An Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) is a short burst of electromagnetic energy and can be either a natural phenomenon or man-made.
A lightning strike is an example of an EMP. An EMP can also be caused by nuclear blast and also issued by our Sun.
It interferes with electronic equipment and can even, at high energy levels cause physical damage to property and even lives.
As well as natural EMP generation there are even weapons created to produce powerful EMPs in order to cause enemy damage to their communications, electronic equipment and even buildings and aircraft structures.
A former CIA director, James Woolsey in recent testimony before a House Armed Services Committee explains that it is possible for a nuclear generated blast to ‘Take down’ The US power grid.
A nuclear weapon detonated in orbit “In order to destroy much of the electric grid from above the US with a single explosion.” He explained recently. “Two thirds of the US population would likely perish from starvation, disease, and societal breakdown. Other experts estimate the likely loss to be closer to 90 percent.”
Such an event of course is somewhat unlikely. The reprisals would make it not worthwhile.
The EMP from a lightning strike tends to be localised and the damage can usually be repaired. However a solar electromagnetic pulse from a solar flare is a reality. As an example a solar EMP in 1989 shut down Quebec’s power grid for 12 hours.
NASA.gov notes that “A powerful coronal mass ejection (CME) tore through Earth orbit on July 23, 2012,”
“If the eruption had occurred only one week earlier, Earth would have been in the line of fire.”
It should be noted that there is a 12 percent chance of such a EMP hitting the earth squarely every 10 years.
NASA also reported that, “Analysts believe that a direct hit by an extreme CME such as the one that missed Earth in July 2012 could cause widespread power blackouts, disabling everything that plugs into a wall socket. Most people wouldn’t even be able to flush their toilet because urban water supplies largely rely on electric pumps.”
So what can we do about it? How can we survive such a massive failure of power?
The answer is being able to sustain lifer with a low tech solution. This is not as difficult as it sounds. People have been living with low tech solutions for hundreds of years prior to the technological advances we enjoy today.
We would have to be able to survive without power and that means, no electricity (just like a blackout or a power failure. But it would mean such things as a lack of water (Most water supply relies on electric pumping system as they would not work.
No cars, No radio or TV, no phones. Depending on the severity of the EMP these would be all burnt out.
Areas that one can work to prepare for such an eventuality
1. The domestic water supply uses electric pumps to distribute the water through pipes to homes. These pumps are likely to be off line and so the water is not going to get through and will dry up. This is where it is a good idea to have your own water supply. Get a rainwater tank to accumulate a supply of off the grid water. Many people do this to saver on water costs already so the technology and types of tanks are readily available.
3. Some people buy generators fuelled by diesel to power their electric devices. The only problem with that is that the fuel you store will eventually run out and, of course, there would be high demand for what little fuel there is to go round( unless you have a bio-gas generator and make your own gas) . Solar panels, on the other hand last a long time, are effective in supplying electricity and represent a significant cost saving when supplying your electricity and are a much better option. Provided your electronic devices are not fully burnt out you can still run them with a supply of electricity from solar panels. Many people do this already to save on energy costs. If the grid is not working then solar power would be the way to go.
I recommend you to read Blackout USA for more info about EMP and how to survive it.