The danger to the United States is particularly consequential due to the close military cooperation of China and Talibans. Their combined capabilities, as demonstrated recently, could very well signal a future nuclear attack of the electromagnetic pulse type, for which the U.S., at the moment, is totally unprepared.
The threat to the United States from an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack — the high-altitude detonation of a nuclear weapon over the United States — is so potentially catastrophic that both the 2004 and 2008 reports of the Congressional EMP Commission said so openly — probably in the hope that the public warning would spur the nation and the Department of Defense to action.
There is one scenario, though, that’s had a bad rap in times past, but that’s very much worth taking seriously: the threat posed by electromagnetic pulses (EMPs).
Once the domain of hardcore preppers, EMPs have gotten a lot more mainstream attention over the last decade or two. If you take emergency preparedness seriously, this is a rising issue you need to know about.
In this article we’ll give a rational, realistic overview of:
What the most likely source of a deadly EMP would be (hint: it’s not a nuclear weapon)
The possible threat they pose to everyday Americans
How seriously the experts say we should take that threat
What Is an EMP?
Bear with us for a minute as we get a little science-y—it won’t last long! Grasping these concepts will help to understand the true threat of EMPs and how to prepare for them.
An EMP is an “electromagnetic pulse” and comes from one of the four fundamental forces of nature: electromagnetism. In a nutshell, electromagnetism is the interaction between charged particles that create electricity (the flow of electric charges) and magnetism (the force that attracts objects or pushes them away).
With this in mind, an EMP is when a short, intense burst of one of these energies occurs. Imagine a quick electrical surge, and you get the picture.
How Do EMPs Affect Humans?
EMPs generally have little direct effect on the human body, though recent research is showing that certain types of EMP exposure might cause issues in the nervous system and the brain.
Where Do EMPS Come From?
NATURAL SOURCES FROM THE EARTH
Having said that, not all EMPs are necessarily capable of the same levels of damage. The impact would vary depending on the source.
For example, the earth is regularly hit by EMPs from earthquakes, volcanoes, and lightning—with little to no backlash.
When it comes to massive, earth-shattering events, the two sources most experts worry about are nuclear and solar EMPs. Here’s what we could expect from each.
When you think of a nuclear bomb, you probably imagine a mushroom cloud, blast wave, and radiation.
One effect that’s gotten less attention until recently, though, is the EMP triggered by a nuclear detonation—a mix of gamma rays and air molecules that send electromagnetic radiation corkscrewing through the atmosphere.
Some experts estimate a nuclear EMP could shut down massive sections of the power grid for miles around the blast and trigger that “1800s-style” blackout.
One of the most vocal of these is Dr. Peter Pry, executive director of the EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security. A few years ago, he testified before Congress that such a worst-case scenario could potentially wipe out 90% of the population through starvation, disease, and societal collapse.
Before we start running for our bunkers, though, groups like the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) are convinced that the damage from a nuclear EMP wouldn’t be nearly so apocalyptic. Simple mitigation measures should prevent most of the damage.
Others point out that even though China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran have reportedly been working on weaponizing EMPs, they would probably never use them. The same sense of “mutually assured destruction” that’s prevented nuclear war for generations would also prevent an all-out EMP attack.
The recent China nuclear and the Iranian ballistic missile tests are serious deadly threats to the United States. China latest bomb test is being widely dismissed by “experts” because the apparent yield is around 10 kilotons or less – which just so happens to be exactly the right amount for an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) explosion.
Emp attack how it would affect us. electric grid for a protracted period of months or years ” warned Peter Pry executive director of the emp task force a bipartisan congressional commission. congressman warns emp attack to wipe out 90% of U.S. population.Projection of Talibans emp attack on america.
An EMP attack on the U.S. would leave the country with no electricity, no communications, no transportation, no fuel, no food, and no running water.
With no vehicles or trucks on the road — due to the majority of vehicles’ fried components as a result of the EMP — there will be no new deliveries of food to restock store shelves as store shelves empty when there’s a mad dash for groceries across the land.
If that’s not bad enough, all foods requiring refrigeration will start going bad within just a few hours. A fully stocked refrigerator and freezer will have to be eaten in a very short time frame (frozen meats could be thawed and then smoked using primitive methods for long term food storage, so not all is lost for people who have taken the time to learn how to smoke and preserve meat — we’ve covered this in another article).
The recent military writings and exercises of potential adversaries would combine EMP with cyber-attacks, sabotage, and kinetic attacks against the national electric grid and other critical infrastructures.
While the Pentagon is moving to shield its global air defense command from being knocked out by an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, the Biden administration has failed to act on urgent recommendations to protect the country’s civilian electronic infrastructure from a similar catastrophe, they write.
“An EMP strike, most likely from the detonation of a nuclear weapon in space, would destroy unprotected military and civilian electronics nationwide, blacking out the electric grid and other critical infrastructure for months or years,” Cooper and Pry write.
“The staggering human cost of such a catastrophic attack is not difficult to imagine.”
The likeliest source of such an attack would be China or Talibans, according to Cooper, former director of the Strategic Defense Initiative, launched by the late President Ronald Reagan, and Pry, executive director of the EMP Task Force on National and Homeland Security and a veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency.
The EMP Commission also warned that the Department of Defense has failed to maintain adequate EMP protection for U.S. military forces since the end of the Cold War:
“The end of the Cold War relaxed the discipline for achieving EMP survivability within the Department of Defense, and gave rise to the perception that an erosion of EMP survivability of military forces was an acceptable risk. EMP simulation and test facilities have been mothballed or dismantled, and research concerning EMP phenomena, hardening design, testing, and maintenance has been substantially decreased. However, the emerging threat environment, characterized by a wide spectrum of actors that include near-peers, established nuclear powers, rogue nations, sub-national groups, and terrorist organizations that either now have access to nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles or may have such access over the next 15 years have combined to place the risk of EMP attack and adverse consequences on the US to a level that is not acceptable.”
Many other Americans will be in trouble also — especially those due for refills of important medication they rely on to live; this includes diabetics (which there are a lot of nowadays) who have to store their insulin medication under refrigeration as it goes bad quickly when not kept at a constant, cool temperature. Many diabetics will die as a result of the EMP.
Where To Find Food When The Shelves Are Empty?
Disaster has struck and you were caught flat-footed and unprepared. Or maybe you were prepared, but didn’t stockpile enough, or your supply was compromised.
For whatever reason, you go to the grocery store because you’re out of water and food but the shelves are bare. So where do you turn when you need to buy food but the grocery store shelves are empty?
First, if you were caught without any type of prepping, you should have been prepared, and are now learning the hard way why! But, that’s spilt milk, so the only place to look is forward. Fortunately, there are a few tricks.
Nowhere in this list will you find any method that suggests that you steal from your neighbors, loot stores, or ransack empty houses. And if you do, unless we’re in the middle of an apocalypse and those people are dead or gone for good, then shame on you.
Grocery Store Dumpsters
Before you get all high and mighty about this, let me remind you that grocery stores regularly throw out perfectly good food because it’s a couple of days old or, in the case of power outages, have to throw all perishable goods out due to policy. The kicker here is that they’re not even allowed to give it away for free.
If the power goes out for more than just a half-day or day, or whatever, they generally have a CYA policy that, even though the food is still semi-frozen and people are standing at their doors going hungry, they have to pitch it.
So, dumpsters behind grocery stores are a great place to store perfectly good food. A word of warning here, though: If you’re digging through meat, don’t take any that isn’t still at least cold, especially fowl. Salmonella is not your friend.
This a good place to score produce, milk, bread, frozen foods, baked goods, or deli items for free. But keep an eye out and be there as soon as employees can make it back to the store, because they’ll be throwing everything out immediately.
Food pantries typically try to stock up before a storm because they know that people are going to need help. Unlike the commoner, they have a relationship with local grocery stores and can get meat, produce, and bakery items that are a day or two old or are otherwise not ideal to sell at the store, but are still perfectly edible.
Just as with grocery stores, be there as soon as you can get there, because they’ll run out fast.
Emergency and Homeless Shelters
These two places are typically targeted as drop-spots for food and water because it’s a given that everybody there has nothing and the entire goal of a shelter is to provide a safe haven for people in need.
Soup kitchens are the same, though they will often run out quickly either because the food was compromised or because so many people show up with empty bellies after a disaster.
Local farmers tend to be a generous lot, and also often have generators to keep them from losing all of their produce, which are their livelihood as well as their own food source.
You’ll often find these set up along the road offering produce and home-canned goods, and maybe even eggs and bread, or search for one on USDA website. Sometimes they’ll be giving food away, but usually you’ll pay for it. If it’s a little extra, that’s sort of what you get for not being prepared.
Designated Assistance Locations
The county, state, and federal government emergency response teams will designate specific locations where they will portion out food, water, ice, and often paper goods, hygiene items, and clothes.
These spots may even be equipped with phones so that you can contact loved ones, a food or barbecue area, and air-conditioned or heated areas where you can get out of the weather for a few minutes. Their resources are considerably vaster, but they’re not unlimited, especially in the first few days post-disaster.
There’s always going to be a few restaurants that have backup generators and/or use gas stoves so that they can operate even without electricity.
When Hurricanes Charley and Ivan went through, I was living in Southwest Florida and working as a waitress. We were one of only a handful of restaurant in ten miles that was open because we had a generator and gas stoves.
The owner, a brilliant man, saw the opportunity coming and stocked up on food right before the storms, opened as soon as the roads opened, and made an absolute killing even though he sold most everything at a discount.
I lived close and was able to make it to work. Let me tell you, those few days when there was no power were some of my most profitable of my entire stint there.
So, if you have money, some local restaurants will likely be open if it’s a disaster like this. Also, even if they can’t open, they’ll likely go in to clean out the freezers, so their dumpsters will be full, too.
You can also possibly get lucky enough that they’ll give it to you instead of wasting it or sell it to you.
Do you have a friend who had the foresight to stockpile but had damage to his home? Consider trading your spare bedroom or couch for some of his food.
You may also be able to barter with neighbors who need help clearing trees or stabilizing porches or roofs – your work in exchange for food.
This isn’t an option that is available to or feasible for everyone, but if you happen to live in an area that is abundant with berries, nuts, and wildlife, and you’re equipped and knowledgeable enough to hunt or gather, then this may be an option for you.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re better off skipping this step because one berry will feed you, but another may kill you.
These are about the extent of places that you’ll be able to find food after a SHTF situation, so you better be ready to beat other people in your shoes to the punch by being out and on patrol early. The takeaway here is that you’re going to be stuck either going through dumpsters or paying – often through the nose – for food at restaurants or from roadside stands.
If you can’t make it on your own, know where your local shelters are and keep an ear out for designated food and water allocation stations.
If you’re without food because you were unprepared or underprepared, don’t make the same mistake twice. There’s really no place that isn’t susceptible to some sort of disaster – hurricanes, blizzards, tornadoes, floods – so don’t be caught unaware.
If you’re unfortunate enough to find yourself in need of food after a disaster, at least learn your lesson: know what to do and where to find food by researching food sources in advance!
– How to identify prophesies coded in the visions of four men whom God revealed information about the latter days to.
– How to survive each day with little necessities of life like little food, no technology as there will be no electricity, and sometimes poor housing.
– How to preserve medication and food at home without chemical preservatives or a refrigerator.
– How to identify biological weapons and chemicals thrown your way, understanding how they affect your body and what to do about it and also how to avoid it and stay safe.
– How to make protective clothing to shield you against chemical weaponry using simple household items. This covers you when an attack is imminent and you do not have the necessary gear or did not have time to buy required gear.
– How to craft a plan to survive even when times become challenging. Here, Cain explains simple military science to help you survive at home. You will need to use simple equipment and substances available at home.
– How to distinguish clean water and food from ones that have been contaminated after an attack. This keeps the family safe and free of diseases that may be caused by contaminated food or water.