Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) and the Electrical Grid

power-731824_1280Western Society is reliant on electrical power. Their cars, batteries, and homes run on it. Homes use electricity for heating and cooling, to run refrigerators, house alarms, and cooking appliances. Their hot water is tied to the grid. How would society survive if there was an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) tomorrow and all their power grid was gone?

What Could Cause an EMP?

Why might such a cataclysmic event happen? Would results be permanent? There is no decisive answer to the last question, but scientists say a solar flare could cause the event. The earth is protected from solar flares, seen as the Northern Lights on clear cold nights, but this might not always be the case. A nuclear blast would also cause an EMP although that would be the least of society’s worries in such an event. Survivors, however, would be left to clean up the damage without the benefits of modern power. Finally, science fiction writers wonder if such a tool is being created to deliberately target countries’ power supplies so as to disrupt their communities without use of nuclear missiles or bio-weaponry.

What Would Happen if Society Lost Power?

How would people cope during loss of grid-tied power? That depends on whether you relied on the grid or not. Many people are turning to solar thermal and PV energy, wind turbines, gas power, and other energies.

A lot of these individuals live a little away from society, grow their own food, hunt for game, and are almost completely self-sufficient. They even run generators when other sources of power are insufficient. While most people shop at grocery stores, these citizens can live without the supermarket. They will be okay unless they need medical help, emergency services, or are targeted by hungry neighbors.

There will be looting, violence, and death. People will die on operating tables. Inmates will escape from asylums and prisons. Water supplies treated by computerized systems will no longer be clean.

How Can a Family Prepare for an EMP?

How would you survive if this happened to your neighborhood? Firstly, you have to prepare and this takes time. And you won’t have any time to waste by that point. So, take a look at Alec Deacon’s instruction book on how to prepare. It’s called “Darkest Days” and you can check it out right here. In the meantime, begin basic prep by keeping stocks of non-perishable food on hand. Buy first aid equipment and medicines such as antiseptic, antihistamines, and anti-inflammatory pills.

Store water and also tablets which purify dirty water. Buy a filter which does not rely on electrical power to run. Learn how to find water in an emergency.

Install off-grid systems around your home including solar panels for thermal and electrical conversion. Consider switching to propane for heating and cooking. Learn how to start a cooking fire. Plant a garden with vegetables including pretty, edible flowers. Learn to identify edible wild plants and how to prepare them for eating. Plan to protect yourself and your family but also be prepared to help if you can.