EMP Attack

Make no doubt about it, an EMP attack would completely ruin whichever country it was aimed at. EMP, which stands for electro magnetic pulse, isn’t a particular kind of bomb or weapon but more the fall out from an atomic bomb exploded high in the atmosphere above American air space. The radioactive fall out would be disastrous over a large populated area but the EMP could completely wipe out any and all electronic devices in an instant.

What Could Be Affected


It’s easy to forget just how much of our day to day life would be wiped out through an attack of the EMP that disrupts or destroys all of our electronic capabilities. It’s not just the big things like cars or airplanes that would take the hit, but everything that requires a computer chip to work would stop functioning. Since the entire infrastructure, including water, power, communications and vehicles of all sorts have computer chips, almost nothing will work

This would include:

  • Cookers – nearly all cookers have either electric hobs or gas hobs that are lit by an electric spark. While you could use matches to light the remaining gas in your system, the gas delivery system into your home will controlled by an electric switch. You would also lose the main oven function as it lights in the same way.
  • Toilets – while most toilets refill through a simple flush mechanism, the pump to get your water to the toilet will be controlled electronically and thus will be wiped in the case of an attack. This pump will also control the flow of water to your dishwasher, showers and taps so your water supply will be directly affected.
  • Vehicles –since about 1979, most cars and trucks use computer chips. In the aftermath of an EMP or HEMP (high altitude electromagnetic pulse) all vehicles built since 1979 will cease working. For some older vehicles, it is possible that by having a few spare parts (wire, distributor, coil, etc) you may be able to get the damaged vehicle running, but newer vehicles will only be good for solar food dehydrators or coffins.

Dealing with the Aftermath

The speed of an EMP attack which is normally measured in the milliseconds means that it can be almost impossible to protect yourself and your electrical equipment against it. The best defense is to prepare you and your family for the aftermath in a world without electricity. Key issues to think about ahead of time include:

  • Heat – it’s not until you have to survive any length of time without heat that you realize just how much of it you require each day. You need it to stay warm at home, to cook your food and to often shed light. In a post EMP world, you’ll need to become adept at setting large fires as well as having access to a long term supply of fire fuel.
  • Water – while a human being can survive for a few weeks without eating, you’ll slowly start to lose consciousness without water after less than 72 hours. Clean running water, another one of those luxuries that you don’t recognize, may be hard to come by without the system of electronic pumps. You’ll need to be able to master a variety of water purification techniques that will allow you to harvest rain and river water.
  • Communications – in the modern world of smart phones and constant internet access you are never more than a few seconds away from help or support. Without these, you’ll only be able to contact those within walking distance of your home. This means that you may want to start making friends with the neighbors and organizing dead letter boxes with your family.

A lot of people will dismiss an EMP attack in favor of a direct nuclear strike against a particular city. However, as more and more countries develop nuclear weapons, the risk is that they will figure out the destruction that could be brought to the US. It’s never too late to be prepared against the worst case scenario.

Return from EMP Attack to Doomsday Clock

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