical computers that direct the national electrical grid would be inoperative.
If Congress took these four steps for one day, all Members would understand the magnitude of the dangers posed by an EMP attack. Perhaps doing so would help Congress better understand the need for the following actions:

    • Produce a national intelligence estimate (NIE) on which countries are capable of launching an EMP strike. Such an NIE should review weapons systems, delivery systems, and platforms capable of carrying the weapons as well as an “assessment of how EMP-capable countries are incorporating those weapons into their broader military strategies.” As Heritage Foundation Research Fellow Baker Spring points out, “such planning is an essential part of providing an effective defense against these threats.”[1] Coupled with this NIE should be research on the aftereffects of EMP. Cost-effective tools to counter EMP cannot be successfully implemented without continued research on the threat.
    • Demand the Administration develop a national recovery plan. In order to minimize lives lost and property destroyed, the U.S. needs a plan that will address its ability to recover quickly after an attack. The EMP Commission emphasized that America must first improve the infrastructure on which all other sectors are dependent, specifically citing electric power and telecommunications. This risk-based approach recognizes that certain infrastructure is key to post-EMP attack recovery. EMP should also be added to the list of 15 disaster scenarios.
    • Fund comprehensive missile defense. Building a comprehensive missile defense system would allow the nation to intercept and destroy a missile bound for the U.S. regardless of the launch point or whether the attack is aimed at destroying a city or engaging in an EMP attack.
    • Prepare and protect the nation’s cyber infrastructure against the effects of EMP. Cyber infrastructure is dependent on the power grid—which makes it a unique challenge in an EMP scenario. Thus, contingency planning should explore ways to keep the cyber system functioning without primary power. As such, Congress should direct the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security to review its cyber system, incorporating the recommendations of the EMP Commission, including identification of the most critical elements of the cyber system that must survive an EMP attack. The commission also recommends that preparedness planning account for the interdependency between the nation’s cyber infrastructure and other elements of the broader infrastructure. Overall, the key to countering the effects of EMP is to put barriers in place to prevent cascading failures in the nation’s infrastructure.[2]
    • Require the Navy to develop a test program for sea-based interceptors with the capability to intercept and destroy ballistic missiles carrying EMP weapons prior to detonation. It is clear that ballistic missiles offer an ideal delivery system for an EMP weapon. For instance, an enemy of America could launch a short-range missile carrying an EMP weapon from a cargo ship off the U.S. coast. Clearly, the terminal-phase ballistic missile defense systems currently in the field or entering the field, such as the Patriot system and the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, would not reliably intercept such ballistic missiles prior to the detonation of an EMP warhead. The Standard Missile-3 Block IA (SM-3), as a midcourse defense system, may be able to do so.[3]
What the U.S. really needs to address this threat, however, is a version of the SM-3 that would intercept these kinds of missiles in the boost or ascent phase of flight. The Independent Working Group has recommended developing and fielding what it calls an “East Coast Missile Defense” to address this emerging threat.

Accordingly, Congress should require the Navy to demonstrate the capability to produce new versions of the SM-3 interceptor that are capable of destroying a short-range missile in the boost or ascent phase of flight, prior to its reaching the preferred detonation points for an EMP warhead. This would require that Congress also provide the Navy with the funds necessary to undertake this test program. Congress could also direct the Air Force to undertake a companion program that would permit operational use of the Airborne Laser system to defend against an attack from a short-range missile.

The Time Is Now

March 23 should be designated as EMP Recognition Day on the Hill. The anniversary of President Reagan’s SDI speech can serve as a reminder of the need to take such threats seriously and counter them with robust preparedness and recovery efforts, quality research, and a comprehensive missile defense system.

Jena Baker McNeill is Policy Analyst for Homeland Security in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies, a division of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, at The Heritage Foundation. James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., is Deputy Director of the Davis Institute and Director of the Allison Center at The Heritage Foundation.

EMP: An Event That Could Cripple Our Way of Life

By Tess Pennington

While dinner is simmering away on the stove, you decide to check your email on the computer.  The kids are playing on the PS3 in the living room. It's dark outside but you're warm and cozy inside, with amber lights glowing in every room.

Suddenly it all goes dark.  Oops, you think to yourself.  The power is out.  It's no big deal, it happens.  You light some candles, serve dinner while it's still hot, and spend a fun-filled "camp-out" evening with the kids, enjoying the break from electronic entertainment.  You go to bed secure in the belief that the power will be back on in the morning.

Except it never comes back. Your country has been targeted by an EMP strike and life as you know it may never be the same.

An Electro-Magnetic Pulse can be the result of natural events or a man-made attack.  It results in rapidly-changing electric fields and magnetic fields, which may couple with electrical/electronic systems to produce damaging current and voltage surges. In effect, the magnetic event fries every electronic device within its range beyond the point of repair.

When it occurs naturally, it is the result of a geomagnetic storm, when a solar flare bursts from the suns surface and reaches the Earth's atmosphere.  Such an incident occurred in 1859, called The Carrington Event, in which a coronal mass ejection from the sun took a 17 hour journey to the Earth.  Aurorae (Northern Lights) occurred around the world, so bright that it woke miners in California and that people in the North-eastern US could read by them.  The only electrical-type device in regular operation at the time was the telegraph system, which threw sparks and in many cases caused electric shock to the operators.

A purposeful attack on the electrical grid could take place through the detonation of a nuclear weapon, hundreds of kilometers above the Earth, which would cause interference with the Earth's magnetic field.  A burst over Kansas would have the potential to take out the grid infrastructure of the entire continental United States.

EMPs Will Have Paralyzing Effects 

Either type of EMP event would take out the electrical transformers, as well as any unprotected devices.  This means that we would not only be without electrical power until transformers could be replaced, but that once they were up and running (a prospect that could take years), all electrical components of our homes would have to be replaced as they would have been damaged beyond repair.  Further, our vehicles are now filled with computers and electrical devices.  Transportation would grind completely come to a halt.

The greater overall effect of this is that:
1.)  Food processing and transit would completely cease.
2.)  A vast majority of people would no longer be able to heat their homes.
3.) We would not be able to access money in banks.
4.)  All manufacturing would completely cease.

In other words, we would be thrown back to the pre-electricity days of the 1800s, without the benefit of homes that were built to run without electricity. An event like this is the basis of a novel by William Forstchen, One Second After. Set in a small town in North Carolina, Forstchen's book brings to life issues like medication for those with chronic conditions, starvation, lack of sanitation and clean drinking water, and death from exposure, as well as threats from roving bands of human predators.

A spokesman for the Center for Security Policy says that the threat of Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) is real. "Within a year of that attack, nine out of 10 Americans would be dead, because we can't support a population of the present size in urban centers and the like without electricity," said Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy. Source

How To Prepare

The most important thing in this event is to recognize that what has happened is not your ordinary everyday power outage.  How will you know this?
  • No vehicles will be running unless they are pre-1990s.
  • Chargeable devices (like cell phones, IPods and laptops) will no longer operate.

Swift recognition of what has occurred can put you far ahead of the curve by allowing you to take decisive and immediate action to protect your family.

Although many of your preparations are the normal types of preps that you've already undertaken (a stored food supply, clean water, heat source), if you immediately realize that an EMP strike has occurred, you can, without hesitation, spend all of your available fiat cash to purchase the remaining items at the stores that are still operating.

Once an EMP outage occurs, your paper money will be worthless within a matter of days.  Don't hesitate to spend it.  Last minute purchases could include:
  • Ammunition and weapons
  • Climate appropriate clothing
  • Practical shoes/boots
  • Long-term storage food
  • Seeds and gardening tools
  • Bottled water and gravity fed water filtration systems
  • Fuel such as propane and kerosene
  • Medications, both prescription and over the counter
  • Solar devices
  • Candles, solar yard lights and other alternative light sources
  • Gold or silver
  • Batteries in multiple sizes

Your immediate recognition to and response to the event gives you several advantages.  First, you've been able to go without delay and purchase needed items while others are still budgeting their soon-to-be-worthless fiat cash.  Secondly, you've gone out and gotten what you needed while others are still mulling over, what is to them, a puzzling turn of events.  Many non-preppers have never even heard of an EMP event, and have no grasp on the permanence of the situation.  Finally, by the time panic strikes and the riots begin, you and your family will be safely ensconced in your home or retreat.

When the unprepared begin to realize that the end of the world as they know it has occurred, chaos will ensue.  Many will be looking for the government, the Red Cross, or the police to step in and save them.  We must be aware that we will most likely be completely on our own in such an event, and that aid is months, if not years, away.  Your family's survival will be dependent on your preparations, your knowledge and your self-reliant skills.

FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributor Tess Pennington is the founder of Ready Nutrition.com. A former Red Cross employee whose chapter managed successfully, due to preparedness, the aftermath of 9/11, she was also raised by a prepper who was prepared for everything, beer fridge included.The information provided is intended to give suggestions of what one may do in an evacuation situation as well as to suggest that people use the information provided by media sources and use their own sound judgement to make a decision to evacuate a city. This post in no way advises people not to listen to their local governments or relative news sources.  It only suggests that people use the information provided by media sources and to leave when they believe it is pertinent.


  1. EMPACT America is a bipartisan, non-profit (with IRS 501(c)4 status) organization for citizens concerned about protecting the American people from a nuclear or natural electromagnetic pulse (EMP) catastrophe.


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