Electricity is something we take for granted. Most of us have even experienced power outages and lived through them (even slept through them).
Yet, there lurks a deeper, darker threat that goes far beyond a simple outage.
I'm talking about something that could kill 90 percent of Americans within a year, simply because of a lack of electricity. It's been a while since we've covered this topic.
I'm referring to an electro-magnetic pulse, or EMP. An EMP could come in many forms, which is why it's one of our biggest threats right now - especially with North Korean aggression and a recent rash of medium-range missile tests that can carry such a weapon. Plus, a U.N. report just revealed says they are actively developing long-range capabilities.
Today, I want to give you everything you need to know about EMPs. Then I'll give you my unique strategy for surviving this kind of catastrophe (it's simpler than you think.)
Looks Like the Power Will Be Out... For Years
If you're not new to prepping, you may have heard about EMPs. There is a lot of information out there on EMPs, and much of it is helpful.
Today, I want to cover the basics, explore some scenarios, and then give you something you won't find anywhere else - the My Patriot Supply Plan for effectively surviving an EMP.
What is an EMP?
An electro-magnetic pulse, also known as an EMP, is a giant burst of energy.
A solar flare could crash our electrical grid
They can occur naturally, such as when a solar flare reaches the earth's atmosphere. Minor solar flares can take out satellites and other orbiting objects. They also produce the world's auroras, like the Northern Lights seen in our hemisphere.But a massive solar flare could cause much more damage, taking out much of the electrical grids on the planet at once. EMPs can be produced by human technology as well - most notably a nuclear weapon.
How Likely is an EMP?
People who are unaware of the danger of an EMP often dismiss the threat as a "tinfoil hat conspiracy."
Which is ironic, because that phrase is derived from the fact that tinfoil is actually a cheap but effective protection against EMPs for electronics. More on that preparedness solution - called a Faraday cage - on another day.
A city or statewide power outage
Yet, an EMP or complete grid collapse are far more likely than most people are aware. At the risk of sounding alarmist, below is what all Americans need to know.
Given that an EMP can be created by both natural or sinister means, the probability we will experience one is higher than many threats.
The last time Earth was struck by a massive solar flare was 1859 - 20 years before the invention of the lightbulb. This caused telegraph systems across the world to fail, even giving telegraph operators electric shocks.
Many experts believe we are far overdue for another massive solar storm.
Then there are the sinister ways in which our grid can be taken down. Many Americans choose to ignore this danger as alarmist conspiracy theory, but it's been very well documented.
In fact, award-winning journalist Ted Koppel wrote a book titled Lights Out about this very topic. I highly recommend it as further reading.
To summarize Koppel's book, our energy grid is incredibly vulnerable, and an EMP is just one of many ways it could be attacked. More on those other threats in a moment.
One example of the threat that Koppel illustrates is a move by the military in 2015. The federal government does not have the means to provide for all of its citizens in an emergency, but the military is preparing.
Entrance to NORTHCOM
In April 2015, the Pentagon contracted Raytheon Corporation to the tune of $700 million to move its U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) deep underground to the massive bunker beneath Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado.
NORTHCOM is responsible for all homeland defense communications. This bunker in Colorado had originally been built to shield from a Soviet missile attack during the Cold War, but now it was being repurposed to protect against an EMP - whether natural or via nuclear weapon.
The government has known about the threat of an EMP for years before the Pentagon made this move. Koppel reports that in 2008, a congressional committee concluded that only one in ten Americans would survive a year into a nationwide blackout caused by an EMP. Most would perish from starvation, disease or societal breakdown.
However, our government, even within the same department, is divisive over the issue. Don't act surprised. Koppel reports that Janet Napolitano, former secretary of homeland security flatly dismissed the threat. This characterizes what Koppel calls the recurring theme of "conflicting risk assessments among our national leaders and foremost experts."
How EMPs Wreak Destruction
When an EMP is created, the electro-magnetic energy disperses in all directions. Much like an earthquake, those closest to the epicenter of the blast will be more seriously affected. A powerful EMP and its aftermath could leave devastation for thousands of miles.
When the pulse encounters any unshielded electronic device, the device is likely to be damaged or destroyed.
Not only are many of these electronics disabled because of an EMP, but their likelihood of working again without many replaced parts is next to nothing.
When All Goes Quiet, Then Explodes
In the immediate aftermath of a complete power grid failure, police and emergency personnel will be tied up for up to 3 days, just rescuing people stuck in elevators and putting out electrical fires.
Not only will emergency personnel be tied up, they will be inefficient because their communications will likely be disrupted.
Supermarket shelves will be bare in a matter of hours. Riots and violence will accompany these mad dashes as people become desperate.
Running water will be gone in a few days, if not immediately.
Bottled water will be scarce by this point, and disposal of human waste will become a critical health issue.
Many cities and states have plans for a host of emergencies. A simple power outage. Hurricanes, floods earthquakes. Even terrorist attacks. But when it comes to being without electricity for a period of months or even weeks, society is in trouble. As Koppel notes, in this scenario, "there is no master plan for the civilian population."
Beyond the EMP - Bigger Threats to Our Power Grid
Cyber attacks could take down our grid
According to Ted Koppel's book, cyberattack is the number one threat.
Think about it: cyber attacks can be carried out remotely. They can be carried out by rogue states, criminal organizations or terrorist groups, and it would be hard to determine who was responsible.
As Koppel points out, the Internet has become weaponized. The people who created it never intended to help criminals steal credit card data from 110 million Target customers. But, as Koppel says, "in 2014, it was used to do just that."
Almost all of our electrical grid is run on the Internet, coordinating the power supply and demand through thousands of utility companies and municipalities.
This makes the electrical grid just as vulnerable as air-traffic control systems, rail systems and our healthcare systems, all of which the government has warned about and all of which rely on the grid in some way.
As you can see, the threats to our power grid are many. How it might go down is unpredictable. But getting prepared needs to be kept simple in order to be effective.
The Three Simple Rules to Surviving a Power Grid Collapse
As I mentioned earlier, complex topics like building Faraday cages to protect your electronics will have to wait for another day. In all likelihood, these advanced techniques are not going to help you survive as much as three simple things: food storage, seeds, and water.
Even if you are able to bug-out safely right away, you'll need at least three months of food per person before you can get a new garden producing.
Which brings us to our next rule.
That's why we say seeds are the only true way to ensure long-term emergency survival. All of our seeds are packed in triple-layer Mylar to enable storage for 5 years - even longer when stored at temperatures below 75 F.
You'll want to plant your survival seeds as soon as possible after you've reached a safe location to shelter out the madness in the cities.
Make a Plan for Water
You'll need to filter this water, especially because contamination could become an issue without electricity to run treatment plants and other facilities that keep waterways clean.
Obtaining clean, fresh water can be a little tricky, so I suggest you do your research, both around your home and any potential bug-out locations. Investing now in portable water filtration would be an excellent idea.
If you're looking for emergency filtration, we have two systems that are perfect for grid-collapse scenarios. Our Alexapure Pro can deliver clean water for a long time, once you've settled. Our Survival Spring will get you there.
If you need help figuring out what you need as far as water filtration, give one of our preparedness advisers a call 866.229.0927.
If you keep it simple and stick to these three rules first, you'll be far ahead of most Americans in getting prepared for a grid collapse.
As you can tell here, I believe that the collapse of our grid is one of the biggest catastrophes we face, especially given so many threats that could trigger it.
I hope this information finds you well and helps you get prepared.
Have a great weekend and stay vigilant.
Read Last Week's Survival Scout: Preparing For When Chaos Destroys the Establishment